It’s been a big week for Normand Laprise, chef owner of Old Montreal’s Toqué — first he won a notable prize for his influence on Quebec’s culinary culture, and now, according to La Presse, he’s planning to open two new establishments later this year with his longtime co-owner Christine Lamarche
Per the La Presse exclusive, the new restaurant is named Beau Mont, and will open in an 11,000 square foot development in Parc-Extension, on Beaumont Avenue near Acadie. It’ll feature more of a café and light meal service during the days, alongside a small boutique grocery counter retailing higher-end meat, seafood, and other Quebec products, alongside some take-out options. (Speaking to La Presse, Laprise calls it a “showcase for artisans”.)
By night, it’ll take a more formal approach “halfway between [that] of Toqué and Brasserie T” — diners should expect a focus on simple dishes that highlight local produce, but without the full-scale formal atmosphere of Toqué. The physical space is to be very open, and will be dominated by a production kitchen that will also service the Place-des-Arts Brasserie T.
The other prong in this expansion is that Laprise and Lamarche are opening a second iteration of their more casual restaurant Brasserie T, which has occupied perhaps the most prime real estate in the Place-des-Arts area since 2010. The new Brasserie T will be on the South Shore, as part of Brossard mega-mall Dix30. And it’s just the beginning: Laprise told La Presse he’s planning to open another three to four more restaurants with the same format in the next five years.
This new Brasserie T will have 80 seats and be adjacent to the Alt Hotel, and while it won’t be identical to the original, it’ll feature some of the same menu classics — possibly items like the original restaurant’s charcuteries, confit salmon, or its upscaled cheeseburger.
It seems that the Toqué group have actively opted to skip big dining-hub neighbourhoods like St-Henri or Mile End — although notably, the area where Beau Mont is opening is likely to develop (and gentrify) rapidly in coming years, as the Université de Montréal opens a big new campus adjacent to it, which is likely to cause major changes to the heavily immigrant neighbourhood.
Laprise and Larmarche are joined by two new partners for the expansions: the big name to note is former Google chief financial officer Patrick Pichette, who oversaw the search giant’s finances from 2008 to 2015. Pichette associate Doug Harpur, who has made his name in agriculture — as an owner of venison producer Cerf de Boileau, he has also been one of Toqué’s suppliers.
- Grande expansion au menu de Toqué! [La Presse]