Seafood-Focused Lunch at Joséphine (Montreal, Canada)
If you are craving the feel of the beach, seafood-forward cuisine but set in a nice restaurant that isn’t stuffy, and in Montreal, I’d suggest Joséphine. The restaurant has a beach meets modern decor with the streamlined chandelier lights that hangs over most tables, the contemporary, minimalist artwork and the touches of palm type plants strewn on parts of the restaurant.
They only have a table d’hôte menu for lunch and a few add-on options. Knowing this is a seafood-oriented restaurant, I’ve intentionally stuck with a pescatarian lunch. The appetizer of sardines, gribiche on grilled bread was delicious. The warmed sardines were pleasantly oily tasting (I like oily fish regardless) and the gribiche added lovely acidity, savoriness and garlic-y and it’s a lighter version of what a traditional gribiche would be. The grilled bread is underneath the fish absorbing all of the wonderful flavors of the sauce and fish oils.
The main course of seared sea bream with chickpeas, mininature falafels, zucchini, garic cream, gremolata were bright and vibrantly flavored. The sea bream was beautifully cooked that it’s moist and flaky. The gremolata added so much flavor while the chickpeas and zucchini added some vegetal substance to the dish. If there’s anything I need to pick on is the falafels that were overcooked. I tried cutting and biting into them and they were very dry and hard.
Dessert was a decent bowl of miniature beignets with a small scoop of raspberry sorbet. The beignets were running at a similar risk as the falafels of overcooking but they were not as bad and the raspberry sorbet also doubled as a potential sauce if you combine the two bites. The beignets were just sweet enough with a hint of cinnamon.
Lunch here is delightful if you seek some open air dining during the daytime (of course when weather is appropriate) and crave seafood or fish dishes. Service was good; nothing was rushed or too slow.