Poutine on the Ritz

This Canadian diner staple is popping up all over
Photo: Kevin Hunter Marple

It's official: America has been poutine-ized--and poutine has been Americanized.

This Canadian comfort food--a Quebecois staple since the 1950s--began its slow migration into the United States a couple of years ago via NYC. Now, it's showing up in every corner of the country.

In its most traditional form, poutine consists of chubby french fries covered in gravy and dotted with fluffy cheese curds. But, like all classic dishes appropriated by American eaters, it's been upgraded, updated and subjected to more than a few chef-tweaked interpretations. Here are four favorites:

Dallas Bijoux chef Scott Gottlich's Bleu Benedictin Poutine (pictured), which features Canadian blue cheese, duck-fat-poached fries and duck-confit gravy, is served as a cheese course in his tasting menus.

Los Angeles At the meat-lover's playhouse Animal, chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo top their version with rich oxtail gravy and white cheddar.

New York City The recently opened T Poutine has gained a following for its no-frills service and DIY approach: Poutine purists can mix and match different types of fries (including shoestring), cheese, gravy and meat.

Philadelphia The "snack" of choice at the new gastropub Blockley Pourhouse is fries covered in caramelized-onion gravy, slices of short ribs and heaping chunks of industrial-orange "squeaky" cheese, a cousin to the city's beloved Velveeta.

Bijoux 5450 West Lover's Lane Dallas TX 75209 214-350-6100 Animal 435 N. Fairfax Ave. Los Angeles CA 90036 323-782-9225 The Blockley 3801 Chestnut St. Philadelphia PA 19104 215-222-1234

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