The bar at The Gallows.
I arrived early to ensure our expanded group could be accommodated and to see that all was in order. I figured I'd find Rich at the bar, but was surprised to see him, Laura, Jennifer and Mary already enjoying some laughs and a drink.
The plan, hatched as the weather began to turn cooler (!), was to gather a group to sample the poutine - a Canadian specialty that must have been borne of long winters and lots of drinking. This quintessential bar food, or post bar food, consists of fries, topped with cheese curds and smothered with gravy.
Bar Food - Diner Food - GastroPub
Back in my college days (just after the Paleolithic Era, when we'd advanced from cave drawings to typewriters) I often ate at our local diner. I have many fun memories of that place. One skinny waitress with coke-bottle glasses was sweet, but so slow we instantly nicknamed her "Speed." Charlotte was the other waitress - a Ruben-esque wise-cracking diner waitress. She was kind and quickly became everyone's surrogate mother. This was New Paltz, New York in the 80's so we could close the bars at 4 AM and hit the diner before sleeping off the day. If you think that sounds frightening, I used to work three jobs so I'd often start one from 9-2, then hit the diner for a meal, work the wine shop from 4-9, maybe get some coffee and a bite on the way to the third job at the bar, where I'd work till 4 AM. The diner was situated between two of the three jobs and needless to say, I got to know the diner, and Charlotte and Speed well.
One of my favorite day-after or late-night meals was a hot open-faced turkey sandwich with gravy on the fries. Essentially poutine without the curds. So not poutine, but really there is something so comforting about both.
Regular readers will know that I am an unabashed fan of foie. In just about any form, in any quantity, at any time. So when I read that The Gallows features foie poutine, I hatched a plan. Why not gather a group together, old and new friends who enjoy food and wine, over plates of poutine? We picked a Monday night and fixed a price that I hoped would enable us to taste a variety of what the kitchen had to offer and also not be too cost-prohibitive for everyone to participate.
We enjoyed Scotch Eggs and Corn Dogs as well as at least three types of Poutine, maybe four? We had the Farmer's Market Poutine, the Hawaiian, the Foie and I think the basic Poutine. Other plates were added, charcuterie, suckling pig, more wine.
I was surprised to see how busy the restaurant got for a Monday night, yet we were treated so graciously by the staff. From the moment we walked in, to the bar, to the table, every one of the staff was terrific. Thanks to The Gallows! I'll be back and I'm sure others will, too.
For me the evening was about the people as much as the poutine, though I'll definitely go back to sample the menu again. The fact that I didn't want to leave our group at the bar to take a photo of us (hence the two photos taken from my seat at the bar) and that I only shot two of the food (it must be said, Poutine is not the most photogenic food. We love it, but it's true) - goes to show I was just having more fun chatting with everyone there. The pub was loud and boisterous and filled up, heated up, then abruptly emptied at about 11. A good time was had by all.
Sorry I don't have more photos, but you'll just have to get there and check it out for yourself!
Add Now the Blog Roll Please...Poutine Pals
I wanted to share links to our group's blogs, please treat yourself and peruse these fun, smart, delicious blogs.
The Passionate Foodie - Certified Sake Professional - hire him for a tasting class or party. Rich is my frequent partner in crime. Meet him before he vaporizes on the 7th.
Vintage Eats - My new-found drinking buddy. Who else can glide as effortlessly between Belarus, linguistics, farmers and cheese curds in the space of five minutes or two drinks. Just kidding.
Roblog Redux - Award-winning marketing guy who doesn't slap you in the face with "I'm a guru." He's one of the 2 Palavers. Shows a keen appreciation for wine, women of a certain age, laughter.
2 Palaverers - Rob & Laura Ciampa who write lovingly of our New England food and travels, and back their words with serious conservation work. What's not to love?
Cooking 4 the Week - If I don't get me some of that Porchetta immediately I. Will. Die. Just look at that marvelous pork. Go ahead, I'll wait. Mary cooks, teaches, sells at the farmers' market and tackles bill-parsing cheerfully and efficiently. She may or may not leap tall buildings in a single bound. Working on confirming that.
The Able Grape - Think Google for the Grape - Wonder if he's read (and indexed) my Bobal piece in the Virtual Gourmet? Fun to welcome Doug and Rachel to Boston.
Rachel Black - Do not be intimidated by the depth of knowledge and accomplishment in food and wine anthropology, she's so fun to eat and drink with you forget to call her Dr. Maybe it's the Canadian thing...
Hector Hernandez - Gosh another brainiac in our midst, how'd I get so lucky? So much fun to eat and drink with and very gracious when you inadvertently keep him up to see one more of his wife's beautiful honeymoon photos...a former vegetarian and present member of the Hognoscenti.
David Dadekian - Speaking of photos - David's make you want to get married again, in Providence. Another passionate foodie friend with whom I've enjoyed tasty pig parts.
Dale Cruse - Follow his attempt to drink champagne for 365 - consecutive - days. Once again I forgot to take him up on his "Drinks are on Me" promise. Damn it!
Consuming Lilly - Soy Buerre Monte? Lamb Skewers? Arch commentary about Top Chef? Lilly is your gal. Also full of fun party tricks like "guess where my iPhone is now?"
Foie Poutine. I die.
So glad to have this group of friends eat, drink and laugh with! Let's do it again soon.