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“Yo... Joe” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Joe Beef

Joe Beef
2491-2501 Rue Notre-Dame, Montreal, Quebec H3J 1N6, Canada
514 935-6504
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Ranked #103 of 4,562 Restaurants in Montreal
Price range: $21 - $86
Cuisines: Seafood, Steakhouse, Oyster Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Local cuisine, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Charlevoix
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Yo... Joe”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2013

The Kurt-meister and I finally procured a couple of seats at the bar at Joe Beef, the same bar where Anthony Bourdain filmed his piece on the establishment.
The restaurant is housed in a nineteenth century commercial building in an historic district of Montreal, now the domain of antique shops, mixed with the up-and-coming trendy boutiques. The building is amazingly, in its 19th century condition, the store front being particularly charming. Tables, patrons and staff all packed into a highly utilized space. The musty old smell of the building mixing with the incredible ordours wafting from the kitchen.
Cocktails consisted of Hendrick’s Gin and Tonic served in a Mason jar, slice of citrus and a straw for efficient consumption.
We started with Colville Bay Oysters from New Brunswick and Sea Scallops from Nova Scotia. The plate is served with a “mingette” of champagne and chopped shallots for the sea food (oyster pollution in my opinion). I have a tear drop of lemon juice on them. They were fatty and plump with the juices clear, the taste slightly sweet with just hint of the sea. The fellow behind the raw bar (Californian transplant for that matter) gave me a few tips on shucking oysters. I now know how to better preserve the fan of the oyster on opening, giving an over all better presentation on the shell.
We then moved onto a course of Corn Flakes and smoked eel nuggets. If you knew the owners you would appreciate the joke. As funny as this combination sounds, the result was decadent. The Corn flakes are sweet and the eel is smokey, they are deep fried and served with a choice of either Plum Sauce, BBQ sauce or Honey Mustard Sauce. They did not last long on the plate. Eating high end deep-fried somehow, miraculously comes without the guilt.
For the main course, the Kurt-meister had a New York Strip, massive thing, medium rare and by the look on Kurt’s face, I think it was a hit. This was a huge compliment as Kurt is from the mid-west US, where the quality, tenderness and the taste of Steak is a matter of pride.
I had Venison in a port reduction sauce. The Venison was baked in a Cocotte (cast iron dutch oven) with the sauce, pearl onions grilled carrots. Puff pastry seals the cocotte as it bakes. When it arrives at the table the pastry is domed. As I broke through the pastry to the venison stew below, a waft of steam rose up, filled with the odour of rich brown gravy, meat and veggies.
Of course we had desert, however, I was still buzzing from the raw and the red.
The culinary quest continues…

  • Visited October 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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383 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“an epic disapointment”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2013

I waited 2 months for reservations. We were looking forward to it after hearing so many good things on tv, word of mouth and in print.

When we finally arrived the dreaded chalkboard menu was almost impossible to decipher as it was written in a mix of script and print. Also the lights were dim which didn't help. Sorry but what's so hard with being presented a with a printed menu of restaurant signature dishes and perhaps putting specials up on the wall?

When our dishes finally arrived the portions were laughable and we weren't the only ones to left scratching our heads as the people next to us actually called the waiter over and mentioned it. Then I had to call him over as my dish of cornish hen was still cold... I received a new dish and did enjoy it.

I will say the decor was nice, the wait staff is excellent and the beer selection is pretty good.

I thought long and hard about what I was going to mention about this place. I feel many of positive reviews of this resto may come from people who were actually disappointed but paid such a high price for a mediocre at best meal that they feel they need to give a positive review in order to justify the expenditure. I also feel that the owners do know this as well and couldn't care

In the end it's nothing really special except for a name that happens to end up on a certain someones TV show. It really makes me wonder..

  • Visited November 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Top Contributor
367 reviews 367 reviews
178 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 72 cities Reviews in 72 cities
142 helpful votes 142 helpful votes
“Unique and yummy”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2013

Very unusual higher end restaurant that is casual and innovative. You need a reservation and it is difficult. When planning a trip to Montréal make the reservations then. A character space that has a number of eclectic items. Lots of beautiful wood from the original building. Warm welcome and knowledgeable servers who speak english and french. You will spend lots of money, but the portion sizes are huge (American big) and the quality and taste of food superb. Quite the selection and dishes you will have never encountered before. Good wine list. Great cocktails. Definitely, get the Foie Gras Double Down as an appetizer. All our dishes were excellent and presented well. Very dark space. Don't get dressed up. Plan on spending some time. Quite a unique experience from one of the best restaurants in Canada.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairfax, California
15 reviews 15 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great Menu, overall great dining experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2013

The food was terrific, service excellent and friendly, ambiance wonderful, wine list extensive, overall experience A1. First time in Montreal, saw this restaurant on Anthony Bordaine CNN show and had to go….absolutely worth it. The menu included oysters, steaks, fish, great cheeses, and the list goes on and on. I suggest that this be a "meat" night out. A few doors away they have a sister restaurant, "Liverpool House" similar menu, I made this a "fish" night, the spaghetti with whole/cracked lobster was out of this world.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Montreal, Canada
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Great place”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2013

Six of us went to Joe Beef to try it out for the first time and loved it. To start, the menu is on a wall blackboard as is the wine list so you may want to take a pic of it so you can have it at your table because it can be hard to read from certain angles. That being said, our waitress Alexandra knew everything by heart and also suggested 3 wines to pair with the meals that had 3 different price points. Nice. We started with an assortment of oysters freshly shucked and they were great. Only complaint is that the mignonette came in a little paper cup that ended up being pretty soggy by the end of the oysters and we sort of wondered if it was going to rip and spill.
Next up was horse carpaccio with artichokes (great), a pasta appetizer with clams (good), a homemade terrine (very good), along with micro brews that were very good as well.

For the mains we had veal with oysters (awesome!!!!!) this had lardons and brussel sprouts and has to be one of the best dishes I have had in a long time. A horse steak with a terrine round on top (excellent), Hake (great), veal liver with a sausage ( I don't like liver but the person who had it loved it).

All in all this is a very good restaurant. Our waitress was fantastic and while the prices are high, the portions are large. None of us had room for dessert.
We all agreed that we would all go back.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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