Chef and owner Laurent Poupart is about to get slammed. With business. Once his new restaurant, JoJo (no relation to the singer), opens its beautiful Plan B-designed doors, 2626 Howell Street will be one of the sweetest people-watching spots in town. (Uh oh, BBC in The Quadrangle, you better watch out.) Poupart is still kind of new to town. He’s only been living in Dallas the last 3.5 years, but he has a good sense of what Dallas likes. He and his partner, Mike Moreno, have installed a beautiful open kitchen for guests to have that chef bar experience, a living chandelier over communal tables, and a killer enclosed patio.
The patio is Royce Ring’s favorite part. He and his Plan B designers have created a geometric cypress water feature that makes soothing rain drop sounds. Big drapes create a partition between the patio and garage, so you can’t actually tell that you’re sitting less than 100 yards from parked cars.
Poupart, though new to Dallas, is a veteran in the restaurant scene. His press release bio is enough to make you question your accomplishments.
“Poupart, who hails from Strasbourg, the capital city of the Alsace Region in Eastern France, began working at the age of 14, at Le Crocodile. Le Crocodile was a three star Michelin restaurant in his hometown. In 1988, after his four-year apprenticeship there, he graduated from The Culinary Institute of Strasbourg. After serving two years in the army as a private chef for the General of the French Force, Poupart began working as First Commis (“Young Chef”) in two star Michelin restaurant, La Palme D’or in Cannes, under Jean-Marie Gautier (MOF). The award of MOF (“Master Chef”) is chosen by a team of world-renowned chefs every four years, and is considered the most prestigious title for any chef in France.
In late 1992, Poupart took a position as Sous Chef at l’Auberge du Vieux Puits, currently a three star Michelin restaurant, where he worked under Gilles Goujon (MOF). Poupart was then called upon by New York City restaurant, Les Celebrites, where he worked as Executive Sous Chef under Christian Delouvrier. Les Celebrites was awarded the AAA Five Diamond award and “Best Restaurant Overall” in New York City by Zagat. The clientele included stars such as Pierce Brosnan, Jane Fonda and Tina Turner. After six years in New York City, Laurent moved to San Antonio, Texas to work as a consultant for acclaimed restaurant, L’Etoile. Two years later, Poupart became a partner in Albert’s Provence, a 120-seat, “5 Hats” rated restaurant in Tallahassee, Florida.”
JoJo is open for dinner only. Lunch service will begin mid-December. Brunch service and pizza delivery starts January 2013. Take a look at the Mediterranean menu below.