The food critic for Le Journal de Montréal files his best review of the year this week. The recipient is Hoogan & Beaufort, the relatively new Rosemont restaurant from chef Marc-André Jetté and sommelier William Saulnier, both late of Les 400 Coups, that made a big splash when it opened just before the holidays in the Technopôle Angus development. Thierry Daraize can barely contain his glee. Jetté is finally at home, the critic writes, "dans son propre restaurant qu’il dirige d’une main sûre avec ses partenaires de longue date et ses équipiers qui le suivent depuis plusieurs années, en salle comme en cuisine."
There are no missteps from Hoogan & Beaufort, Daraize observes. The room is "conviviale, chaleureuse et élégante," and the service "impeccable." Jetté and company's food clinches it, thanks to starters like carrots, bacon, and caraway; sunchokes, burnt onion, and sorrel; and strozzapreti with sea urchin butter, smoked mussels, lemon, and sorrel ("La surprise de la soirée!"). Mains elicit a torrent of compliments as well. Daraize adores garganelli with duck confit, artichokes, goat's cheese, and crispy chicken skin. Gaspor piglet with salsify, apples, and oats melts in the mouth: "Un plat technique, parfait!" Even grilled cod with clams, oysters, and a poblano bouillabaisse scores, despite the critic's dislike of the chili pepper. To finish, a cranberry charlotte with vanilla mousse, and almond nougatine, and a chocolate dessert with cocoa nibs, puerh tea, and vanilla ice cream. "Bref, j’en aurais mangé deux de chacun... C’est vous dire!"
Seduced and sated, Daraize exits Hoogan & Beaufort on a high. Easily his best review of 2016, the critic awards the restaurant four and a half stars on five. "Une cuisine d’une grande maîtrise et d’une belle délicatesse." Make that two excellent reviews for the restaurant so far, after Jean-Philippe Tastet's write-up in Le Devoir at the end of January.