December 7, 2009

Farewell My Poutine

Canoe%20brewpub.JPG Poutine%20at%20Canoe.JPG Inside%20Canoe.JPG

All week we've been impresed by the commitment of local restaurateurs to supporting local farmers and wine makers.

Gentrification has taken its toll, however, at Canoe Brewpub, where exec sous chef Chris Anderson has applied the city's culinary correctness to that staple of late-night Canadian bar food, poutine. Sure, my friend, go ahead and replace those squeaky cheese curds from Quebec with a shredded raclette from Little Qualicum because it melts better and has a deeper, nuttier flavor. Go ahead and replace canned beef gravy with a reduction of your own brewery's Beaver Brown Ale, local red wine, and house-made demi-glace so you get a richer, more complex flavor.

Good thing you're still using Kennebec spuds, chef, but you've tinkered with an icon. You want raclette, go to Switzerland. You want house-made demi, go to Brasserie l'Ecole. Poutine isn't supposed to be a gourmet dinner, sacrebleu! It's how you wind up a heavy night on the town, something to absorb all that alcohol, eh?

But nostalgia ain't what it used to be; all over Canada, poutine is going upscale. Just read Überfoodie Calvin Trillin's essay in The New Yorker (or listen to the podcast). It turns out Canoe's gourmet poutine--the kitchen's riff on the blank canvas of Canada's national dish--is the perfect conclusion to a week of fancy eating and high living after all.

Canoe Brewpub, 450 Swift St., Victoria, BC, 250-361-1940  Canoe Brewpub on Urbanspoon

PS: Thanks again to Tourism Victoria, to the hotels who put us up and put up with us (Inn at Laurel Point, Oswego, Parkside, Rialto) and to all the restaurateurs we've mentioned in these posts, for making this trip possible. Special thanks to Jacqueline Pruner, who blogs as Heed the Hedonist, for inviting Cornichon along on this trip. A votre santé!

Aspinal of London Ltd.
Posted by Ronald Holden at December 7, 2009 10:00 AM | TrackBack

Recent Entries

TIK logo.gif
The International Kitchen
Cooking school vacations in Italy, France & Spain.


The International Vineyard, a new way to learn about wine in France, Italy and Spain: three-night programs for wine lovers in less-traveled regions.

The International Kitchen, the leading source for culinary vacations in France and Italy.

French Word-A-Day, fascinating lessons about language and daily life in Provence

Belltown Messenger, chronicle of a Seattle neighborhood's denizens, derelicts, clubs, bars & eateries. Restaurant reviews by Cornichon.

Small Screen Network, where food & drink celebrities like Robert Hess have recorded terrific videos.

French Chef Sally is my friend Sally McArthur, who hosts luxurious, week-long cooking classes at the Chateau du Riveau in the Loire Valley.

Local Wine, the worlds leading Food and Wine tasting calendar. Spirits and Beer events as well. Post your own event or sign up to be notified when new events are po sted to your own area.

VinoLover, Seattle wine promoter David LeClaire's bulletin board of tastings, dinners and special events.

Wine Educator Dieter Schafer maintains a full schedule of Seattle-area tastings and seminars for amateur wine drinkers and professional alike.

Nat Decants, a free wine e-newsletter from Natalie MacLean, recently named the World's Best Drink Writer at the World Food Media Awards in Australia. Wine picks, articles and humor; no ads.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.35
More blogs about food wine travel.
Who links to me?
Post a comment

Remember personal info?