Eating & Drinking

THE DISH: Poutine for any budget

You want fries with that?

By Cindy Deachman

Sooner or later, poutine’s time had to come. First, its inception. Fries with gravy is a classic. Add cheese. Now revel in glory. Only a Québécois, though, would take to the province’s most beloved cheese — curds. Nowadays, one can’t get enough of poutine, and whether in Tokyo, Tel Aviv, or Memphis, put in your order. Of course, it didn’t take long for swanky establishments to exalt the lowly, turning the affair on its ear. After Montreal’s Au Pied du Cochon chef Martin Picard brilliantly topped it with foie gras, poutine would never again be the same.

This high-end version of poutine is from Le Café at the NAC. Photography by Rémi Thériault.

HIGH $13

Office morning out of control? Grab the $13 poutine lunch at Le Café — chef Michael Blackie’s rendition with pulled short ribs will bring you new life. Skinny fries are crispy and hot. The braised beef — in veal stock with mirepoix, brown sugar, and kecap manis — gives deep flavour. Creamy feta — from Clarmell Farms in Manotick — tastes clean, its saltiness matching the slight sweetness of the beef. Nothing more needed.

Le Café at the NAC, 613-594-5127,
53 Elgin St.,
www.nac-cna.ca.