Walter Mencken 9:15 a.m., March 28
Tivoli: Poutine, Anybody?
Yes, the Tivoli Bar (505 6th Avenue, at Island) is as frontier American as it gets, but the food here is French Canadian. Its signature dish, anyway. Montreal’s, the independent eatery at one end of the bar, serves poutine, Canada’s national comfort food.
“It’s basically French fries with cheese curds on top, along with gravy,” says Lamar Spearman. He manages the eatery. “We may not be the only place in town serving poutine, but we are the only one that puts the authentic cheese curds on top.”
Seems poutine (“mess,” in French) started out in rural Quebec “casse-croûtes” – greasy spoons – in the late 1950s. Up there they sometimes put lobster, rabbit, even caviar in with the fries.
Here, the basic plate costs $6.85, and the delish “Italian” version, with meat sauce, goes for $8.95.
Cheese curd also goes into their most popular burger, “Le Château” ($8.95). And good news about the burger meat: while they don’t actually say “organic,” they promise it’s “hormone, antibiotic, steroid and chemical-free.”