3rd restaurant visited of 4 was at Joe Beef, an unapologetic contemporary take on classic Old World cuisine.
We were ushered past elbow-to-elbow tables of neighbours and friends, amidst dusty tomes perched on weathered oak shelves, between art pieces considered avant-garde a century ago. An eatery where a taxidermied bison's head in a single-occupant washroom is neither unexpected nor unwelcomed. Seated outdoors next to a garden forming part of the inspiration for new lithography of an everchanging chalkboard menu.
While we passed on staples such as horse tartare and escargot, or novelties like the foie gras Double Down, we were delighted by crisp scallops and lake urchin, salivated at the rich 'all-bird' terrine and deviled eggs, and partook of delicate smoked halibut carpaccio. Being somewhat close to the east coast, I also couldn't pass on the classic lobster spaghetti and tucked in before I even remembered to digitize the moment. We finished off the meal with a dessert Anthony Bourdain once called "a dinosaur-era monster, long believed extinct": un gâteau marjolaine.
Having stuffed ourselves on this delicate yet simple meal, we had the opportunity to chat with Frédéric Morin, the rest of the house staff, and drink until close. Sherrie picked up the Joe Beef 'cookbook', complete with obscenities signed by the kitchen staff.
Once again, a huge thanks to the sommelier and head chef at Au pied de Cochon for the last minute reservation, especially as Joe Beef is booked full weeks in advance.
One more to go!