What’s on the menu at J’s Steak Frites, an unfussy, Parisian-style steakhouse on Queen West
Name: J’s Steak Frites
Contact: 1198 Queen St. W., jssteakfrites.square.site, @jssteakfrites
Neighbourhood: Queen West
Owners: Jad Sfeir and Tara Tang
Chef: Tara Tang
Accessibility: Washrooms are down a flight of stairs
Husband-and-wife team Jad Sfeir and Tara Tang have brought a popular Parisian staple to Toronto: a restaurant that serves only one main dish. That main? Steak, of course, served with unlimited fries (yes, you read that right), salad and house-made bread, all for $49 per person. Considering the recent rise in food costs, it’s a pretty great deal.
The only thing asked of guests is how they’d like their steak cooked. And while Parisians may quietly judge you if you ask for it well-done, J’s is a judgment-free zone. “You can get it cooked rare, medium-rare or even well-done,” says Sfeir. “We’re all about making people happy.” Orders are scribbled on the butcher paper covering the tables, so anyone on staff can see the order and assist guests at any point during their meal.
After dinner, a trolley with a selection of $14 desserts is rolled out. There’s no formal menu, as all of the sweet treats are made fresh daily by Tang, a Le Cordon Bleu–trained pastry chef.
A robust yet concise list of wines from all over the world, with about 18 varietals to choose from, most of them available by the glass. Sfeir has selected regionally specific varietals: what he considers a stunning Shiraz from Australia, a top Tempranillo from Spain and the best of Bordeaux. House cocktails range from effervescent and fruity to strong and complex.
The 30-seat space that was most recently home to Dandylion, and Sfeir opted to preserve the restaurant’s exposed brick and lofty picture windows. The only changes made: a partition to reduce the amount of noise trickling from the kitchen into the dining room and a mural Sfeir sourced from Paris. The balloons that dance around the image of the iconic cityscape were actually a serendipitous enhancement. “They were a gift from LBC balloons when we opened, but I loved how they complemented the mural so I kept them.”