La Voile Is Sailing into Brookline
After eight years of serving classic Gallic cuisine on Newbury Street, La Voile is getting ready to open its second restaurant in Washington Square next month.
“We have a reputation around,” says Jérôme Bergere, maitre d’ of Boston’s 2015 Best French Restaurant. “We’ve accrued some knowledge about our clientele, what they like, what they don’t, and we can focus on a different part of the city.”
Bergere says that many current La Voile guests hail from Brookline, so he’s looking forward to the opportunity to serve them closer to home.
The space, formerly the Russian restaurant Vernissage, seats 95 on two floors. The second level has a bar La Voile could staff for private functions up to 55 guests, Bergere says. Downstairs, the main bar seats nine. The restaurant will be open daily for lunch and dinner.
Like the original brasserie, La Voile parte deux will authentically live its French connection: the new restaurant’s chef, François Grayon, recently relocated from the western France province of Perche. Grayon is a longtime friend of La Voile owner Pierre Hoenegger, an American sailing enthusiast who frequented a Cannes restaurant called La Voile au Vent—”the sail in the wind”—and brought the concept to Boston. For now, Le Mans native Bergere will continue his role at both restaurants.
Grayon’s rural upbringing developed his taste for simplicity and nature; his father, a breeder, kept a garden, and his mother made cream, butter, and cheese at home. At 16, Grayon launched his culinary career at Michelin-starred restaurants in France, including l’Hotel du Dauphin in Normandy, and Parisian spots La Cantine des Gourmets and le Grand Véfour in the Palais‑Royal. He also traveled extensively in his native land and “fed himself a motley of varied influences and tendencies,” La Voile’s newsletter reads.
In Brookline, Grayon will put his own flair on the menu, which is still being finalized. Expect to see some Newbury Street favorites, like classic fois gras terrine; Dover sole meunière seared in butter, capers, and lemon; and blanquette du veau, a creamy braised veal dish. Some of Brookline’s plats du jour will include vol-a-vent, a puff pastry filled with with chicken and mushroom fricassee; seafood bouillabaisse; and hachis Parmentier, duck confit covered in a mashed bread-crumbed purée.
La Voile Brookline will open in early November, pending the inspection process—and after Hoenegger sails from Newport, Rhode Island, to the Caribbean, where he moors his boat for the winter.
Bergere jokes, “He will be back for the opening, depending on the wind!”
1627 Beacon St., Brookline, lavoileboston.net.