Back in September, there was a changing of posts at Poste when Dennis Marron became the new executive chef. It’s always interesting to see how a chef changes up a menu and makes it their own, so when I received a recent dinner invitation to check out Marron’s new menu, I jumped at the chance.
Poste is one of those rare gems–a restaurant located in a hotel that actually serves delicious dishes that keep you coming back for more. Marron’s menu is expansive and covers all the brasserie fare such as mussels and frites, as well as burgers and traditional French dishes such as beef bourguignon and coq au vin. For the person in your life that bemoans small menus, take them to Poste. From the taste of it, Marron’s switch to a classic French menu with some modern twists here and there (ie: the onion soup burger or the banh mi sandwich) was the right call.
Courtesy of Scott Suchman
The welcoming dining room strikes a balance between casual and upscale. Maybe it’s not that big of a deal to some of you, but I will say that despite the high ceilings and open kitchen you won’t have to shout across the table at your dinner companions to be heard. If anything, the open kitchen adds a good energy to the space. Here’s proof that a restaurant can serve French food without pretensions.
Now, I will admit that while I love cured meats and cheese boards, I’m usually just dipping my toes into the charcuterie pool. The head cheeses and terrines are things that I really don’t order on my own. But at Poste, the pork rillettes are not to be missed. The smooth rillette dish comes arrives in a quaint cast-iron pot, with an almost translucent layer of fat on top that surrenders under the pressure of a butter knife. Spread onto grilled bread with a robust grainy mustard, even those of you who are in the shallow end of the charcuterie world with me will be dreaming of pork rillette sandwiches. If you’re still jonesing for more pork at Poste, you can’t go wrong with the fork-tender braised pork cheeks and brown sugar bacon.
When I went to Poste on a cold, rainy day, I felt compelled to order a dish that was not only classic but comforting–the beef bourguignon. Marron and his team have got the art of braising down to a T. Just like the pork cheeks, the short ribs in this dish are tender but with that nice slightly caramelized outer crust–no knife required. Combine the melt in your mouth beef with the richness of the red wine-based sauce and root vegetables and you can warm up on a winter’s day in no time. And to really seal the deal on your impending food coma, go for the frites (truffle frites if you really want to up the ante). After all the meat-heavy courses, definitely round things out with a little something sweet. The particular dessert I had had a rich Guinness toffee sauce, but from the looks of the current menu Poste has switched to a Guiness ice cream variation. Either way, beer in my dessert? I’ll take it.
Poste is the French brasserie that you can depend on for the classics, without finding yourself in what seems like a parody (no Le Chat Noir poster here). So next time you find yourself wandering downtown, step out of the traffic and duck into Poste for something savory and comforting.