[Montreal] Au Pied de Cochon
From fine dining cuisine to unique creations, Montreal is the perfect place for foodies. I read somewhere that the city has one of the highest concentration of restaurants per capita in the world and the quality of food has placed Montreal as one of the international gastronomic destinations worldwide.
The age old saying, “the best way to a person’s heart is through their stomach” is quite fitting when I think about our love with Montreal. We mainly go to Montreal for its food! One of the most unique, interesting, mouth-watering, and also artery clogging dining experience we’ve had, was at the infamous Au Pied de Cochon (PDC).
The PDC is one of those restaurants that is impossible to get in on the weekends. Charles and I often booked a weekend trip to Montreal on a whim. This kind of last-minute trips often do not allow us sufficient time to even make a reservation at PDC. This summer when we took my mom to Montreal, we tried to make reservation 3 weeks in advance and still couldn’t get a table! This is why we still can’t revisit this restaurant…
Anyway, during our last visit, we managed to get a table at 8 pm on a Saturday. The restaurant was packed with diners and the high decibel noise was one of the downsides of dining at PDC.
We received some complimentary bread. Not sure if we were famished from our 20-km bike ride in downtown Montreal, the bread was surprisingly delicious – crusty on the outside, fluffy and chewy on the inside.
We ordered the duck fat fries to start. I actually really wanted to try the foie gras poutine but both Jamie and Charles said it would be “too unhealthy.” I came to appreciate their input half way through the meal…
The duck fat fries were delicious. They were more aromatic and flavourful compared to regular fries and we happily chowed them down without hesitation.
I also ordered the tarragon bison tongue for us to share. The tongue was sublime. The tongue was braised perfectly to a nice chewy but not rubbery texture. The smaller pieces of tongue literally melted in my mouth. It was also wonderfully seasoned and went well with the creamy aromatic tarragon sauce. Charles and I could not get enough of this!
Then my much-anticipated main arrived – Duck in a Can! It was such a novelty to have duck in a can being opened and poured onto my plate. However, this dish is much more than just duck in a can. It is duck and a ginormous piece of foie gras (100 g) in a can! No wonder it costed a whopping $43.
The duck was arguably one of the most tender and juicy duck I’ve had. It was hard to believe that it came out of a can. The flavour of the balsamic glaze, garlic, and thyme blended together beautifully to give the duck a sweet flavour, but the dish was quite greasy from the foie gras. I did not realize how big the foie gras was until I was half way through my plate and then realized I still had so much foie gras left. While the creamy fatty taste of the foie gras was exceptional, there was simply too much foie gras for me. I felt like I was going to have a heart attack from all the fat. At that point, I was so glad that we did not order the foie gras poutine! This dish really should be shared amongst at least two people to lower the chance of dying from cardiovascular complications while eating.
Charles had the PDC melting pot, with pork belly, sausages, and mashed potato. The flavour of everything was incredibly rich and tasty. The bed of fluffy creamy mashed potato was covered with the rich jus from the meat and the portion was enormous.
Jamie ended up ordering the most “healthy” main – happy pork chop with garlic and mushroom. It was a bone-in pork chop and the size was quite large as well. I didn’t sample it but Jamie said it was cooked beautifully and the flavour was great.
Our meal at PDC was phenomenal. I had a very hard time deciding whether I wanted to “like” or “dislike” PDC on Urbanspoon, because I actually felt quite uncomfortable from the food, possibly from all the foie gras! However, everything tasted marvellous and I came to miss the food quite a bit after the meal was digested. It was probably one of the most gluttonous meals I’ve ever enjoyed in my life and it was a wonderful gastronomic experience. The food was uniquely creative. Service was quick and upbeat. Expect foie gras on everything and be prepared to share the generous amount of artery-clogging food to keep your health somewhat in check. This is a must-go place for anyone visiting Montreal and I cannot wait to visit PDC again.