The city of Montreal offers many lovely reasons to visit, including excellent cycling infrastructure, a robust craft beer scene, and Quebecoise cuisine, including its famous entry into the french fry oeuvre: poutine, the messy french fries/cheese curds/gravy dish beloved by buzzed Montrealers. While a trip to Canada should be part of everyone's
escape plan travel goal, a G train ride to Greenpoint now brings you pretty close from a culinary perspective, with a new restaurant called The Gentry bringing the cuisines of our northerly neighbors within subway shot.
The Gentry opened mid-March on Manhattan Avenue, a stretch known more for its pierogies than its poutine. The team—a burgeoning restaurant group that calls itself United Restaurant Group—interviewed over 200 chefs before connecting with Gillian Clark, a chef with a history in DC, as well as a record of beating Bobby Flay in a fried chicken throwdown.
Taste a version of Clark's triumphant fried chicken, which she's reimagined with French flair in the Coq Frit au Vin ($24), lightly battered fried chicken served over polenta in a red wine sauce. Ratatouille ($15), Bavette Frites (a sirloin steak, $32), and a Ham & Gruyere Napoleon ($13) are all Francophone classics, but Clark has some fun with Wings & Raclette ($15), a riff on a traditional melted cheese service with roasted chicken wings soaking up the rich dairy sauce.
If you've made it this far, you're to be rewarded with poutine riches the likes of which Brooklyn rarely sees. Clark has created 13 different riffs on the drunk person's saving grace, with inspirations from New Orleans, Korea and points closer. Look for "A L'Orange" ($16) made with duck confit, orange glaze and balls of fried mascarpone cheese for a very French version, or "The Colonel" ($14) with chicken nuggets, gravy, grilled corn and ricotta for a very American one. Finally, an ode to the neighborhood with the "Manhattan Avenue" ($13), fries topped with kielbasa, sauekraut and pepper jack cheese.
592 Manhattan Avenue, 718-383-3490; gentrybistro.com