‘Twas a fine, fine year to be hungry in Seattle. For ten days I’m reminiscing about just how fine, in my annual recap of the top ten plates of the year.
#6 What kind of a freak invented poutine? You know, that hot Canadian mess of fries and gravy with cheese curds? (Someone with no doctor, apparently.) Well, Coterie Room has reinvented it. Belltown’s latest beaut, from chefs Dana Tough and Brian McCracken, is an homage to luscious comfort food, revised with the methods of modernist cuisine and a couple of knowing palates. So the fries are blanched and cooked long to stay crisp, the gravy is reduced from pork shoulder and pig’s feet to approximate a rich demi-glace, the cheese is a breaded Beecher’s curd crispy outside and goopy within. Then the real distinction: a mess of herbs and greens on top, perfumed and verdant, to leaven the whole. The result offers more precision, fine flavor, and finesse than the run of gloppy poutines, without a whisper of post-prandial regret. And damn it’s fun to eat.