San Antonio's Pearl neighborhood says bonjour to new French brasserie
Say bonjour to San Antonio's newest restaurant. In November, the trendy Pearl district welcomes Brasserie Mon Chou Chou, a new eatery promising traditional French comfort food served up in a laid-back atmosphere.
Led by executive chef Laurent Réa, a French native, Brasserie Mon Chou Chou specializes in accessible French fare such as steak frites, braised rabbit, escargot, coq au vin, oysters, Lyonnaise salad, and (of course) cheese. Artisanal breads and robust cocktail and wine lists round out the menu, because this is a French brasserie and to not have them would be trés mal.
Mon Chou Chou, which means "darling" in French, is located next to the Hotel Emma, in the former NAO space. Reimagining the 4,600-square-foot space is the Pearl Development team, the Austin-based architecture team Clayton & Little, with Central Texas designer Joel Mozersky Design tasked with the interiors.
Exact design details have yet to be revealed, but a release says "the team has created a foundational space with timeless appeal inspired by the great brasseries of Paris." Guests should expect a place special enough for a night out on the town, but comfortable enough to enjoy a glass of wine and a casual cheese plate. And this being the age of COVID-19, ample outdoor and patio seating is also part of the design.
Though French in inspiration, the restaurant has decidedly San Antonio roots. Réa, who previously worked at famed local chef Andrew Weissman's Signature, has teamed up with Southerleigh Hospitality Group partners Jerome Serot, Philippe Placé, and chef Jeff Balfour to conceptualize Brasserie Mon Chou Chou.
Like Réa, Serot and Placé were also born in France, but the trio did not meet until 2001 while living in San Antonio.
“French cuisine is something that is near and dear to our hearts and it’s something that has allowed us to come together as friends and colleagues,” said Serot in a release. “We have an opportunity to share our food culture with San Antonio in a way that is warm and inviting and we are very much looking forward to bringing Mon Chou Chou to Pearl.”
According to a news release, the Pearl's new brasserie will open in November at 312 Pearl Parkway, Bldg. 2, Ste. 2104, with health and safety protocols in place. Guests can expect frequent sanitization and hand washing; mandatory masks for guests, associates, and operators; socially-distant tables; and temperature checks and regular COVID-19 tests for employees.