Last Updated on January 16, 2021 by Pamela
Joined by several friends, I made a reservation at JJacques with dreams of slurping fresh oysters, the slightly salty brine dancing upon my tongue. I may have also been enticed by photos of their seafood tower on Instagram.
When I received a call from JJacques a few hours before our reservation explaining how to find the entrance (hint, it’s not on rue Saint-Joseph Est, as one might think), I was intrigued. Eager to arrive and experience all that JJacques has to offer.
Our group of seven (not to be confused with the famous artists) arrived in small batches, ringing the bell on a steel door in the alley with a small “JJ” on the top right corner.
Greeted by a friendly hostess (and waitress as it happens), who beamed and made us feel welcome instantly, we were led through a small hallway way, through a sage green velvet curtain and into the heart of JJacques.
Retro-chic in décor, the left side of the restaurant features raised velvety burgundy banquette seating, to the right is the bar with comfortable swivel stools, perfect for interacting with the staff.
As our group was large, we were led to a small room towards the back, with a u-shaped burgundy velvet banquette seat, sage green curtains, and a little privacy.
We may have peeked behind a curtain to admire the restaurant’s faux entrance which faces rue Saint-Joseph Est. Sshhh…
Food + Drinks
Our evening started off with a round of Trois-Rivières Cuvee de l’Ocean rum shots topped with a fresh oyster. We shot, then slurped. An oyster teaser to begin the night.
Our hostess/waitress was a true delight, speaking both French and English effortlessly, guiding us through the food and drink menus, and answering all of our questions.
Their cocktail menu is a tribute to Québec City and Montreal actors and culinary personalities. A couple of us opted for cocktails, trying the evening’s special cocktail, as well as Caipirinha bresilien, and the Cherry Sherry.
The latter was the best of the three we tried, and the caipirinha was by far the strongest. The special was quite good, but I long to try some of the other cocktails on the menu. A bloody caesar topped with a fresh oyster seems like a good place to start.
As a seafood addict, my desire to experience the tower (as I like to call it) was stronger than I care to admit, and I was secretly delighted when everyone agreed to share three tiers of seafood glory.
The tower arrived, showcasing a dozen fresh oysters on the bottom tier, followed by a tier of shrimps and a few caviar-topped oysters, and topped with a tier of prawns, jumbo shrimp, and a crab claw.
The oysters were good, fresh, and a little briny. The shrimp were tasty, and the oysters topped with caviar were simply divine.
Splitting the tower between six people was probably not the best decision as it meant we each enjoyed two oysters, and a shrimp or two. One or two lucky people savoured the caviar-topped oysters, prawns (there are two) and crab claw. The rest looked on in mild jealousy.
For the best seafood tower experience, I highly recommend splitting it between two people, tops!
The food menu at JJacques offers a selection of mains, from surf or turf to raw, vegetarian, pasta and “between the bread”.
We decided to try a few dishes, some of us opting for grilled octopus, while others tried the Cacio e Pepe or Canard Magret. Each dish was perfectly prepared and quite flavourful.
As much as I dreamed of gorging myself with handfuls of briny oysters, I decided to try the “between the bread” dish – pulled pork on a brioche bun with a side of deep-fried onions, which was perfectly juicy and not at all messy!
Of course, this means I will need to return to JJaques, order at least a dozen oysters, and maybe a cocktail or two. Sharing is caring, but sometimes one needs to be shellfish! Okay… that was a lame joke 🤣 , but you get it.
The complimentary round of shots offered by our hostess/waitress was a lovely way to round off our meal.
Should you make time to experience JJacques? Yes, of course, it’s new and different. A trendy restaurant and bar with good music, even better staff, and tasty food. A lovely place to start or finish an evening!
Pricing: $$–$$$ The cocktails are $11 CAD – $15 CAD. Oysters are $2.5 CAD each, $24 for a dozen, or $48 for two dozen. Mains range in price from $18–$35 CAD.
Reservations required. Visit their website for more information.
341, rue Saint-Joseph Est
Wed–Sun 5:30pm – 3am
Food is served until 11pm
Oysters are served until 2am
Disclaimer: The opinions in this review are entirely my own. The staff at JJacques did not know I would be reviewing the restaurant, and aside from the round of shots at the end of our meal, nothing was comped.