Editors' Picks

Joe Beef

2491 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest


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This inconspicuous-looking eatery in southwest Montreal's Little Burgundy neighborhood has inspired many a northerly road trip. The sublime cuisine, which ranges from tender (backyard nasturtium-sprinkled lettuces) to taboo (horse loin) to apocalyptic (a maple-soaked bacon and cheddar sandwich bundled between two chicken skin mayonnaise-coated slabs of deep-fried foie gras), resists categorization. A meal at Joe Beef is as unpredictable as it is rapturous.

As is often the case with pilgrimage-worthy restaurants, getting a table requires a mix of of doggedness and finagling. But beyond the sophisticated wine list and the reservation scramble, David MacMillan and Frédéric Morin's kitchen bears little resemblance to other places of its caliber. It is more boisterous and democratic—and more personal. You may even find yourself shedding tears over your foie gras double-down and exchanging contact information with your server, who will almost certainly be exuberant, articulate and tattooed. If you're visiting during summer, ask to be seated on the garden terrace. On subzero nights, the coziest seat in the house is the corner table in the oyster bar annex.

Written by Cabell Belk

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