Once again Time Out New York released their Top 100 Dishes of the year and once again, I’m going to eat my way through every one. And no price point or subway delay will stop me. In no particular order, here’s my take on their Top 100.

What an adventure it was trying to get a taste of the famous, elusive duck confit poutine at The Brindle Room!

We stopped by here a month or so ago and before we sat down, noticed it was not listed on the menu. Upon inquiry, the hostess told us it is only offered as a special from time to time. I guess the dish is rather labor intensive and they can only make a limited batch at once. She suggested we call again before coming.

So I made a phone call another week and spoke to a man (who sounded like the Chef) who said he was planning on making it for the coming weekend. We headed down to the East Village again, but no poutine.

Then I met co-owner Tiffany Dorman (who is ironically also usually the “door man”) at the Time Out Food and Drink Awards a while back. I spoke to her about it and she said to follow them on Twitter and they would be making it again soon. So, like a good student, I followed her instructions and after a tweet announcing the poutine, we showed up only to discover they had sold out of it the night before. I think Tiffany was just as frustrated as we were because we were not the first group to leave when we learned they were poutine-less.

Then on this fateful Friday afternoon I received a tweet that said they made the poutine, but to come early since there were only 10 orders available. They tweeted and we listened. We arrived just after 6:00 and were the second table in the restaurant. If we didn’t conquer the poutine this time, I think we may have had to surrender. The waitress listed it as a special, along with an off-the menu burger. And we rejoiced. Whew!

And so that’s how we finally got to taste the Duck Confit Poutine, which TONY listed as their Number Two dish of the year. Poutine is a traditional Canadian dish of french fries, topped with cheese curds and gravy. If that weren’t gut busting enough, The Brindle Room takes it over the top by adding pieces of confited duck (cooked in its own fat!)

The gravy was a bit thinner than I expected and more closely resembled a broth. It was full of salty meaty flavors, but I found myself shying away from it since it felt like just another unnecessary fat source. The cheese curds were squeaky and funky, the hand-cut potato sticks had a nice crunchy exterior and tender bite, and then that duck imparted savory spices like cloves and cinnamon. This was the ultimate comfort food.

But it struck me all as a bit unnecessary. I think the idea is pretty ingenuous, but it might be a little too much. As a rich tasty dish, it makes sense but this is not something I want to eat very often. You may as well add pork belly and foie gras to the mix. It’s almost the kitchen sink of cholesterol.

We also had their famous burger which was thankfully a modest portion next to the poutine and quite tasty. Along with a delicious and fresh radish salad, some rich baked oysters, a comfortable atmosphere, and spot-on service, I would absolutely come back to The Brindle Room. I just don’t think I’ll order the poutine. Odds are it won’t be available anyway.

Would The Brindle Room’s Duck Confit Poutine make my Top 100 of the Year? The flavors are warming and the textures rich and varied, but it overwhelmed me with one too many decadent ingredients earning it a 7 out of 10.

BRINDLE ROOM
227 East 10th Street (between First Avenue and Avenue A)
East Village
(212) 529-9702
brindleroom.com
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

One Response to #63 – DUCK CONFIT POUTINE at BRINDLE ROOM

  1. Bab says:

    ps just went to Brindle room today because some how
    i saw advertised this famous duck confit poutine… the waitress nor the chef could remember such a dish!!! we therefor wont be going there again.

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