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#31 prasantrin

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 02:16 AM

If you were going next week I'd offer to meet you there so you wouldn't have to look like a pig ordering all that food by yourself. Except if I go to Montreal, I won't be going until Monday.

My plan is l'express for bone marrow and ile flottante (and baba to go if they let me), and Schwartz's for a sandwich. Or just meat to go. And stops at Au Kouign Amann, Jean Talon Market, and the Spanish provisions store near Schwartz's (I think). And that's it because I have to be back in Ottawa by 4.

Anyone know what time l'express starts serving lunch? They open at 8, but I'm really not interested in breakfast.

#32 Adrian

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 04:24 AM

10:30 or 11:00 iirc.

I think you need to interpret what I'm saying in a reasonable way.


#33 Sneakeater

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 04:40 PM

My expectations of Joe Beef were so high that they were bound to be disappointed.  Except they weren't.  They were exceeded.
 
I think the service here is the absolute perfection of what I think of, parochially, as the "Brooklyn model".  The wait staff acts like they are your equals in an exploration of food culture as expressed at the restaurant, without a hint of deference but without a hint of condescension, either.  Genuine friendliness.  This only works, of course, if they actually know their shit, which was very much the case.
 
The food was beyond fabulous (although I can see mongo's point about not eating that way regularly if you lived there).  I started with a horse tartare that I can say without hyperbole was quite simply the best meat tartare I've ever had.  Served simply, on a hunk of toast with raw egg on top to be mixed in, it had the perfect texture -- not too chunky, not mush -- and, with whatever spicing it had, an assertive meaty flavor that nevertheless stopped well short of what I call to myself meatcloy.  I don't think I could tell you the difference in flavor between horse and beef -- I guess I'd say this meat was more assertive -- but horsemeat apparently makes an excellent tartare.
 
I then had a half portion of the spaghetti with lobster.  Cuz, well, I had to.  It didn't quite approach celestial heights, and maybe I'd only call it "very good" -- but I still have a feeling it was closer to mongo's first than mongo's second.  I think that because I find myself craving more as I write this.
 
I finished with pork loin and belly cooked like porchetta, but flavored like Burgundy snails.  Instead of having snails scattered on top, though, it had whelks.  This was a very good dish, but maybe not outrageously great like everything else.  Maybe I should have had the rabbit loin wrapped in bacon instead. But, pork and whelks, you know?
 
I made a mistake in ordering three wines by the glass instead of a bottle.  The by-the-glass choices were very good for for by-the-glass choices, but not surprisingly the bottle selections I saw being offered to the tables around me were much more interesting.
 
I salute them for not having a cocktail list.  The Old Fashioned they made me was one of my two or three lifetime best.  (I think it was the bitters, both in terms of the choice of what tasted like an unusual one and the insertion of a couple of splashes more than is usual.)
 
Now for maybe the best part.  My traveling companion did accompany me here.  But she had a photo shoot the next day, so aside from her usual health-based mishugas, she had a bunch of things she wouldn't eat in preparation:  salt, fat -- you know, the entire basis of Joe Beef's cooking.  They nevertheless cheerfully accommodated her with a very tasty green salad (in fact, she thought it was too tasty -- they used some sharp bitter greens -- although I thought the bites I had were just great) and an off-the-menu fluke dish that she liked very much.  That was really good of them.
 
I assume it was because of the connections that made us our reservation that we got one of the two best tables in the house, the window seats in the barroom.  It was just a joy to be there.
 
This has to be my favorite restaurant in supra-Mexican North America.


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#34 The Flon

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 04:44 PM

My expectations of Joe Beef were so high that they were bound to be disappointed.  Except they weren't.  They were exceeded.
 
I think the service here is the absolute perfection of what I think of, parochially, as the "Brooklyn model".  The wait staff acts like they are your equals in an exploration of food culture as expressed there, without a hint of deference but without a hint of condescension, either.  Genuine friendliness.  This only works, of course, if they actually know their shit, which was very much the case.
 
The food was beyond fabulous (although I can see mongo's point about not eating that way regularly if you lived there).  I started with a horse tartar that I can say without hyperbole was quite simply the best meat tartar.  Served simply, on a hunk of toast with raw egg on top to be mixed in, it had the perfect texture -- not to chunky, not mush -- and, with whatever spicing it had, an assertive meaty flavor that nevertheless stopped well short of what I call to myself meatcloy.  I don't think I could tell you the difference in flavor between horse and beef -- I guess I'd say this meat was more assertive -- but horsemeat apparently makes an excellent tartar.
 
I then had a half portion of the spaghetti with lobster.  Cuz, well, I had to.  It didn't quite approach celestial heights, and maybe I'd only call it "very good" -- but I still have a feeling it was closer to mongo's first than mongo's second.  I think that because I finding myself craving more as I write this.
 
I finished with pork loin and belly cooked like porchetta, but flavored like Burgundy snails.  Instead of having snails scattered on top, though, it had whelks.  This was a very good dish, but maybe not outrageously great like everything else.  Maybe I should have had the rabbit loin wrapped in bacon.
 
I made a mistake in ordering three wines by the glass instead of a bottle.  The by-the-glass choices were very good for for by-the-glass choices, but not surprisingly the bottle selections I saw the tables around me being offered were much more interesting.
 
I salute them in not having a cocktail list.  The Old Fashioned they made me was one of my two or three lifetime best.  (I think it was the bitters, both in terms of the choice of what tasted like an unusual one and the use of couple of splashes more than is usual.)
 
Now for maybe the best part.  My traveling companion did accompany me here.  But she had a photo shoot the next day, so aside from her usual health-based mishugas, she had a bunch of things she wouldn't eat:  salt, fat -- you know, the entire basis of Joe Beef's cooking.  They nevertheless cheerfully accommodated her with a very tasty green vegetable salad and an off-the-menu fluke dish that she liked very much.  That was really good at them.
 
I assume it was because of the connections that made us our reservation that we got one of the two best seats in the house, the window seats in the barroom.  It was just a joy to be there.
 
This has to be my favorite restaurant in supraMexican North America.


The servers were my favorite part of the experience. Really great young ladies and by the end of the night we'd exchanged emails in case they visit NYC And there were cheek kisses on the way out. Would have offered to explai. EVERY dish on the board or just guided our ideas if that the direction things went. Totally get it. And the place is pandemonium so their ability to keep it together was remarkable.

#35 Adrian

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 04:47 PM

As if thy knew you were coming sneak: http://montreal.eate...rgies-interview

I think you need to interpret what I'm saying in a reasonable way.


#36 Sneakeater

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 05:23 PM

The servers were my favorite part of the experience. Really great young ladies and by the end of the night we'd exchanged emails in case they visit NYC And there were cheek kisses on the way out. Would have offered to explai. EVERY dish on the board or just guided our ideas if that the direction things went. Totally get it. And the place is pandemonium so their ability to keep it together was remarkable.


Yeah, the room is absolutely packed, to a sardine-like state -- and they still give immense of amounts of attention to every table.
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#37 Wilfrid

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 12:27 AM

Sounds wonderful.

The best meat tartare I've ever had was horse too, in Barcelona. That's also the best way to eat horse I've found.

And I do like a whelk.

#38 Orik

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 03:07 PM

Sounds wonderful.

The best meat tartare I've ever had was horse too, in Barcelona. That's also the best way to eat horse I've found.

And I do like a whelk.

 

One day you'll make it to Jaen and Antonio will serve you his vaca rubia and smoked very-local eel tartare, but horse tartare ain't bad for sure.


sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns

#39 Sneakeater

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 10:20 PM

Not to divert the thread, but does Quebec have a special relationship facilitating the import of French wines?  It seems that the selection in many restaurants is far broader than that in Toronto, and better / lower priced.

 

(Or does Ontario just tax the hell out of all imported wines, while Quebec has a more modest hand?)

 

One of the servers at JB told me that the way it works with either the Canadian or specifically the Quebecois governmental wine monopoly is that less expensive bottles end up costing more than they should -- but expensive bottles end up costing less.  In other words, he said, the prices are curved toward the middle -- making it a good place to drink more expensive bottles.  (I have no idea if I understood this correctly.)


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#40 Wilfrid

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 12:25 AM


Sounds wonderful.

The best meat tartare I've ever had was horse too, in Barcelona. That's also the best way to eat horse I've found.

And I do like a whelk.

 
One day you'll make it to Jaen and Antonio will serve you his vaca rubia and smoked very-local eel tartare, but horse tartare ain't bad for sure.

Yes please. And I wonder if there are still guys going around East End pubs selling pints of whelks and jellied eels. There were still a few in the '90s.

#41 Rail Paul

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 12:53 AM

Not to divert the thread, but does Quebec have a special relationship facilitating the import of French wines?  It seems that the selection in many restaurants is far broader than that in Toronto, and better / lower priced.
 
(Or does Ontario just tax the hell out of all imported wines, while Quebec has a more modest hand?)

 
One of the servers at JB told me that the way it works with either the Canadian or specifically the Quebecois governmental wine monopoly is that less expensive bottles end up costing more than they should -- but expensive bottles end up costing less.  In other words, he said, the prices are curved toward the middle -- making it a good place to drink more expensive bottles.  (I have no idea if I understood this correctly.)

That makes sense. Sounds like you're having a great time
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#42 Orik

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 04:30 AM

 

Not to divert the thread, but does Quebec have a special relationship facilitating the import of French wines?  It seems that the selection in many restaurants is far broader than that in Toronto, and better / lower priced.

 

(Or does Ontario just tax the hell out of all imported wines, while Quebec has a more modest hand?)

 

One of the servers at JB told me that the way it works with either the Canadian or specifically the Quebecois governmental wine monopoly is that less expensive bottles end up costing more than they should -- but expensive bottles end up costing less.  In other words, he said, the prices are curved toward the middle -- making it a good place to drink more expensive bottles.  (I have no idea if I understood this correctly.)

 

 

It's complicated, but you should pay a visit to the fancy SAQ on St. Catherine to see how the monopoly stores those expensive bottles before buying them - especially a summer time visit will teach you a lot.

 

But of course a lot of bottles are simply not available for purchase except at the restaurant for which they were imported since SAQ has little interest in carrying good or interesting wine in most of their shops. 


sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns

#43 Sneakeater

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 04:54 AM

Oh, to be clear, the JB guy was talking about wine in restaurants.


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#44 mongo_jones

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 05:12 AM

the saq can't even be arsed to carry a good selection of better canadian whisky.


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#45 Sneakeater

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 05:19 AM

Traveling companion, upon reading my write-up:

 

Wait.  That was a half portion of the spaghetti????????

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