Foodie of the Year Entry: Montreal’s Joe Beef wows contestant


Joe Beef delivered an experience of a lifetime for reader Jo-Ann Samo. (Julia Pelish/

In April, will name the winner of its 2013 Foodie of the Year Contest. Eligible entrants vote for their favourite Canadian restaurants and can submit their reviews of their dining experiences, some of which will be published. Jo-Ann Samo submitted this outstanding description of her recent dinner at Joe Beef. Join in the debate over the Best Restaurants in Canada by commenting on the article below or emailing!

Story by Jo-Ann Samo
2013 Foodie of the Year Contest Entrant

MONTREAL, QUEBEC — I like to consider myself a food enthusiast. Although I am on a limited budget when it comes to indulging in hefty restaurant prices, I still love to follow the latest trends, restaurant openings, take local cooking classes and buy the hottest cookbooks.

This year, I had an opportunity to visit legendary Joe Beef in Montreal. Getting a table at this well-known eatery is somewhat challenging, so you should ensure you have reservations weeks in advance. A dimly lit yet somewhat boisterous restaurant, Joe Beef is made homier by a chalkboard menu that changes daily. Upon seating, we reviewed the carte du jour and our server brought a magnificent bucket of bread cut from large loaves sitting in the windows on a wooden butcher block. My companion ordered a Joe Beef Caesar that was fabulous; spicy, tangy and absolutely perfectly served with with an oyster, the customary celery stalk, olive and a shrimp to boot.

I skipped the cocktail and began with one of the restaurant’s signature pieces, a foie gras double down that was mouth watering from the get go. It consisted of two pieces of foie gras sandwiching cheese, home-smoked bacon, lettuce and truffle oil wrapped in tin foil. The melted cheese and bacon swirled around my taste buds with a delicate blend of crispness and sharpness leaving me wanting more. We also ordered a Bone Marrow entrée with Snails that was undeniably flawless, rich in flavour and brilliantly presented.

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My love for seafood could only be outshone by a Maritimer’’s enthusiasm. I immediately focused in on the Spaghetti Homard-Lobster that woke up all the senses within me. A velvety lobster and luxurious pasta dish, it melts in your mouth from the first bite. This recipe is also featured in “The Art of Living According to Joe Beef: A Cookbook of Sorts” by David McMillan, Frédéric Morin, and Meredith Erickson. It was a finalist at the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) awards, was nominated for a James Beard Book Award, and won the carefully judged and competitive Piglet tournament.

My guest ordered Duck Braised in a Berry Wine sauce with fingerling potatoes. The dish was adorned with whole berries complemented with a flawless piece of tender pink meat topped with potatoes and a perfectly sweet sauce.

For dessert, we had a multi-layered marjolaine Chocolate Hazelnut Cake coated in brandy that was decadently delicious. I ordered a rich Mousse Chocolate Pot de Crème served in a miniature jar topped with whipped cream and two sugar cookies on the side.

I must admit the Joe Beef experience is unlike any other that you will encounter. It is a cavalcade of outstanding dishes, each a conquest of amazingly glorious, gluttonous and eccentric recipes. Servers were knowledgeable, friendly and welcoming. It’’s a celebration that needs to be on everyone’’s 2013 bucket list.

More About the 2013 Canadian Foodie of the Year Contest’s 2013 Foodie of the Year Contest features a Grand Prize of Dinner for Two at the restaurant of your choice on the 2013 list, round-trip airfare to that restaurant’s destination city and a luxury hotel stay!

To be eligible for the 2013 Canadian Foodie of the Year Contest, simply follow these steps:
  • Vote for your favourite restaurant by emailing
  • Follow on Twitter (@VacayCanada)
  • Friend on Facebook (
  • Tell our editors about your great culinary experiences and why you should be Foodie of the Year!

Votes from the public will be added to those of the revamped academy of judges and will be used to determine the 2013 Top 50 Restaurants in Canada List, which will include a second annual People’s Choice winner (won last year by Ottawa’s Atelier).

Winners will be announced in April 2013, in conjunction with the unveiling of the 2013 Top 50 Restaurants in Canada List. In April 2012, was the first publication to ever compile a list of Canada’s 50 best restaurants — and it was a huge success thanks to our audience members like Jo-Ann Samo!

More About Joe Beef

Location: 2491 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montréal, QC (see map below)
Reserve a Table: Telephone (514) 935-6504 or click here to reserve online
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, dinner only, 6:30 pm to late
Price Range: Main courses are generally $30-$50
More Coverage: Joe Beef placed third in the 2012 Top 50 Restaurants in Canada Guide. Vote for this restaurant or another by email with your pick.

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Vicky is the worldly publisher of Having graduated from McGill University in Montreal, she has set about building a talented team of travel experts to deliver to you words and images of the very best places to see and experience in Canada. Based in Yorkville in Toronto, Vicky regularly jet sets around Canada — be sure to catch up with her when she's in your part of the country.

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