Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Joey Don Mills Grill & Lounge

Joey Don Mills Grill & Lounge

The opening of the 9,000-sq.ft. Joey Don Mills in 2009 marked the beginning of a new era for the Vancouver-based company. Since launching its first restaurant in Calgary in 1992, Joey Restaurant Group has built a strong and loyal following with 18 locations throughout British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Washington and now Toronto, with a second Toronto location slated to open in the Eaton Centre later this summer. 

Rendering for the upcoming Joey Eaton Centre slated to open Summer 2011

Joey is owned by Jeff Fuller, of the restaurant empire family who own Joey and Earls restaurants. He describes Joey restaurants as having "an edgy menu, engaging service and contemporary design". For a big box casual fine dining establishment, that are a dime a dozen, they seem to have the recipe for success, by achieving remarkable growth by refusing to adopt many of the standardized rules of the typical "chain gang".

Jeff Fuller, President and CEO of Joey Restaurant Group

Present, is a strong corporate culture that keeps employees engaged with training and skill-advancement programs, while offering a well-executed menu, consistent food quality from B.C. to Ontario. Staff undergo 20 hours training to learn Joeys’ service philosophy, food and wine. "We also put a lot of time and effort making our restaurants and menus are unique from location to location". 

Joey Don Mills Interior with dramatic accent lighting, 
distressed leather banquettes and wide plank flooring

Joey Don Mills backlit concrete, glass and brushed nickel staircase

The interior design of Joey Don Mills features a mixture of maple and walnut wood, distressed leather booths, quirky accent lighting, large dome lights and wide plank smoked wood floors, with a central concrete, glass and brushed nickel staircase that leads to the second floor and out to the recently opened rooftop patio. Of course, a budding restaurant empire isn’t built on regionally-aware design alone, and The Joey Restaurant Group has achieved its steady growth on a regular diet of innovative global cuisine, cool hip interior styling, and charming, beautiful servers — the LBDs and high heels don't hurt either!

Joey's Executive Chef Chris Mills

Under the culinary direction of Joey's Executive Chef Chris Mills, the 40-year-old chef who once placed fifth in the Bocuse d’Or and competed on the original Iron Chef, comes a menu that trots all over the globe. Chris is renowned for taking classic dishes and putting a global twist on them, inspired by his extensive travels throughout Europe, Asia and the Pacific Rim, as reflected in such innovative offerings as Miso-Chicken Ramen, Pan Fried Gyoza and Penang Prawn Curry from the Far East, Tandoori Chicken Flatbread and Bombay Butter Chicken from India, and Lobster Ravioli and Spicy Seafood Linguine from Italy. 

Penang Prawn Curry with stir-fried vegetables in a red curry cream 
with thai basil and peanuts with an impressive moulded tower of rice

And last but not least, Cheeseburger Sliders, Lobster Grilled Cheese and individually baked Apple Pie from North America — there's something for everyone, including a comprehensive gluten-free menu and ocean-friendly seafood choices recommended by the Vancouver Aquarium. 

Sashimi Tuna Salad with seared rare ahi tuna, avocado, amorosa tomatoes, 
fresh mint, peanuts and crispy noodles with a chili lime dressing

Their website even features nutritional information on all of their menu items including calories, fat, sodium, carbs, fibre and protein. Have any dietary restrictions or on a special diet? Joey can create a personalized menu for you by simply e-mailing them at That's pretty cool. For instance, my Sashimi Tuna Salad that I ordered had 670 calories and 46g of fat, whereas my Mom's Ahi Tuna Cub had 720 calories, and the Truffled Yam Frites only 500!

Ahi Tuna Club Sandwich with grilled rare tuna loin, 
red pepper relish, arugula and enormous panko onion rings

Addictive Yam Frites with Truffle Lemon Aioli

Our absolutely charming server

Joey’s has a clever formula with something for everyone, delivered by a stellar staff with a winning attitude and charm to spare, and with Chef Chris Mills and Jeff Fuller's culinary and corporate stars in tight orbit, Joey's fortunes will continue to rise.