Inside Chez Maggy in Denver, Ludo Lefebvre’s New French Restaurant – Robb Report

Chef Ludo LefebvreTragedy’s family was rocked when her stepmother, Margaret Stewart Braun, died in a car accident caused by a drunk driver in Colorado in 2019. Nearly three years later, the Los Angeles Lefebvres are still grappling with the loss, but have found a way to channel their grief into a new project that honors Braun’s memory.

Leader opens At Maggy’s to the new ThompsonDenver hotel in the city’s Lower Downtown district, its first foray outside of Los Angeles and the luxury hotel brand’s first location in the Centennial State. The French brasserie-style restaurant opens this week, just days before the hotel.

Maggy is another nickname for Margaret, who was Lefebvre’s wife’s stepmother, or “bonus mum”, as Krissy Lefebvre affectionately called him.

Ludo, Krissy and their 10-year-old twins Dream and Luca regularly visited Colorado to spend time with Margaret and Krissy’s father, Bill. Likewise, Margaret often traveled to the Lefebvres’ home in Los Angeles to look after the children when Ludo and Krissy had to travel without them.

Chef Ludo Lefebvre.

Photo: courtesy Lionel DeLuy

Margaret wasn’t the best cook – she mostly made frozen meals, Lefebvre remembers fondly – ​​but she made “good Bolognese,” he says.

“I was very close to her,” says Lefebvre. “We were all very close to her. She was a big part of our life. When we were looking for a name and a story for the restaurant, it came from the heart. She has always been a big fan of mine and has always supported.

The 90-seat restaurant on the lobby level, the hotel’s signature restaurant, will combine Lefebvre’s classic French style with mountain-inspired ingredients and preparations. When developing the menu, Lefebvre focused on the types of simple, expertly prepared dishes he seeks in his home country – steak tartare, trout with almonds, onion soup, steak frites and pâté. , for example.

“I really wanted to come denver and bring a bit of French culture, which I know how to do well,” he says. “I’m not going to create a fancy restaurant with crazy dishes, no, it’s going to be very classic, the food that people have when they go to a good bistro in Paris.”

He also wanted to play with ingredients that represent the American West. Instead of beef bourguignon, he makes bison bourguignon; Lefebvre also makes bison tartare. He plans to cook with seasonal Colorado produce as it becomes available, changing 30-40% of the menu every few months.

at Maggy's Denver dining room

Inside the new Chez Maggy.

Photo: courtesy of Shayla Phillips

The chef has brought his French twist to the classic burger, which he calls his Burger à la Française. It includes a black pepper sauce, pickled mustard seeds, smoked mayonnaise and French Comté served on a brioche bun.

“You need a fork and a knife to eat it,” he says.

It also improves on the Denver omelette, traditionally made with bell pepper, onions, ham and cheddar cheese, by replacing the fondue and making it French style. Cheese fondue, popular in the French Alps, is a subtle nod to Colorado’s mountain ranges.

“The omelet is very soft, like custard, soft and fluffy,” he says.

Lefebvre, who enjoys hiking and skiing, particularly at Keystone Ski Resorthad wanted to open a restaurant in Denver for years when he learned Hotels in Thompson‘ Plans for Colorado. In Thompson, Lefebvre says he found a great partner to make his Mile High dreams come true.

“They’re young, it’s great fun to work with them and most importantly they give me everything I need and let me do whatever I want. They really want to make sure I succeed,” he says.

at maggy croque monsieur

The croque monsieur.

Photo: courtesy Marc Fiorito with Gamma Nine

The hotel, designed by New York’s Parts and laborincorporates urban, mid-century modern, and mountain chalet styles, creating a sophisticated western-inspired environment for travelers to relax in.

Thanks to a partnership with Victrola, which has been manufacturing record players since 1906 and recently moved its headquarters to Denver, the hotel equips each room with a turntable and creates a public “listening room”, with a selection of vinyl records, on the sixth floor. Guests can hang out before or after a visit to the Alpine-inspired cocktail bar, Reynard Sociallocated on the same floor.

Although only a two-hour flight from Los Angeles, Lefebvre will rely heavily on the talents of the hotel’s executive chef Chase Wilbanks, a Colorado native with a solid background in fine French cuisine. Lefebvre is also looking forward to spending even more time in Denver and getting entangled in the city ​​food scenewhom he already admires.

“I’m going to bring a lot of butter to Denver,” he said.

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