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Walking into Joe Beef, one immediately senses a kind of warm intimacy few restaurants are able to successfully achieve in terms of both physical space, ambiance and decor. The space out front is quite small; tables are set one next to the other with only a few inches separating diners from one another – for those who sit on the inner banquettes, tables must be pulled out for them to exit gracefully. Even in such close quarters, fellow diners have been the most friendly and cordial I have ever met. The owners have recently closed their luncheonette next door (McKiernan’s) in favor of expanding Joe Beef, creating an oyster bar in its place while at the same time increasing its capacity for more people to stop by. Due to the popular demand for the restaurant’s exquisite food, the terrasse out back has been opened up as well. I had actually never been in the area before and our lovely waitress Vanya was nice enough to show me around. The garden where ingredients are freshly grown and harvested lines the terrasse; adjacent to this, a separate plot of land is sectioned off by a fence – here they house a large metal smoker where they treat some of their meats and fish.
Exhausted after sunning ourselves all day and swimming in the lake (I know, hard life right), we had to have something that was going to fill our empty stomachs and wake us back up. While enjoying the beautiful view of our backyard, we started with a tomato and watermelon salad with feta, dill and mint. The first time this dish was made was for my parents – for their joint birthdays back in April. Since then, it has become a house favorite for the summer, despite the seemingly uncommonly put together ingredients. The watermelon brings sweetness to the dish, the tomatoes weight, the walnuts a crunchy texture and the mint and dill a surprising twist. The recipe can be found here.
For the grilled vegetables, all you need is fresh produce. Cut up a few eggplants, asparagus, red peppers, artichoke and whatever else you fancy and throw them on the grill. Easy!
The challah bread is store bought, so just head to your closest Kosher bakery and pick up a loaf.
The ribs are perfect for a summer BBQ. Juicy, tender and oh-so-delicious. The ribs have to be pre-cooked for three hours until the meat is falling off the bone. It must then be marinated with Diana Sauce and grilled for five to seven minutes.
Check out this link to get the details on how to make the rhubarb strawberry oat crumble. This is also a relatively easy recipe to get through. Throw all the ingredients together in a baking dish and put it in the oven. Good to go![flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157626900447500″]
Welcome to the food! I ordered the roasted beets to start. They were chopped to bite-sized pieces that were perfectly tender and nicely complimented by the horizontally sliced chevre chaud that lay on top of the beets like a warm, creamy blanket. Both the Jane Salad and the Caesar Salad were comprised of Roman lettuce though the former had an Italian style dressing while the latter had an obvious Caesar dressing along with hot cheese puffs (the warm temperature a nice touch).