Poutine is a staple of Quebec culture and Montreal is full of good, good, regular and king-size versions of the classic plate. But if you want to go beyond the irresistible fare of chain restaurants and explore the depths of poutine creativity, consider this your one-stop-shop for fantastic creations, both savory and sweet.
From high-caliber fine dishes to surprising culinary combos, this list has more than a week’s worth of weird poutine dinners. It’s by no means exhaustive, however – this city has no shortage of creative chefs and cutting-edge culinary experimenters. If your favorite left field poutine is not on this list, please let us know.
Foie Gras Poutine from Au Pied de Cochon
Where: Au Pied de Cochon, 536 Duluth Avenue East
Why you should try it: This decadent dish combines the richness of poutine sauce with the richness of foie gras to make a meal that is, you guessed it, very, very rich. Au Pied de Cochon’s menu is full of surprising foie gras preparations, including a maple foie gras nigiri. The top-crust poutine relies on the savory sweetness of the delicacy to complement the meat sauce. Worth a try for the fantasy factor alone.
Poutine with lobster and snow crab from Pincette MTL
Where: Pincette MTL, 94 rue Saint-Paul Est
Why you should try it: This exuberant seafood poutine features a traditional base of fries, squeaky cheese curds and a bisque sauce topped with lobster tail and delicate snow crab. A lighter, more refreshing addition to a typically heavy meal, the element of fish gives this poutine a surreal aura of surf and turf. Like the foie gras poutine, it leans a little on the bourgeois side, bringing more sophisticated protein to a dish that originated in rural Quebec households.
3 Brewers Onion Soup Poutine
Price: $14.95, or $18.95 for a large
Where: Les 3 Brasseurs, 105 rue St Paul E
Why you should try it: This bizarro poutine invention is both affordable and extremely odd, combining a soup with something not usually meant to be mostly liquid. The dish features both an onion soup reduction and a regular hot poutine gravy, generously poured over fries and cheese curds. It’s topped with caramelized onions and coated in melted mozzarella and Swiss cheeses, with a garnish of green onions.
Poutine Centrale Butter Chicken Poutine
Price: $15, or $20.50 for a large
Where: Poutine Centrale, 3971 rue Hochelaga
Why you should try it: A fusion recipe to end all fusion recipes, this poutine incorporates homemade butter chicken into the standard recipe. It’s no surprise that a restaurant focused on poutine variations offers something so original, and the rest of Poutine Centrale’s menu options could easily end up in a list like this. If butter chicken over potatoes and cheese isn’t your thing, try their fajita-inspired poutine instead.
General Tao Sesame Poutine
Where: Sesame; 305, Ste-Catherine West; 380, St-Jacques West; 141 Atwater Avenue
Why you should try it: Many ready-made poutines seem to involve putting a different meal on fries, and this wacky Sesame invention is no different. One of their many General Tao-inspired recipes, this poutine is topped with sweet and spicy fried chicken and the accompanying sauce. This is a deceptively simple yet unexpected pairing, bringing a twist of protein and a different flavor profile to the original dish.
Poutiflette de Broue Pub Brouhaha
Price: $13.92or $18.26 for a large
Where: Broue Pub Brouhaha, 5860, ave de Lorimier and 10295, ave Papineau
Why you should try it: This bowl of fondant loaded with potatoes and cheese is another French-inspired mashup, drawing inspiration from the famous tartiflette from the Savoie region. The poutine pub version is made with Pied-De-Vent cheese from the Magdalen Islands in Quebec. Beneath the creamy cheese coating is a mixture of bacon, caramelized onions, leeks and a unique creamy poutine sauce.
Where: Beaver Tails; 136 St. Paul Street East; 123, East Commune
Why you should try it: BeaverTails may be a household name across Canada, but its menu hides secrets no one could have predicted. This may be the second cheapest poutine on our list, but it’s by no means the most normal. On a signature BeaverTails baking sheet sits a poutine with cheese curds and perfectly even gravy. It’s a bit like the plate version of a bread bowl, although it’s unclear if this movement was strictly necessary to provide maximum poutine enjoyment.
Rebel Poutine from Rebel Brasserie Urbaine
Where: Rebel Brasserie Urbaine
Why you should try it: It’s called the “rebel” poutine for a reason: this dish contains exactly none of the ingredients expected in traditional poutine. Topped with caramel sauce instead of gravy and bits of cheesecake instead of curd, this sweet treat is mostly poutine in spirit. Even the fries aren’t really fries – they’re pineapple slices.