Nothing warms you up like a naughty poutine in February.
The Poutine Week contest kicked off on February 1, and you only have until February 14 to sample some of Montreal’s best poutines. Unlike the Poutine Festival, which takes place every summer and is a pure celebration of cheese curds, fries and gravy, Poutine Week is a competition with many prizes.
La Poutine Week is a cheat meal extravaganza that brings together some of the most innovative restaurants from all corners of the globe. These restaurants are hand-picked to showcase their unique and delicious takes on the classic dish of poutine.
During the festival, food enthusiasts will have the opportunity to sample a variety of original poutines and share their thoughts and critiques with other poutine lovers on social media platforms. They can also vote for their favorite poutine creations on the official La Poutine Week website.
A Worldwide Poutine Contest
Over a thousand restaurants are throwing their hats into this epic battle, and nearly a hundred Quebec restaurants are participating. Quebec is under pressure to live up to its reputation of having the absolute best poutine in the world, especially since it was created in our province.
There are three categories in which restaurants have a chance to reach the top of their respective lists, which are: The Most Original Poutine, The People’s Choice Poutine, and The Judges’ Choice Poutine. Restaurants are encouraged to let their creativity run wild, and you can expect to see some impressive twists on this simple dish.
As of this week, the top 5 poutines in the competition are, unsurprisingly, from Quebec and four of the five are from Montreal. Let’s take a look at these wild takes on our favorite comfort food.
Chez Simon Cantine Urbaine
Forget going to Italy for this dish, you’ll have to head to Hochelaga for Chez Simon’s La Polpettine for an Italian-inspired poutine. While some die-hard foodies may cry foul at the idea, once this decadent putine hits your lips, you won’t care if it’s wrong or right. La Polpettine is based on classic poutine with cheese curds and Chez Simon’s unique spaghetti sauce. The recipe for the spaghetti sauce and their homemade fried prosciutto polpettes (meatballs) that take this poutine to new flavorful heights is a closely guarded secret. La Polpettine goes one step further by adding Parmiggiano Reggiano cheese to the mix.
La Belle Tonki
La Belle Tonki takes you to the streets of Japan with their Japanese street food inspired Tonkiyaki Poutine. This Japanese poutine uses sake, dashi brown rice, bonito fire, kewpie, okonomikayi sauce, octopus bathed and cooked in mirin, furikake, green onions and of course cheese curds. Your taste buds will not know what hit them when these takoyaki flavors make you drool.
Le Gras Dur
Le Gras Dur takes poutine to Mexico with its Poutine au boeuf birria de Jalisco. This typical Mexican dish, usually served as a soup or stew, includes goat, beef, lamb, mutton and chicken. A real carnivore’s dream! Le Gras Dur’s combines classic poutine with braised beef, tomato poutine sauce, French fries, cheese, cilantro, sour cream, tortillas with birria sauce, scallions and pickled onions.
Maam Bolduc has a strong reputation for creating delicious poutines, and this year’s entry for Poutine Week takes you back in time. Her sidh called Beef Poutine from M’Lasse Fauborgs is based on an old Montreal neighborhood where the sweet smell of molasses hung in the air due to the nearby Molson Brewery. It captures the spirit of the neighborhood by combining braised beef, mushroom gravy, French fries, cheese, carrots, scallions and pickled onions. It is a hearty dish that will warm you to the core.
La Gaspesienne 51
If you are in the Quebec City area, you are in luck to try La Gaspesienne 51’s “La Poutine Crise d’identite” (Identity Crisis Poutine). They have taken two of their most popular dishes and fused the delicious combination of our classic lasagna and poutine. The Lasagna Poutine! The lasagna is made with succulent northern shrimp, scallops, lobster, snow crab and salmon, all perfectly complemented by a leek sauce. And for a poutine twist, it’s topped with Le Gaspésien’s famous curd cheese, chunks of fresh Anticosti Island lobster, succulent Northern shrimp, crispy French fries and creamy bisque sauce.
All of these poutines are certainly unique, but if you are looking for other options to indulge your palate, or if you are looking for a hungover cure, you can visit www.LaPoutineWeek.com to find all of the restaurants participating in the contest. Montrealnightlife.com is always ready to help you have the ultimate Montreal experience, from finding the best poutines in the city to making your restaurant reservations, hotel bookings, flight accommodations and getting you into the hottest nightclubs and bars.