WHEN, FIVE YEARS AGO, Oakville restaurateur Artur Koczur shut down his successful café, The Green Bean, in order to relaunch it as an upscale restaurant, he went all out. The space became sleek and modern, with a floating fireplace, plenty of wood and marble surfaces, hexagonal overhead lights, an open kitchen and floor-to-ceiling windows that look out on Town Square, keeping everything airy and bright. The food aimed high, with long French-accented tasting menus, but veered to gimmicky (miniature prawn hot dog en brioche, deconstructed tournedos Rossini, etc.). In the years since, the Instagram-preoccupied opening chef was succeeded by his former sous-chef. And Rafael Covarrubias — one-time North American finalist in Milan’s S.Pellegrino Young Chef competition — has grown into the role, and then some. The original French aspirations have grown increasingly discreet, restrained to the occasional torchon of foie gras or potato pavé. Instead, Covarrubias is building on classical training with his own Mexican heritage to arrive at something successfully original. The latest variation on the dish he rode to Milan — dry-aged Muscovy duck, roasted on the crown with Mexican chili and mole — is always a must-try. So is the gnudi with sea urchin and bottarga (fish roe), sweetened with miso and spiked with chili. Note that this summer, Hexagon’s adjoining café will be swapped out for a wine bar named Bar 8 (“Octagon” was presumably taken).
Photography by: (Hexagon/food) Daniella Koczur, (Interior) Gillian Jackson