I took a look inside the construction site of Published yesterday afternoon at 3593 Main Street. The new restaurant from Twin Sails Brewing‘s Cody Allmin is nearly done, with the opening date now firmly pegged for December 3rd.
Pacific Solutions Contracting appeared to have all hands on deck during my walk-through yesterday, working mostly in the lounge and 12-seat bar area, attaching framing (for hanging plants) and off-loading 100+ chairs from a truck outside. It might be a little behind schedule, but the finish line is within sight.
It’s looking really good in there. The dining room, where GM/Somm Alex Thornley (ex-L’Abattoir) and Bar Manager Nicole Cote were huddled over laptops and notes, was taped off and crowded with every high and low table so that they weren’t in the way, while the gleaming, bespoke basement kitchen was evidently in final approach mode with brand new Spirit Wares ceramics arranged under the pass, all labeled with the names of the dishes that would soon be presented upon them.
This is my favourite part of the ‘opening soon’ process: the dawn-like moment when the true look of a space first becomes discernible — you don’t need to see all of it to know the path of the sun. For a refresher on the concept, here’s what I wrote about it back in January when Scout first broke the news of it:
Cody says the focus here will be on wow-factor cocktails and the refined, West Coast-inspired cooking of 34 year-old chef Gus Stieffenhofer-Brandson. This young talent has made all the right moves a young chef can make, having skipped town (essential) to stage at Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe (including Noma in Copenhagen) before returning to toil through the ranks under the guidance of local greats (also essential), in Gus’ case under Scott Jaeger (The Pear Tree) and David Hawksworth (Hawksworth Restaurant). He’s been a Sous Chef for years now, so he’s earned some prime time and a kitchen of his own.
Despite that high-falutin’ pedigree, Cody assures me they aren’t going for formal. He wants Published to be a casual, approachable restaurant of the sort that regularly exceeds expectations — something along the lines of Annalena and L’Abattoir. There will – of course – be beer (some 8 taps), and plenty of wine, but it’s important to remember that Cody was a bartender before he was a brewer, and that those affections die hard. It’s fair to expect really good things on both the food and cocktail fronts.
Chef Gus gave me a sneak peek at his menu. I don’t know if it was a final draft or not, but if it was it looks as if his kitchen will be plating over 30 dishes from three sections: snacks, mains and desserts. Many items read so worthily of anticipatory salivation that I quickly identified the things I want to try first (eg. duck wings with Singaporean-style black pepper sauce; togarashi-dusted puffed pork skins; ‘healing broth’ with ginger and burdock; prawn toast with black garlic; smoked steelhead with tomato nahm jim). Though not final, prices appeared to range from $4 to $38 with the bulk of the dishes coming in under $20. Several plates are vegetarian and gluten-free.
Take a closer look inside…