After Chicago held its first annual Poutine Fest in late February, we began thinking about all the fantastic restaurants in the Windy City that offer poutine. For those who haven’t indulged in this dish of fried goodness, the mouthwatering combination of crispy French fries, thick gravy and cheese curds is an extremely popular late-night snack in Canada. Like many other comfort foods, chefs have taken poutine and elevated it to a gourmet level (with toppings like foie gras). And considering how nothing warms you up quite like a hefty serving of poutine on a chilly Chicago day, here are a few spots to dig in and enjoy:
This upscale gastropub across the street from Millennium Park serves up an addictive poutine. Crispy fries are topped with hearty brown gravy, pickled red onions, cheese curds and gamey meat. The dish is simply listed as “house poutine” because the meat changes regularly — sometimes it’s elk, other times it’s wild boar. Currently, the offering is smoked pork confit.
Master sommelier Alpana Singh’s new Windy City restaurant features a few poutine options on its decadent menu. The Boarding House’s chef, Christian Gosselin, is a native of Quebec, where the dish originated. Order traditional poutine Quebecoise (fries, brown gravy and cheese curds) in the first-floor wine bar and lobster poutine upstairs in the main dining room. For a unique take, try the chicken poutine pizza with braised chicken, cheese curds and fried potatoes.
The rest of the menu may be Belgian, but Leopold’s poutine is a must-try. Chef Michael Dean Reynolds, who was previously at The Gage, whips up classic poutine with a gourmet twist. The hand-cut fries are topped with merguez (a spicy lamb sausage) gravy, pickled peppers and Nordic cheese curds. Order it as a small portion to have all for yourself, or a larger plate to share with the table.
Photos Courtesy of Leopold, The Boarding House and The Gage