MONCTON—Draw a circle one hundred miles around the Delta Beausejour hotel in Moncton, and it will encompass wine from Jost Vineyards in Malagash, NS, fresh oysters from Maison BeauSoleil in Neguac, NB, sturgeon and caviar from Breviro, Pennfield, NB, and fresh duck and foie gras from La Ferme du Diamant in Cormier Village, NB.
Draw a circle just ten metres from the hotel’s Windjammer Restaurant, and it will include herbs and vegetables grown on the roof of the hotel, and honey from the Beausejour’s bees, says Raymond Roberge, hotel general manager.
The Windjammer’s 100-mile menu was introduced in June and will run until the end of September. “Executive chef Stefan Mueller and his culinary team are passionate about working with the freshest products that are caught, raised and farmed close to home, supporting and celebrating our regional fishers, producers and farmers,” notes Roberge.
The Windjammer’s menu includes a number of wines from Jost Vineyards. Chris Frey, Jost’s winemaker, has experience in international wineries such as Rupert and Rothschild and Möet & Chandon. Working with grape varietals, Frey aims to produce a crisp, drier style of white wine and a silky, balanced red wine whose flavour profile highlights the fruitiness and structure of the vineyard. He wants Jost wines to be noticed in the international wine world. Frey says he wants people to say, “This is a good wine,” rather than, “This is a good wine for Nova Scotia.”
A winner of the AAA/CAA Four Diamond Award for its 21st consecutive year, the 42-seat Windjammer is a blend of old world service and newer trends such as the 100-mile focus and sensitivity to the food allergies and diets of its diners. Here, maître d’ Frédéric Mazerolle, who has worked at the hotel for 20 years, still prepares caesar salad tableside, and the menu also includes flambéed dishes.
The Windjammer Restaurant has changed little since the hotel was built in 1972, says Pat DesBrisay, hotel public relations manager. “We have tried to maintain the integrity of the restaurant to represent a sea captain’s dining room. We’ve changed the carpet, and the colours, but with the rest of it we wanted to keep the ambience and the quality of service.”
“That restaurant is beating the odds,” says Roberge. “That kind of service is a dying art, but the restaurant makes money. There are still people interested in that type of dining. It has the type of service you got in the ‘60s and ‘70s, plus menu items with a modern twist.”
Food and beverage is crucial to the Beausejour’s operations, accounting for 30 per cent of the hotel’s profit, says Roberge. In addition to the Windjammer, the hotel has Triiio, a restaurant, bar and lounge with 84 seats, and Le Café with 26. At Le Café, guests can order custom salads, pastas and stir-fries online, then pick them up at the café at a pre-arranged time.
Catering is also a huge money-maker. “Our biggest catering event was an AC/DC concert in 2009, where we made $980,000 in food and beverage revenue in one afternoon. We were so close to $1 million!” says Roberge.