Monday, December 27, 2010

Au Pied De Cochon - The Father Of All Foie Gras Goodness (Montreal, QC)

ExteriorAu Pied de Cochon!

Au Pied de Cochon

As I conclude my tour around Toronto and Montreal (with a stop at Niagara Falls), what better way to end my meal than a dinner at Au Pied de Cochon? What's so special about Au Pied de Cochon you might ask? Loosely translated as a foot of a pig or pig's feet, there's definitely nothing light about my upcoming meal here. When Chef Martin Picard tried to "kill" Anthony Bourdain with foie gras on the Quebec episode of No Reservations seen below, I quickly made my reservation as my "last" supper in Canada.

Foie Gras CromesquisFoie Gras Cromesquis

Cromesquis de foie gras (Foie Gras Cromesquis)

What is this you might ask? How does fried foie gras sound? The foie gras, liquified in the middle and crispy on the outside. It's "obscene, in a good way," to quote Bourdain. This made the perfect mouthful, and was richly delicious we had to order a second order!

Gin Martin w/olivesGin Martini w/ twist

Gin Martini (Top: w/Olives, Bottom: w/Twist)

What better way to wash down the richness of the foie than with some alcohol, and in this case, gin martinis. I went with the twist, due to my dislike of olives. Ahhhhh...what a complement!

Codfish FrittersCodfish Fritters

Accras de morue (Codfish Fritters)

We needed something healthy and diverse, so what's better than fried fish? I did mention we're going for healthy, right? Beautifully fried, and crunchy, I could have ate a whole basket of these things. The addition of lemon added a much needed acidity and balance for the fried cod. I wish I have some right now as I'm typing this post up.....

Tarragon Bison Tongue

Langue de bison à l'estragon (Tarragon Bison Tongue)

Bison tongue? Yes please! The tongue was cooked, oh, so tender. Yet, the flavors of the tongue and the sauce meshed beautifully. I was tempted to get seconds of this as well, but sadly, we had a lot more courses coming our way.

Foie Gras Poutine

Poutine au foie gras (Foie Gras Poutine)

I loved my meal at Animal in Los Angeles, and its poutine. I loved the poutine at La Banquise, but those were the minor league compared to the poutine served at Au Pied de Cochon. What's better than cheese curds, rich gravy, and crispy fries? Why, a large piece of foie gras of course! I don't think I need to describe this particular dish much (Good, since it's from over a year ago), but this was truly a memorable experience.

The CanDuck in a CanDuck in a CanDuck in a Can

Canard en conserve (Duck In A Can)

What's better than foie gras poutine? How about duck in a can? I don't know how it's done, and I don't know how it could taste this good, but this was simply amazing. Foie gras, duck, pomme puree, and other ingredients, can it get better than this? This is not your entree for those light eaters, and I hope there was a cardiologist present when I ate it. This was a truly a fucking amazing dish!

Plogue à ChamplainPlogue à Champlain

Plogue à Champlain

Do you like breakfast? I usually don't eat it, but I could deal with this. What is Plogue à Champlain? Call it a mix of maple cured bacon, lard, potatoes, apples, and of course, a generous piece of foie gras onto of a buckwheat pancake. On top of everything it's served in a bed of maple syrup. Waking up to this daily would be heavenly, though I don't know how one could survive eating this on a daily basis.

PDC's Melting Pot

Potée du PDC (PDC's Melting Pot)

Still not full, my buddies and I decided to add the PDC's Melting Pot through the recommendation of our waiter and it was a fantastic way to finish the savory portion of the meal. Pork hoc, sausages, boudin noir and other delicious items in one cast iron pot. Rich and delicious, what's better than that? Now, with the little space we had left, it's time for dessert!

Pudding Chômeur

Pouding chômeur (Pudding Chômeur)

I should have gone with my gut and ordered the creme caramel or creme brulee. The pudding chômeur was just way too sweet. We were barely able to finish this one. Definitely my least favorite thing we ordered all night.

Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta

The special dessert of the day was the panna cotta, thus we had to order it, being one of my favorite dessert options, and it did not disappoint. Simple, creamy, and the fruit on top added a nice tartness to the dish we desperately needed after this meal. I can't quite remember what the fruit was, I want to say rhubarb, but I don't think that's correct. Whatever it was, it made one helluva dessert.

Maple Syrup PieMaple Syrup Pie

Tarte au Sucre Pour 2 (Maple Syrup Pie for 2)

Finally, a nicely portioned maple syrup pie with vanilla ice cream. Since we're in Canada, we had to order this one. The ice cream was definitely a welcoming addition to this dessert. While I didn't love it, we finished every last bite.

Dining RoomDining Area

Dining Room

Au Pied de Cochon was such a wonderful experience, I'm hoping to visit Montreal again in 2012. The food scene in this city was pretty fantastic, yet underrated. Although more people talk about the food scene (especially the Chinese food) in Vancouver, I personally don't have much of an interest in visiting, especially with the San Gabriel Valley so close to me. Montreal is definitely the star of Canada. With the abundance of people communicating in French, with its old cobblestone streets, it feels like you're in France instead of North America. This was such a great way to cap off my trip with the amount of foie gras we consumed, it was quite a challenge getting back to our hotel. The meal at Au Pied de Cochon was easily one of the top 5 meals all time for me. I can't wait to go back. Bring it on Chef Picard!

Note: If you ever decide to go, they do take reservations online via e-mail!

Final Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Au Pied de Cochon
536 Avenue Duluth Est
Montréal, Québec, Canada
(514) 281-1114


MyLastBite said...

Ah.... someday I will get there Danny, but for now... my heart ACHES with envy! Beautiful photos my friend. x

Pinoy Panda said...

One can never have too much foie gras! Can I get an AMEN? All I can say is that you're taking Jo (MyLastBite) and I to Montreal with you in 2012. But I'm so tempted to say that we put-off Spain in 2012 and go straight to Montreal in September. LOL

weezermonkey said...


Caps necessary.

kevinEats said...

The cromesquis de foie gras are a near exact copy of Ludo's "Fried Liquid Foie Gras." Any insight as to the genesis of that dish?

bagnatic said...

Omg, dang! That's a pretty high score my friend. Must be truly amazing.

Foie belly just grumbled. Crap.

fel said...

That looks RIDICULOUS. I'm jealous now too

kristen said...

I'm with Remil and Jo, we're going with you in 2012

Diana said...

I really really hope your mom didn't read this one. ;) That's a lot of foie!

Kung Food Panda said...

Jo: Blogger trip to Montreal, 2012!

PP: We are still going to Spain buddy. Montreal will have to wait.

Weezermonkey: Yes, OMG indeed! :)

Kevin: I'm not sure who was the genesis to the dish, and as much as I like Ludo's cooking, the cromesquis de foie gras at APDC was definitely better!

Kung Food Panda said...

Amy: Yes, was amazing. Tons of foie gras made it memorable!

Felicia: You should make a trip up to Montreal, you're really close now!

Kristen: I should host a tour in 2012. I should charge a commission!

Diana: Nah, she doesnt know the url to my blog, I don't think...

joanh3 said...

weezermonkey took the words right out of my mouth- OH MY GOD!

next time i have foie gras i'm going to figure out how get some poutine on the side to make some foie gras poutine.

Gastronomer said...

Awesome!! I am highly anticipating my meal here next Spring :-) DUCK IN A CAN!

Kung Food Panda said...

Joan: It was truly an awesome meal. I hope you'll make it to Montreal one day.

Cathy: I want to hear what you thought of APDC. Can I get an autographed menu from Martin Picard? :P

Anna A. said...

I would kill for duck in a can! Damn you!

Kung Food Panda said...

Anna: That was a truly epic dish!