Make it three for three for Hoogan & Beaufort, the blockbuster Technopôle Angus restaurant in Rosemont from chef Marc-André Jetté, sommelier William Saulnier, and Kitchen Collectif's Simon Drolet Laflamme (troubled businessman Daniel Lacombe was recently dropped from the project). In late January Jean-Philippe Tastet wrote: “Tout est équilibré, soigné sans excès, savoureux, exactement comme dans une maison où les gens travaillent avec leur tête et leur coeur.” Soon after Thierry Daraize gave the restaurant an almost unprecedented four and a half stars on five, and raved: “Une cuisine d’une grande maîtrise et d’une belle délicatesse.”
This week Marie-Claude Lortie offers her take on Hoogan & Beaufort in La Presse. The restaurant is firmly on trend: diners can share plates, or fashion a more traditional starter-main-dessert situation. Vegetables find favour in Jetté's kitchen, and a wood-fired hob is put to innovative, and constant, use. Lortie's meal begins well with “burnt” focaccia, carrots prepared three ways with caraway and bacon, and black cod gravlax with red watercress, roasted almonds, white turnips, and glasswort. Another cod dish, grilled this time, and served with clams and poblano peppers is also very good, as is lamb served with grilled (and très de rigueur) little gem lettuce, bagna cauda, green olives, and cashew purée. The star dish, however, is homemade strozzapreti with urchin, sorrel, lemon, and aniseed. “Bravo,” exults Lortie. “La maison compte un jeune chef italien originaire du Molise qui fait de l'excellent travail.”
Come dessert time, the critic is not enthused about a lemon crème brulée (“consistance trop collante”), but loves a crème of milk chocolate, served with pear sorbet, and maple meringue. “C'était formidable comme pas mal tout le repas d'ailleurs.” Lortie concludes the review with praise for Saulnier's “minutieusement construite” wine list, the “sympathique et professionnel” service, and the renovated post-industrial digs. Some small adjustments are needed here and there, La Presse's food critic concludes, but Hoogan & Beaufort definitely warrants a return visit.