Founded by Moishe Lighter
in 1938, Moishes is Montreal’s oldest locale to be constantly operating and maintaining its prestige over the decades. Now run and co-owned by the Lighter brothers, Moishes' has continued to thrive in a rapidly changing industry without losing what makes it a traditional steakhouse. This past spring Moishes' celebrated its 75th anniversary by working on an updated image that fits the business' character. Among the most popular new features: an entirely fresh and updated décor, a new “Lighter” and cheaper section and an extended “3 Hours to Midnight” section, which runs from Thursday to Saturday.
But behind its closed doors there is also a new ingredient to Moishes successful new recipe: Chef Joshua Fiddler. Originally from the West Coast, Fiddler left Montreal after finishing his undergrad in Architecture at McGill. Due to life's series of randomn events, however, Fiddler ended up working at Vancouver’s favorite The Reef a few years later and then never looked back. When he heard about Moishes opening, Fiddler decided to give Montreal a second chance “I heard of the opportunity, applied, and didn't think for a moment I was qualified to run such a venerable house. But then I was offered the job right after the second interview” remarks a humble Fiddler, who tells us everything about Canada’s culinary capital and working for one of its most emblematic restaurants.
What do you think makes the Montreal food scene unique?
Desire. Montrealers are desirous. They want. They need. And so they get.
Whether it's food, music, sex, or spectacle, Montreal provides and unlike a place like Vancouver where you have to bring everything to the table with you, you come to Montreal and you find the table set with everything you could ever want.
Maintaining a prestigious position and a stable clientele in the restaurant business for over 70 years must be a challenge. In your opinion, how do you feel Moishes has achieved this?
Consistently offering its clients choice, quality and service unlike anywhere else in the city. 'no' is a bad word for the waiters, and while it causes some tension between the front and the back, we do our best to accommodate people's requests.
The idea behind the new image was to adapt to the current market demands trends and expand your clientele. At the same time, you wanted to keep your loyal clientele and everything that makes it a traditional steak house. Keeping this in mind, how did you go about making changes in the menu?
We tried to deliver things that spoke to the steakhouse traditions, but also applied a measure of common sense: what do people want from their dining experience? They want a plate that screams of artistic flair; they want flavors that balance and pair well, and they want freshness and honesty in the food. They don't want airs and foams, and liquid nitrogen.
What are some of the dishes that will always remain a part of the house’s tradition?
The steak obviously, but that's a given. The chopped liver, pickled salmon, the Monte Carlos, the coleslaw and the pickles will never ever disappear so long as cows, salmon, cabbages, potatoes, and cucumbers... And Moishe's exist
Moishes Restaurant / 3961 Saint-Laurent/ moishes.ca