The second annual list of the Top 50 Restaurants in Canada has been announced by Vacay.ca. Voted on by the Canadian public and 34 of the nation’s top food experts, it’s considered a definitive resource for dining across the country.
Joe Beef in Montreal, Quebec was voted #1 on the list – it’s no wonder it’s one of the hardest reservations to get in Montreal! At Joe Beef, chef/owners David McMillan and Frederic Morin are known for their casual, “French market cuisine” that translates into some very unique, popular dishes.
While there’s high-brown items like a very rich, luxurious lobster spaghetti (that comes at an equally luxurious cost of $50), there’s also low-brow items like their foie gras double down. The dish is a play on the KFC double down - but with foie gras as a substitute for two pieces of friend chicken. The two pieces of foie gras are deep fried and used as sandwich buns to hold slabs of bacon, cheese and duck skin within.
Open in 2005, the restaurant has gained huge popularity over the past few years, expanding in 2011 and in the past couple of years, has become a favourite to celebrity food figures like Anthony Bourdain, who visited Joe Beef on an episode of his TV show The Layover; as well as Momofuku chef David Chang. The cookbook, “The Art of Living According to Joe Beef: A Cookbook of Sorts,” has also won many book awards.
Also on the list, at #2: Langdon Hall in Cambridge, Ontario, one of just a few restaurants in Canada also listed in the Worlds 50 Best restaurants a few years ago; Vij’s in Vancouver, which held the number 1 spot last year; Atelier in Ottawa; Charcut Roast House in Calgary, featuring chef Connie DeSousa from Top Chef Canada Season 1; Acadia Restaurant in Toronto; Model Milk in Calgary; les 400 Coups in Montreal; Canoe in Toronto; and Raymonds in St. John’s at #10.
Quick facts on visiting Joe Beef
Best time to visit Slower days like Tuesday or Wednesday, earlier or later in the night
Worst time to visit: 7 or 8pm on a Friday or Saturday
Do make reservations as early as you can
Don’t forget your dictionary; the menu, listed on the blackboard, is in French only
7 additional top 50 restaurants in Montreal
- Les 400 Coups: Inventive, creative cuisine at its best, chef Marc Lepine offers dishes that may sound traditional at first but truly “wow” when they arrive at your table with modern techniques, textures and flavours.
- Pastaga: Also voted in enRoute’s list of New Best Restaurants of 2012, Pastaga offers a casual environment with well-executed French-inspired dishes like boudin noir, tartare or grilled Laurentian beef with chorizo.
- Toque! Focuses on products from in/around the Montreal area and uses the expression of the terroir of the region as the driving force of many of the dishes like duck magret and heart with black garlic, cranberry mustard and camomile sauce or sea urchin with oyster, crab, shrimps, ginger juice, daikon in a soy vinaigrette.
- La Cabane a Sucre du Pied de Cochon is a sister restaurant to the famous Au Pied de Cochon restaurant in Montreal. The Cabane, just outside the city, celebrates the maple syrup tradition of Quebec with the hearty dishes that chef Martin Picard is known for.
- Lawrence: From oysters to charcuterie, chicken hearts, hamburger and fries or grilled ox heart, the menu here is simple yet rewardable.
- Park is considered one of the top sushi restaurants in Montreal. It’s here that chef Antonio Park offers the freshest catch of the day with a flair of fusion.
- Nora Gray, like many new restaurants, is about great food without the pretentious attitude of fine dining. Here at Nora Gray, chef Emma Cardarelli creates comfort cuisine like fresh pea and goat milk ricotta tortelloni or deer tartare.