There’s comfort food, and then there’s Duckfat. When owner-chef Rob Evans opened this friendly all-day café just down the street from his more sophisticated restaurant, Hugo’s, in 2006, locals could not believe their taste buds—nor Evans’s near-obscene use of its namesake ingredient. He twice-cooks his star menu item—Belgian fries—in duck fat and serves them up, in paper cones, with dipping sauces like truffled ketchup or Thai chile mayo. One of its signature dishes, poutine, is a sinful soupy take on the traditional Quebecois dish, layering fries, duck fat gravy, and Maine cheese curds. There’s a good selection of from-scratch soups, salads, and hot pressed panini too. But not all the treats are savory; chocolate-dipped beignets, orange-scented churros, and real malted milkshakes made with local Smiling Hills Farm ice cream are all sugary, swoon-worthy punctuations to a rich and memorable meal.
Insider Tip: Don’t miss the fizzy house-made sodas, like strawberry-hyssop, lemon verbena, and old-fashioned root beer.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.