Thursday, February 20, 2014
What’s poutine? It’s popping up all over Dallas menus
Call it the queso of Canada.
A $21.50 plate of french fries is a hard sell. So Oliver Sitrin, chef at a new Greenville Avenue restaurant called the Blind Butcher, dishes it up like this: He starts with fries cooked in duck fat, tops them with shredded duck leg confit, a sunny-side-up egg, duck stock gravy and cheese curds. A kiss of seared foie gras lands on top with a few drops of ice wine vinegar.
Voilà! A $21.50 plate of poutine.
Here’s $25; keep the change. May I have another napkin?
In case you’re new to poutine, the dish, which originated in Quebec, consists of fries and cheese curds smothered in brown gravy. It has been popping up on Dallas menus recently, amusing epicureans, feeding hungry bar-hoppers and thrilling homesick Canadians. Call it the queso of Canada.
So why poutine, why now? “Quite honestly, it’s just delicious,” says chef André Natera, who has a traditional (and more affordable, at $8) poutine on his menu at Village Kitchen. Andrew Dilda, chef at Barter in Uptown, has a more plausible explanation: It appeals to weekend drinkers — “those who want to hang out, have a few beers and cocktails and eat something kind of filling.” His, smothered with turkey gravy, goes for $11.
Meanwhile, at the Blind Butcher, sous-chef Brendan “Canada” McCaughey (guess where he’s from) is in charge of a whole “poutine program.” Besides the fancy one with foie, there’s also a vegetarian mushroom version and one with pork belly.
Go ahead, poke fun. But darn it if I’m not licking my fingers after the last fry is gone.