JOEY (South Common)

July 27, 2013
I was quite happy when JOEY was chosen as the venue for a coworker's farewell lunch. Even though I had never been to a JOEY restaurant before, I was glad that I didn't have to go to Chop again. Chop has a boring lunch menu with prime rib as the only steak option, and the waitress spilled a glass of cold water down my back the last time we went. Anyway JOEY turned out to be a much better option, even though service was a bit uncoordinated. We had a large group of over 10 people and the restaurant did not have any private rooms or even square tables that could be put together. We were spread out across several small round tables. Latecomers were not offered drinks and our dishes all came at different times, so by the time the last table got their food, the first table was done eating. We started with calamari fritto ($12) which was nice and crispy, served with a creamy and spicy aioli.

A lot of people enjoyed the spinach and artichoke dip ($12), but I found it a bit too watery and bland. It was warm and comforting though, and not as heavy due to the milder flavour.

I ordered a blue rare filet mignon ($31) for my entree and it was cooked to perfection. I haven't had such a tender and juicy steak for a while. Most restaurants tend to overcook, but this place actually gave me what I wanted. The crispy mashed potatoes that came with the meal was an innovative alternative to regular mashed potatoes and tasted much better too. It was a spring roll with a crispy wrapper, a buttery potato filling, and a topping of sour cream and bacon bits.

Just when I thought the dessert would not be able to top the spectacular entree, I was again pleasantly surprised by the molten lava chocolate souffle ($8). The cake was soft and moist with a delicate chocolate flavour, and the rich and dark filling poured out like thick molten lava. It might be a bit too sweet for some people, but I thought the sweetness was appropriate for a chocolate cake.

Just writing this post makes me want to go back for another meal. I think I'll most likely order the exact same entree and dessert next time.

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