Just one month after opening Chevalier in Midtown's ultra-luxe new Baccarat Hotel, Charles Masson has decided to leave the swank French restaurant to take some time off. Masson signed on as restaurant director of Chevalier with chef Shea Gallante to much buzz shortly after being driven out of his longtime position as the beloved maitre d' of his family's French classic, La Grenouille.
Masson tells the Times, "I was there to launch the restaurant, and now it's time for me to move on." Over the next month, Chevalier's general manager, Thomas Caron, will gradually step in to take his place. Masson insists that his departure is "totally amicable," and says that the hotel can call him "any time for advice." He does add, however, that not everything about working with the hotel was easy. He's used to being able to hire anyone he wants, but "it doesn't work like that" with a big organization like Starwood Hotels group.
He probably won't do anything much for a little while, though he has said that opening a casual restaurant downtown appeals to him. He might also just retire, "become a bohemian, and paint."