Waiting outside for our table to be ready, you can see how they fully opened up the front of the restaurant, and that there’s no signage for the restaurant. You can drive by not knowing what it is!
The height of the team’s food adventures was our celebratory/annual dinner at Au Pied de Cochon! Of course, this dinner goes down AFTER all the competing is done. <-- can’t have all that amazing foie weigh us down in the boat now can we?!
When we got there (our resos were for 10:30), the place was PACKED! But guess who we saw?! A few friends from the Ryerson dragonboat team! (aka coaches/paddlers).<-- no, the four in the middle of the photo aren't people I randomly creeped, I actually happen to be good friends with them haha
Artwork that greets you when you enter (besides the open kitchen). You know just by seeing this that this restaurant is chill. Good taste, but with a twist. Devilish fun?
The rather small kitchen is open concept so if ever you were curious enough, you could peek over your shoulder to check out where most of the action goes down. “Most” because you’d never catch the tremendous amount of prep work done before service.
Okay, a little redundant but all you gotta do is scroll down more if you don’t like haha. I mean, the last time I came here was 2 years ago so my excitement for this revisit was barely containable.
Most of the ladies on my team! :D This season was great with you girls!
Les cartes. The illustrations are awesome! And also found in the Au Pied de Cochon Cabane à Sucre cookbook that was released earlier this year. ;D It’s a pricey cookbook ($69.99), but WORTH IT!
Cute napkin holder—that they take back. Well, recycling’s good!
My lens isn’t wide enough to get a good photo of the entire bar so I had to make use of the long mirrors that line the wall.
The usual bread & butter. Us girls, we LOVE our butter but don’t tell us how “bad” it is and we’ll be happy.
If you want (which you should), ask for their olive oil. In my opinion, it’s amazeballs! As odd as this may sound, I dreamt about this olive oil after my first meal here. It was that memorable!
CROMESQUIS de FOIE GRAS ($3.5/2pcs)
Little one-bite deep fried pieces of foie gras. Our server warned us to let them sit for a minute or two to cool down as well as to pop the entire ball into your mouth. So good…you bite down and it bursts open! There were a few at the table where this was their first foie experience. It was a highly foodgasmic one for them. ;)
PLOGUE à CHAMPLAIN ($26)
In short, it’s a plate worthy of a foodgasm and subsequent food dreams where you wake up determined to drive out to Montreal just so that you can eat this again. Very rich, it packs such a punch of flavour and you’ll fall in love.
**this is my favourite dish here!
(what's going on here?!) P.S. This dish costs $43...
CANARD EN CONSERVE ($43)!
**Or this one, from my awesome possum food buddy Darian, when we and two guys (in the gif) hopped into his car and drove to Montreal for the ultimate food quest.
“Duck-in-a-can”, one of Martin Picard’s signature dishes! This man is notorious for having fun with his food/ingredients, manipulating them and presenting a product unlike anything you’d imagine or possibly be able to conceive on your own.
The label on the can makes it sound so easy to make…”yeah, just some foie gras here, some duck breast there. Throw in thyme etc BAM! Amazing food!” No, you gotta be here (or get it take-out) because it’s an unparalleled experience.
Just the concept alone—such an amazing dish, served from a tin can?! What the can serves as is a cooking vessel, locking in the flavour/juices/moisture. I want to compare it to sous vide?
Also, yes. I’ve revised some designs on my blog a bit…and am now also going to start incorporating gifs. Sometimes, they give you a better idea of the dish, in this case, one that has some wow factor in the presentation! (by the way, it was very good as well, zero complaints about this dish).
The ladies were instagramming/tweeting up a storm!
THON BIGEYE ($45)
This was one of the specials that evening; they each revolved around fresh tuna, caught that morning? The tuna steaks sounded appealing so we went for that. I’d say every component came together except for the doneness of the tuna.
Don’t get me wrong, tuna cooked like this (lightly seared) is great! But to fully experience its freshness, I think they should’ve toned down on everything that was going on around it. This dish was a bit confusing in the sense that sometimes the vegetables stood out more than the tuna.
Over at one of the other tables (we were spread out at 3 tables), one of the guys ordered this bad boy. “HUGE” was probably the first word to pop into my head. Here’s a link to a gif that the mister holding the camera in the photo made. Priceless!! I believe it sums up the dish in a way that words cannot do justice. (Big thanks to Matt for giving me permission to share his genius shots of the play-by-play reaction of David eating! haha)
I’m a loser. I wanted some sort of souvenir from Au Pied de Cochon. The server was nice enough to search for and grab me an empty can that they had to take home! As well, inquired about their olive oil and was directed to check their site. (I keep checking…)
|Sorry, I know this is the third photo of the can that you're now seeing...I apologize for making you so JELLY!!!! ;D|
Awesome logo. The door on the left is for the single washroom. The one on the right leads you to WINE!
Near the end of the meal, most of the other diners had left, and the foh staff were sitting at the bar noshing/drinking.
Because the 6 of us shared every dish, our bill was surprisingly low at the end of the night! We could’ve ordered more, but the food is so rich that the 3 mains were sufficient.
Merci! One of the guys there was nice enough to bear through our asianess and snapped group photos of the team using the multiple cameras handed to him. :D
By the end of the meal, the restaurant was pretty much empty. The hostess at the front (lady at left in this photo) was so welcoming!! Chef Martin Picard is a genius. In addition to Au Pied de Cochon, he’s also got his sugar shack where reservations (beginning in December) are rather exclusive and it’s a party you really don’t wanna miss! :D
Verdict: If our plans worked out, I’d be in Montreal this weekend enjoying more plogue à champlain and canard en conserve but life doesn’t always treat you so royally well. Haha In other words, I cannot wait to come back!! Everything here, the service, the vibe, the price (depends on party size), the chef(!), and the food is perfect. Can’t ask for more. Okay, except maybe for the hot server to talk to me in French.
Check ‘em out! http://www.restaurantaupieddecochon.ca/index.html
5 out of 5 NOMs