Olivia is a new Austin joint with a meaty menu that might remind you a little of Feast. It was named one of the top ten best new restaurants in America by Bon Appetit this year. Chef James Holmes got my attention when he put a dish he calls foie gras poutine on his menu last month. It turned out to be a large plate of handcut French fries topped with duck confit and fresh foie gras and garnished with fresh bing cherries.
Okay, this is one of the best things I have ever put in my mouth. But I don't think it really qualifies as poutine. It's got the French fries and the gravy, but it's missing the cheese. If you want Texas poutine, try the Tex-Mex Virgin at BB's Cajun Café.
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The foie gras, duck and fries at Olivia is actually a lot closer to the dish of falling-apart roasted duck meat over shoestring fries with pan gravy that Greg Sonnier used to serve at his Gabrielle restaurant in New Orleans, before it was closed by Katrina. And that's quite a compliment.