You can’t swing a baguette without hitting a brasserie in DC these days. But a French-Canadian disco with wild riffs on bistro fare and Champagne-fueled dance parties? Welcome to Le Mont Royal, opening in Adams Morgan this fall.
Industry bar vets Chas Jefferson (formerly the head distiller at Cotton & Reed and wine director at Jug & Table) and chef Bart Hutchins (ex-Beuchert’s Saloon) have taken over the former Southern Hospitality space in Adams Morgan (1815 Adams Mill Rd., NW). Jefferson’s dream hangout is Bambino in Paris; think cool natural wines, hot vinyl records, and the hip Haut-Marais crowd. Meanwhile Hutchins cut his chops in Montreal and loves the scene there. So they decided to combine elements of the two.
“We were inspired by the idea of a French wine dance party,” says Jefferson.
“And roping in the French-Canadian [part]—it’s French cuisine, but there’s a little room to be trashy,” Hutchins adds.
Case in point: treats like a Twinkie-style pastry stuffed with foie gras cream. High-low mashups will have their place in the bi-level space, outfitted with two bars, lounge-like dining areas with green velvet banquettes, a billiards table, and plenty of space to hang and dance. Hutchins is working on delicacies like steak tartare-shrimp toast, or poutine smothered in duck gravy, cheese curds, and “a smorgasbord of add-ons” including caviar, truffles, and foie gras.
“A lot of the food is taking the bistro staples and running them through an ‘I’m on LSD’ filter,” Hutchins says. “A lot of Québécoise cuisine comes from poor peasants in France, who emigrated to North America, joined the the fur trade, and became nouveau-riche overnight,” he says. They used a lot of the ingredients and cuisine of royalty. It inspired us—fun meets fancy.”
Currently, the buildout is still underway, and their vision for a day-to-night destination is solidifying. The bar will offer a generous happy hour with treats like half-off oysters, BOGO wine bottles, and cocktail specials. Dinner—both an a la carte menu and a moderately priced prix-fixe—will run until la fête time. A DJ will spin their house collection of vintage and vinyl soul, punk, and disco.
In your glass the whole time: natural wines, fun French cocktails, and enough grower Champagne to keep the night going.
Le Mont Royal. 1815 Adams Mill Rd., NW.
Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.