Le Chien Noir is a French-styled bistro (with Belgian leanings) that serves such classics as onion soup, steak frites, and mussels. But what really attracts us to Le Chien is its sophisticated take on North American favorites, which can be accompanied by a bottle from the selection of Canadian wines and beers.
Take poutine, for instance. Poutine is a Quebec, Eastern Ontario, and Northern New England favorite, and it also may be the quintessential junk food. Typically made with frozen French fries, canned gravy, and cheese curds (moist, mildly cheddar-flavored fresh cheese nuggets which turn molten under the hot gravy), poutine packs a major fat and calorie punch.
Nonetheless (hence?), we love it. Le Chien Noir’s version replaces the frozen fries with fresh, perfectly double-fried frites, replaces the cheese curds with five-year-old Canadian cheddar, and uses a peppercorn and Cognac sauce instead of canned beef gravy. And as if that’s not enough, they add triple-smoked bacon and shredded duck confit! Alas, Le Chien offers no Pogos (Canadian corn dogs).
The burger is not huge, but it is one of the best hamburgers to be found anywhere. Fresh ground Alberta beef, more chopped than ground in texture and irregularly formed, has an astounding beefiness that we can only compare to a Peter Luger steak in hamburger form.
Hugely juicy, with a mouth-filling flavor that has a flinty edge, this is patty perfection. Of course, Le Chien doesn’t leave it at that, but adds some of that aged cheddar and smoky bacon, sautéed wild mushrooms, and those great frites with an addictive aioli for dipping.
There is a comfortable outdoor courtyard in back with umbrella’d tables and a little fountain, and the service is professional and casual. For our money, Le Chien Noir is the best place for lunch in Kingston. We’ve not tried it in the evening, but trust it is just as good for dinner.69 Brock Street Kingston, ON K7L 1R8 Canada 613-549-5635 Le Chien Noir Bistro’s Website Le Chien Noir Bistro on Facebook