This review just in from my sis who lives in Ithaca, New York.
This newest entry to the Ithaca restaurant scene advertises itself as "Breakfast, lunch, and more." My co-poutiner, Kim Szpiro (another Canadian, originally from BC), was clever enough to notice that the "and more" included something called "Canadian Chips - hand cut French fries topped with brown gravy and cheese." Does that sound familiar? Yes, indeed, we thought we'd tracked down Ithaca poutine. So, after a quick trip to the gym for a spin class, to work off the anticipated calorie intake, we set off for lunch... or did we set off for "and more"?
The restaurant was quite nice, but empty... never a good sign in downtown Ithaca at lunchtime. The menu was, to put it mildly, startling! Neither of us had ever seen so much high-calorie, high-fat food on one menu. Triple BLTS with cheese, potato soup with bacon, cheese and sour cream... and ... Canadian chips...
We decided to share an order - at $6, we expected a hefty serving and felt that sharing was appropriate. What came to the table LOOKED LIKE poutine... it had lovely hand cut fries with the skin still on (we gave it a curd up for that), and a beefy gravy (Kim gave it a curd up for saltiness, I gave it a curd down for the same reason). The gravy was one step beyond gravy, though - it was gloppy gravy, if you know what I mean. To top off the dish - no curds, just mozzarella cheese. We know that true curds are hard to find here, but the cheese was a big curd down from both of us.
Our final assessment was 1.5 curds... we gave them something for trying, but hope they take it off the menu. Kim said "Why are they blaming a whole nation for that?"
While we were sitting in the silent restaurant, Kim googled Poutine Ithaca and found another restaurant around the corner that actually offers "real" poutine (plain and bacon). We are skeptical, since the description says "Fries, gravy, and cheddar cheese." But, we are going to give it a try. We will report back soon!
Your Ithaca Poutiners,
Marcia and Kim
Crespella Café, 113 S Cayuga St., Ithaca, NY 14850