Innovation and chef Marc Lepine are two things that always gone hand-in-hand. Since opening Atelier in Ottawa in 2008, the cutting-edge eatery has continued to push boundaries and expand creatively, earning a myriad of awards and accolades for both Atelier and the chef/owner along the way.
After serving a set 12-course menu for nearly a decade, in May of 2019, chef Lepine introduced Ottawa to the concept of THRU: a highly interactive, six-person private dining experience in the restaurant’s second floor that featured upwards of 50 sweet and savoury creations with QR codes that could be scanned as you ate them to unlock their correlative stories through mediums such as video, text, and even pre-recorded phone calls.
Last week, chef Lepine announced on social media that come 2021, Atelier will begin featuring this format exclusively.
“We came up with the concept for THRU a couple of years back, and it’s just a lot of fun. The concept is really radical and unique and it’s received a great reception in the small room we’ve been serving it in,” Lepine explains. “People have so much fun with it and we really enjoy doing that service as well, and I just thought it was time to take that concept to a broader audience and let everyone enjoy it."
While the two-time Canadian Culinary Championships winner hasn’t revealed exactly what will occupy the menu at Atelier in the new year, Lepine says that similar to THRU, the restaurant’s new format will feature a rotating, interactive 44-item menu served in rapid succession along with an array of wine, beer, spirits, and cocktail pairings.
“We wanted to reinvent the way the tasting menu works, so the service is not done one after another like a traditional tasting experience. There’s always at least six or seven items on the table and most of the food you can just eat with your hands at your own pace,” Lepine continues. “It’s a lot of really interactive, fun and dynamic stuff that will keep the experience fresh as you’re going through it. From course to course, you never know [what's going to come next].”
More information is expected to be revealed in the coming weeks. Reservations for Atelier can be made via OpenTable.