It has been five years now since Jason-Neil Tremblay and Cathy Deschambault, opened Joséphine, a fish and seafood restaurant located in the heart of Le Plateau Mont-Royal at the corner of St. Denis and Duluth.
On one beautiful recent Saturday evening, I happily took a table solo on the terrasse where my server Jess welcomed me with their impressive menu. It features fish and seafood of exceptional quality, although meat and vegetarian options are also available. The passion and creativity that comes from the team in the kitchen are transposed into original and tasty dishes.
David Bernard, a finalist in the TV show Le Restaurant, became the new chef at Joséphine last January. Thanks to his creative flair in the kitchen, every visit is a memorable culinary experience. Freshness, quality and accessibility are still the essence of the restaurant and the new menu created by Chef Bernard offers guests the best the sea has to offer for an unforgettable evening! The son of a restaurateur, Chef Bernard has been immersed in the restaurant industry since his youth. After graduating from the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ), he traveled to France where he was inspired by the fine cuisine and caught the bug of the trade. Back in Montreal, he worked in renowned establishments such as Club Chasse et Pêche, Cadet and Place Carmin. Curious and passionate, he decided to further develop his expertise by deepening his skills at the Montreal fishmonger La Mer and by participating in the Le Restaurant de Zeste Télé culinary contest, where he was a finalist.
“With David at the helm of Joséphine, we can expect a bistro menu that follows the seasons and combines freshness, quality and conviviality’ said Tremblay. “ All this with a little maritime touch.”
The restaurant can accommodate about 80 people inside and 25 more on the seasonal terrasse.
To complement it all, the waiting staff will wonderfully guide you in your choice of wine or bubbles throughout the meal. I wanted something sweet, with a champagne-like taste. Jess suggested the Ultra Violette: blueberry, pink syrup, vodka, St. Germain, prosecco and crème de cassis. It hit the mark. Joséphine offers delicious signature cocktails and a constantly evolving wine list.
The menu is divided into four portions: on ice, entrées, mains and desserts, I absolutely love oysters and when an order of 12 (six from the market and six valley pearl) arrived at the table, with some homemade mignonette sauce and sea urchin. I tried my best not to finish them too quickly. That was not an easy task. On Wednesday nights, oysters are on special at a very low price. I did have my eye on the seafood platter, but that was a little too much for one person. The shrimp cocktail looked promising as well.
For the entrées, I zeroed right in on the salmon tartare with what the restaurant calls “East European” cracker bread. Also in this category is fried calamari, Caesar’s salad, seasonal vegetables, beef carpaccio, grilled octopus and charcuterie of the sea.
The mains represented a challenge. I opted for the surf and turf – lamb with tiger shrimps. This lamb was cooked to perfection, braised and formulated in a circle with a bit of a crisp. The shrimps were large and juicy inside. You can also choose from mussels and fries, Arctic char, the catch of the day, clams and lobster tagliatelle.
I did save some room for dessert. The moment I saw the lemon pie with meringue and rice budding, my mind was made up. Decadent it was and the perfect way to end a fine meal.
Joséphine has everything you need to host your private events for up to 100 guests, whether it’s for an office or a birthday party. And one last thing. Besides my own superb server Jess, the staff here really work as a team. Someone was checking on my experience throughout the 90 minutes I spent there.
Joséphine is located at 4007 Rue St. Denis. Opening hours are 5 pm to 10 pm Sunday to Wednesday, and 5 pm to 11 pm Thursday to Saturday. You can call (514) 840-5015 or log on to https://www.josephine-restaurant.ca