Hoogan & Beaufort, the anticipated new restaurant from, among others, chef Marc-André Jetté, and sommelier William Saulnier, held its media launch yesterday (Instagram teases below), and officially opens today. In an extensive interview about the project this past September, Jetté revealed that Hoogan & Beaufort's genesis began well before the end of his stint at Les 400 Coups, where the chef won raves.
"All we did was work like mad. Work, go home, have a glass of wine, go to sleep. It wasn’t a life for me anymore. I wanted to regain some mental balance. So after eight years as a chef, working six days a week, seven days a week, [my girlfriend and I] purchased plane tickets, without means to cancel them, and decided to take off for six months. I gave my notice to Patrice [Demers] and Marie-Josée [Beaudoin]. My last day at 400 Coups was August 5, 2013, my birthday, and the next day we left for Italy. Maybe it was a little crazy but at the time I knew I wanted to be my own boss one day. Patrice and Marie-Josée [both now at Patrice Pâtissier, after stints at Les 400 Coups] were my family—they still are—but a change was necessary. With William it just makes sense, and now after three years we’re almost there."
Indeed. The 70-seater in the Technopôle Angus development is a bit of a game changer for a neighbourhood unaccustomed to such ambitious, and costly builds. Principals Simon Drolet Laflamme, of Kitchen Collectif, and Daniel Lacombe (Eco-Logixx, Arsenal art gallery, and restaurants M sur Masson, Foyer, Pizzeria Caldo) hired Appareil Architecture to undertake the metamorphosis of the industrial space. The result (see plywood gallery below), from fire pit to huge windows, is impressive. As for the food, Jetté calls it fresh and delicate.
"Not heavy, not rustic, more travaillé. A lot of vegetables on the fire pit, and meat, of course, but not big cuts. I want to diminish the quantity of meat, especially now with prices rising the way they are for animal proteins. It’s impossible to serve meat at prices that were once considered reasonable. We can’t do it anymore. So vegetables, a fresh pasta station, a lot of fish. An à la carte menu and, also, a very accessible tasting menu. People won’t leave our restaurant with a bill of $400 for two; that’s not our goal. A dish at the bar with a glass of wine, $30. That’s more the plan. It’s a little selfish but I’m creating the restaurant that I want to eat in."
Status: Hoogan & Beaufort, 4095 Molson, (514) 903-1233, now open.