Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Au Pied de Cochon : Montreal

Au Pied de Cochon is another restaurant my brother had tried on a previous trip and had recommended. It's also one of the first recommended to head to when visiting Montreal and fairly well-discussed restaurant on the Chow boards.

It's got a warm, cozy atmosphere. For a Thursday night, it's pretty bustling even into the later hours...

Pied de Cochon Beer - Light, slightly hoppy, pretty good.

Mas Champart Saint-chinian Causse Du Bousquet 2006 - Smells like a rubber tire, but with a fairly fruity, blackberry/currant flavor. Quick and smooth finish.

Duck Carpaccio - Nice. I generally like egg yolk, but wasn't really a fan of spreading it over the carpaccio as the wait-staff recommended, giving the carpaccio an unnecessary thick texture. The hot mayo dabs lent a nice after-taste.

Langue de bison à l'estragon (Bison Tongue) - Thought this was okay. Tender tongue meat with carrots and small pickles (?) and dabs of hot mayonnaise. My issue mainly was with the somewhat boring brown sauce, which just tasted like thicken beef broth.

Shrimp Tartare - A special recommended by our waiter, this was our favorite app (and dish) of the night. The raw shrimp had a really amazing, tender texture. The shrimp head and tails were fried in a tempura batter. Served with avocado, caviar, and a dollop of a hot mayo/horse-radish sauce. Just a very light dish with varied flavors.

PDC Meling Pot -Blood sausage, Random other sausage, Pork, Mashed potatoes, light cheese, onion, mushroom, rosemary. Ooof, after the very light appetizers, this was like a bomb had gone off, a very heavy, oily and weighty bomb indeed. Not only that, but my Mom was not such a fan of these flavors. I wouldn't disagree with her taste, this tasting like a very hearty winter stew, jolting after the appetizers and not particularly fitting with the seasons either.

Pied de Cochon - A casserole tasting like a pot pie. Chives and onions lend a very, very familiar taste. A pretty heavy and rich dish.

Plogue de Champlain - Foie Gras, Bacon, Maple Syrup - Heavy, rich and heart-stopping. At first, the syrup was an interesting addition, but just became overwhelming after a few bites in. Perhaps half of this portion would be decent for a hearty winter breakfast. Not really a fan of this.

Duck Magret in Mushroom Sauce - Duck magret is the duck breast of a duck that has produced foie gras. This was served w/ mushrooms and onions. This was the only entree that didn't come across as being inappropriately heavy. The sauce had the flavor of clearly fresh mushrooms and perhaps some wine, which lended it more complexity than just a straight thickened mushroom sauce.

Penna Cotta w/ Reubarb - Penna cotta not quite the subtle texture that I was expecting, but rather more like a slightly milky jello. I haven't had much reubarb before, here it tasting like a non-descript American sucker candy flavor without the sweetness overload. All in all the dessert wasn't that special, but was at least light to offset the heavy bombs that were the entrees.

The appetizers here were quite fantastic. As for the entrees, well, it was definitely interesting trying out Montreal-style food, but I don't think I was quite a fan, it being too rich and heavy for us. That being said, I suspect that if I were to live a winter in Montreal, it might make more sense to me.

One more thing, I wish I had read the advice to order half of what you would normally order before, because I think that would have been quite appropriate for our meal.

Au Pied De Cochon
536, rue Duluth Est Montreal H2L IA9 (Map)
($Canada, $Montreal)

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