Poutine — the quintessential Quebecois dish that is gluttonous and the perfect drunk food after a night out. The classic poutine consists of crispy french fries with a fluffy interior, squeaky cheese curds that have just began to melt, and a generous ladle of unctuous gravy drizzled over.
Over the years, restaurants all over Montreal have created their own versions of poutine by adding gourmet ingredients like fois gras and lobster. Debuting in 2012, La Poutine Week is a week long event in which over 50 restaurants in Montreal serve up their own unique take on poutine. This year the event will be held from February 1st to 7th.
Let’s be honest, as much as we all wish we had the time, money, and stomachs to consume over 50 plates of poutine in a week that’s pretty much an impossible feat. However, this year I have helped you narrow things down to 7 poutines I believe you absolutely must try.
Bar Brutus: Old Fashioned Poutine
That’s right. This year Bar Brutus has combined two classics — the old fashioned cocktail and poutine. Drawing from the flavours of an old fashioned, the poutine is made with bourbon flavoured cheese curds, a gravy infused with Jim Bean bourbon, angostura bitters and orange zest, and is topped off with a bacon ball “ice cube”.
Biirū: Hyottoco’s poutine
The delicate flavours of Japanese food seem like they would never pair well with the richness of a poutine, however Biirū has managed to achieve just that.
The poutine they will be serving consists of sweet potato tempura fries dusted in barbecue spices, topped with tempura flakes, cheese curds, teriyaki pulled pork, kizami nori and finished with a generous serving of white miso gravy.
Bofinger Parc: The Bo Poutine Burger
This year Bofinger on Parc has decided to go big or go home with what they are calling the Bo poutine burger. First, a triple-A beef patty is flavoured with Bofinger’s secret dry rub and grilled to perfection. The patty is then sandwiched between 2 patties made with crispy fries. Of course, it is finished with cheese curds and their signature poutine sauce.
If this burger wasn’t crazy enough, there is an option to add bacon and cheese for an extra $2.50. There is also a vegetarian option available which substitutes the patty for a portobello mushroom.
Chez Boris: Our Sweet Poutine
Who said poutine had to be savoury? For poutine week, Chez Boris has put forward a truly whimsical interpretation of a poutine — donut “fries”, ricotta cheese curds, peaches, with a sea salt and espresso caramel “gravy”.
Fabergé: Chocolate Breakfast Poutine
Fun fact: Fabergé is the first restaurant to make a breakfast poutine. For the upcoming poutine week, Fabergé has decided to take their breakfast poutine to the next level with some Mexican molé — a rich sauce made from chili pepper and chocolate.
This years breakfast poutine contains home fries roasted peppers, caramelized onions, curd cheese, hollandaise, molé and an egg or their famous fried chicken.
La Brasserie Saint-Denis: Shepherd’s Pie Poutine
At La Brasserie Saint-Denis it’s all about comfort food and family favourites, so why not combine two nostalgic dishes together? Meet the food baby of poutine and shepherd’s pie or pâté Chinois — layer upon layer of braised pork cheek, creamed corn, fries, cheese curds, finished with a duck and Kwak beer sauce. Your food coma awaits.
Les Enfants Terribles: Bourguignon Poutine
For my last pick of La Poutine Week, I decided that I can’t pass up the opportunity to try an boeuf bourguignon inspired poutine. Straying farther from a traditional poutine, this dish is composed of a baked then fried potato, beef bourguignon short ribs, and truffle cheese.
I wish your arteries the best for poutine week, may they not get completely blocked by the end of these 7 days of stuffing your face with poutine. Be sure to tag @spoon_mcgill when you post photos of your poutine on instagram and we will regram our favourites. Don’t forget about the hashtags #spoonfeed, #spoonmcgill, and #spoonlovespoutine either.