Patrick and Doris Saurette, The Marc

In the late nineteenth century, French novelist Marcel Proust participated in an exercise, which could be thought of as the Facebook of its era—he answered a questionnaire about himself in a friend’s Confession Album.

Proust’s answers have been published, in one form or another, for more than a century. Many have used the questionnaire for their own devices, the most notable being Vanity Fair’s Proust Questionnaire featuring celebrities. The Tomato now gives it a culinary twist.

The closing of Il Portico Ristorante a few years ago left a big hole in Edmonton’s dining scene. Where to go before the movie? Where to drink some nice Italian wine with those tasty radicchio-wrapped bocconcini with wild cherry things? Where to watch various politicians getting happy-faced?

The popularity of the restaurant was due in no small part to the impeccably warm-hearted and skillful hospitality of general manager Patrick Saurette.

This fall, Patrick and his wife Doris are opening a new restaurant downtown called the Marc. “We plan to redefine French food in Edmonton, something modern—think of Montreal dining—reinvented classics but not intimidating. Mid-priced, lunch in $13 range; appetizers $9-$12; mains, low to mid $20s.”

The look? Comfortable, polished, stylish with rich espresso-coloured banquettes, a marble-clad bar, and welcoming communal table.

The Marc Restaurant
9940 106 Street, main floor Sterling Place (formerly occupied by Krua Wilai Thai Restaurant). Opening late September/early October. Monday to Friday, Lunch 11-2; Dinner Monday to Saturday, 5-10. Closed Sundays. Parking: meters and several surface lots nearby.



Years in hospitality?

25 each

Where would you like to live?

Right here (or Montreal or Vancouver).

Your favourite food and drink?

Patrick: Gewürztraminer and roast chicken
Doris: Pinot Noir and soup

What would you be doing if you weren’t opening the Marc?

Running a skateboard shop in a small resort town… or a pizzeria.

What do you most appreciate in your friends?


Your favourite qualities in a dish?


A cook?

Organization, punctuality

A wine?


Who would be at your dream dinner table (dead or alive)?

Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), Jann Arden, Peter Gzowski

Who would cook?

Martin Picard (Au Pied au Cochon, Montreal)

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Stay warm.

Current culinary obsession/exploration?

Working with humble cuts and making sure the trades show up.

Meaningful/crazy cooking/dining experience?

Fishing on the west coast with my son and brother-in-law, filleting salmon, and cooking seafood on the beach, stuffing our faces with crab and spot prawns.

Most extraordinary (hospitality) thing that ever happened to you?

The 1993 World Figure Skating Championships during which Il Portico became home to so many judges and fans. The ah ha moment was when Kristi Yamaguchi walked in the room after winning the world championship. The entire room leapt (really, leapt) to give her a standing ovation. It was a magical moment and a great ending to an incredible week.


To welcome our customers as if they are in our own home—sounds hokey, but that’s it. And, stay warm.


Peter Johner, Mario Corsi, Claude Buzon

Favourite casual cheap and cheerful/afterwork food?

Whatever our daughter left in the refrigerator.

What’s next?

We’re a little tied up with the Marc for the time being.