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Au Pied de Cochon


Chazzy
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Had a lovely meal at PDC. This is one of my favorite restuarants for many reasons. The think i like best is that there i a solid concept behind the restaurant with a very focussed menu. (something many restos lack).

I wanted to post a comment on here, because I am maybe to shy to talk to management in person. Especially given  i do not know them. While enjoying  a lovely meal at the bar last week,  I noticed the busboy recylcing the butter from another table. I found this very unhygenic. Although there is a general lack of hygene in many restos in montreal (speaking from working in the industry).. This was one evident no no  that i figured pointing out, would allow for an immeidate correction.

As you know butter is served in a cute metal container at PDC. The same knife i cut my meat with and use to work around my plate containing some of my saliva is the same knife i use to scoop out butter. So this butter could not be reusued. I understand by reusing htis butter a restuanrt can save a couple of thousand dollars a year. However it is not repectful to clients. I suggest a small portion of butter as is given at le meac for example.

Too bad you didn't say anything. This is something they would want brought to their attention and it's most effectively done by the customer in person. An anonymous posting on an internet forum is nowhere near as effective or as credible.

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Cianci.... These tye of things, the owner is aware of. So by telling him face o face would have put him in an akward and unconfortable situation. I don't like to pt fellow restaurant people in a bad mood. There are plenty of customers to do that on a daily basis. By posting here, hopefully it will be read and attended to. As for credibility - like i said if it s going on, management is aware. My message is directed to their management or to a friend of their management, and not as a warning to the general public.

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Cianci.... These tye of things, the owner is aware of. So by telling him face o face would have put him in an akward and unconfortable situation. I don't like to pt fellow restaurant people in a bad mood. There are plenty of customers to do that on a daily basis. By posting here, hopefully it will be read and attended to. As for credibility - like i said if it s going on, management is aware. My message is directed to their management or to a friend of their management, and not as a warning to the general public.

Sorry, but I don't believe you. It's clear to me both from speaking to the staff and from watching them operate from my perch at the bar, that the standards are pretty high at PDC. What you are saying does not jive with my experience. Plus, if you really wanted to send a message to management but not face to face, there are these things called letters. Posting this sort of thing anonymously in a public forum is no different from spreading a rumor. It strikes me as cowardly.

Edited by rcianci (log)
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  • 3 weeks later...

My husband and I ate at APDC last night--a long-delayed birthday present. It was worth the wait!

First of all, props to Eugenia, the waitress last night. As English-speakers with limited menu French, and with APDC's terse menu descriptions ("PDC's Happy Pork Chop," anyone?), we had lots of questions. At one point, when Eugenia described that pork chop--double-thick, roasted in the wood oven, on a bed of mashed potatoes, with caramelized onions (where she gestured gallically)--my mouth watered, literally. Her enthusiasm for the menu was absolutely infectious. We're more confident in our preferences in wine than our ability to pick it off a wine list, and she steered us to a great choice at the low end of the per-glass price range. So I can't say enough good about her, and we tipped accordingly but she also deserves public recognition. The rest of the staff could not have been more charming. It's a great team.

We ordered a couple of crosmequis foie gras, deep-fried foie gras dumplings that we were instructed to eat in one bite, for "an explosion of foie gras in your mouth." It was just that, and a great way to begin our meal. We also had to try the "pork rinds," hot and salty in a paper cone. At this point, the very good bread arrived, as well.

I ordered cassoulet, which had the usual suspects: the world's best garlic sausage, a confit duck leg, and a piece of smoked pork belly (I'm pretty sure). My husband had had duck on his mind all day, and ordered duck breast with mushroom sauce--here the bread was particularly welcome, because the sauce was rich and delicious. We had room to share a molten chocolate cake (not the famous pudding chomeur because our minds were fixed on chocolate).

As we looked around, everyone looked delighted to be there. The place was packed and the waitstaff and hostesses were amazing, gracefully making sure a festive spirit prevailed.

I don't know how often APDC changes its menu covers, or if this is a regular thing. Canned tomatoes were advertised on the cover at $C5.75 per quart, with a drawing of Chef Picard watering a tomato vine with a kind of grumpy expression, and an ecstatic pig next to him. It cracked us up, because my husband recently spent about three weekends turning his tomato yield into sauce after having planted three vines in hopes of endless sliced tomatoes all summer. Hopes which came to naught but sauce with the sun and rain coming at suboptimum times. Since we therefore have enough of our own damn sauce, we couldn't help Picard unload his. But we felt an immediate kinship which the food utterly confirmed.

Margo Thompson

Allentown, PA

You're my little potato, you're my little potato,

You're my little potato, they dug you up!

You come from underground!

-Malcolm Dalglish

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...First of all, props to Eugenia, the waitress last night. As English-speakers with limited menu French, and with APDC's terse menu descriptions ("PDC's Happy Pork Chop," anyone?), we had lots of questions. At one point, when Eugenia described that pork chop--double-thick, roasted in the wood oven, on a bed of mashed potatoes, with caramelized onions (where she gestured gallically)--my mouth watered, literally. Her enthusiasm for the menu was absolutely infectious. We're more confident in our preferences in wine than our ability to pick it off a wine list, and she steered us to a great choice at the low end of the per-glass price range. So I can't say enough good about her, and we tipped accordingly but she also deserves public recognition. The rest of the staff could not have been more charming. It's a great team.

Margo:

I could not agree with you more.

Over a year ago I was back in Montreal and took advantage to visit APdeC. I wandered up from my downtown hotel and managed to snag a chair at the cooking bar and as luck would have it, was served by Eugenia as well.

She was a delight adding to what was a very good evening food and wine wise. She put up with my clumbsy efforts with my poor French and I had a terrific time and felt comfortably at home. I wish I could go more often.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Looks like I am going to Montreal this spring!  How far a drive is Au Piede De Chochon from Chateau Montebello or Hull, Quebec?

well, hull is right across the water from ottawa, which is a two hour drive to montreal.

montebello is probably an hour and a half away from montreal. google earth can help you with the details.

it's not exactly around the corner, but it's not impossible, either.

"Bells will ring, ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting.... the bell... bing... 'moray" -John Daker

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Riboflavinjoe, thank you. I want to visit a friend from Hull and he told me about this giant log cabin called, Chateau Montebello. I have been to Montreal a few times but that was more than 20 years ago.

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I wanted to post a comment on here, because I am maybe to shy to talk to management in person. Especially given  i do not know them. While enjoying  a lovely meal at the bar last week,  I noticed the busboy recylcing the butter from another table. I found this very unhygenic.

I don't work in the restaurant industry, but I've heard that this sort of thing happens in many, if not most restaurants. Recycling not just butter, but bread that has been on other tables as well.

I just try not to think about it when I go out to eat.

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I wanted to post a comment on here, because I am maybe to shy to talk to management in person. Especially given  i do not know them. While enjoying  a lovely meal at the bar last week,  I noticed the busboy recylcing the butter from another table. I found this very unhygenic.

I don't work in the restaurant industry, but I've heard that this sort of thing happens in many, if not most restaurants. Recycling not just butter, but bread that has been on other tables as well.

I just try not to think about it when I go out to eat.

Yes, it is common practice to reuse butter. We use to make 1000s of butter rolls out of 50 lbs. blocks of butter. Unused/untouched butter from the diningroom are placed in a small pail with ice and sent to the hot kitchen. It is turned into clarified butter and used for sauteeing or sauces, like hollandaise.

Rolls and sliced baguettes on bread baskets were routinely returned to the warmer to be used for other tables.

I had the same adverse reaction when I first saw this practice back in 1980 at a high class hotel I worked and apprenticed under. This hotel was run by a talented french Chef. Followed by a German Chef who switched to prepackaged, foil wrapped butter to save on labour(I was the "prep bitch" apprentice and spent a lot of time making butter balls, cutting batons, parisiennes and turned veg. Sorry, got carried away.....anyway, it made no difference, the foil packs were recycled as clarrified butter as well. There's always that bottom line Chefs have to worry about.

Edited by Fugu (log)
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I took my wife to Montreal as a portion of her (milestone) birthday and we were fortunate to dine at PdC Friday evening.

We were unprepaired for the experience. The place is so small and narrow and a significant percentage of Montreal was in attendance. The happy staff and general good humor was infectious. Everything was fun, to say nothing about the incredible food.

The duck carpaccio is memorable!

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  • 2 weeks later...

My girlfriend and I went to APC a few weeks ago, and I've been meaning to post my own impressions.

First of all, ouch to my wallet. Apparently, someone forgot to tell Canada that our dollar is worth less and to adjust their prices accordingly :raz:

We started off the meal with the bison tongue with tarragon. I mostly did this to get my girlfriend to eat tongue, since I had been raving lately about how under-appreciated tongue is. It took her a bit to get over the fact that it looks like a tongue. Every bite was tender and flavorful.

I decided to try the oft-discussed Duck In a Can. I wish I had taken pictures, if only to capture the moment that can is opened up and poured out. What a delightful mess. In some ways, it reminded me of Rochester's own culinary contribution, "The Garbage Plate", not in flavor of course, but as an example of pure excess. To be honest, the duck itself was my least favorite part of the meal. It was too tough and rare for my liking. Everything else on my plate was rich and loaded with flavor. I'm pretty sure my heart stopped several times during the meal. My girlfriend had the Porkchop, but I can't say how it tasted. I was too busy digging into my own plate.

We ended the meal with something simple, the molten chocolate cake. A pleasant way to end the meal. If I wasn't so close to the people beside me, I might have unbuttoned my pants for room, but I never had the chance.

The services was excellent. Food came out timely and the waiter was gracious and helpful. I think we were the only English speaking couple in the room at the time.

On a side note, there was a large group sitting besides us, and watched the waiter open up the can and pour it out. They said a few words to me about the process. They said something else to us when the cake came out too. Unfortunately, those words were French, and I don't speak a lick of it. I just smiled dumbly at them as I ate. If I ever go up again, learning French will need to be on my agenda.

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For those intrested: Radio Canada is broadcasting a 7 episodes show featuring Martin Picard and some of Quebec's and the Atlantic provinces great culinary traditions including hunting and fishing.

The show is in French and starts Thursday the 20th.

Here's the blurb from the Radio Canada website:

Réputé chef du restaurant Au pied de cochon , coloré et plus grand que nature, Martin Picard nous entraîne vers l’aventure afin de découvrir des plats du terroir québécois comme jamais nous ne les avons vus. L’émission est à son image : dynamique, brute, énergique, parfois sophistiquée et impressionnante, excessive et sympathique, humoristique et mal élevée, mais toujours attachante, rassembleuse, joviale et jouissive. Chaque émission propose des recettes typiques du Québec mais revues et transformées par Martin et son sous-chef Hugue, qui sillonnent les routes du pays, traînant avec eux leur cuisinière au gaz. Ils vivent chaque fois une aventure particulière en lien avec la recette et le thème de la semaine, aux quatre coins du Québec et des provinces maritimes. Martin Picard remonte aux sources des produits qu’il aime cuisiner. En partageant sa quête, le public vivra des expériences hors du commun, toujours surprenantes. Bienvenue dans l’univers Picard! Au programme : L’appel de l’orignal (20 décembre); L’oie des neiges (21 décembre); La quête du saumon (27 décembre); Le foie gras (28 décembre); Le homard monstre (3 janvier); La grande boucherie (4 janvier); Au pays du castor (11 janvier).
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  • 3 months later...

Has anybody had the pleasure of dining at APdC recently? I haven't been in at least a year and I just hoping that it's still the hedonistic delight I remember! I want to take my boyfriend for his birthday. He's never been and he deserves something extra special!

Also, I was reviewing the thread and several people mentioned the lobster rolls served in the summertime. Does anyone know if they're on the menu every summer? If they do, I have yet another reason to pray for melting snow!

Thanks!

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Has anybody had the pleasure of dining at APdC recently?  I haven't been in at least a year and I just hoping that it's still the hedonistic delight I remember!  I want to take my boyfriend for his birthday.  He's never been and he deserves something extra special!

Also, I was reviewing the thread and several people mentioned the lobster rolls served in the summertime.  Does anyone know if they're on the menu every summer?  If they do, I have yet another reason to pray for melting snow!

Thanks!

My Godson ate there a couple of weeks ago and reported that it was as awesome as ever. The lobster roll (Guédille) has been on the Summer menu for several years now so there's every reason to expect it to be on the menu this year as well.

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  • 1 month later...

I ate at Au Pied de Cochon last night, and it was quite good. I had the Cochonailles, the Plogue à Champlain, and the Pouding chômeur, as well as several mugs of the Pied de Cochon beer. The cochonailles was marvelous, absolutely some of the best charcuterie I have ever had. I thought the Plogue was tasty, but much too sweet (take this with a grain of salt, of course: I don't care for sweet entrees). The Pouding was very good, and was actually somewhat less sweet than the plogue was! The service was laid back but not poor, and the place was hopping. We had 8:00pm reservations and were seated within a few minutes of that time, and it was basically packed the whole time we were there. I don't know how different the atmosphere is on a night when the Canadiens win, though :wink: . A few words of warning to tourists: first, there is no signage at all, so make sure you have the address written down, and second, the floor is very slippery. We watched one unfortunate guest take quite the spill on her way in. Tread with care!

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Hey kids!

I just realized that I forgot to reply after we ate at APdC recently. Probably because I thought that everything was fantastic as ever!

My boyfriend got a ridiculously ironic twist of fate tho! He has an inexplicable aversion to eggs, and ordered the Duck Carpaccio, which came with a perfectly poached egg on the corner of the plate. Not so bad, if he hadn't also ordered the Salmon Pot Pie, which was served alongside a giant bowl of egg sauce! Happy birthday baby, right?! Our server was gracious enough to replace it for him, so the day was saved! That'll learn him to ask more questions when faced with minimal menu descriptions! lol!

Overall we had an amazing dinner. We did pre-aps and aperatifs through desserts with digestifs and loved every moment. The Cromesquis were, as always, a highlight for me. I had the Duck In A Can for the first time; I couldn't possibly say enough about it! My friend had the Fois Gras burger, which to me would have been too much of a good thing! I forget what everyone else had, but I finished the night with the Churros and Cafe Robidoux. I definitely remember it was delicious, but I blame the Cafe for forgetting what everyone else had!

I am very happy to say that the passage of time has by no means diminished the APdC experience!

Also, I recall reading a lot of posts about the unkepmt appearance of the cooks. Those who found that troubling may be pleased to hear that the cooks now wear uniforms - albeit gas station-style work shirts(!) The cooks' uniforms never particularly bothered me, but I must say I think these uniforms are apt!

I now await lobster roll season...

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  • 4 weeks later...

Went yesterday night as a stranger in town. Found it very annoying and mostly scandalously expensive. It's not bad -- even pleasant -- , but it's still low end, in a can indeed, food at fine dining prices and in a very uncomfortable setting. That looks like a good business, but why I should have spent some of my foodie time in Montréal here is beyond my comprehension. I'd much better go back to My Canh on Saint Laurent for a 8 eur Pho soup, way better, way cheaper, and at least I felt respected. I am revolted by the indigence of this place.

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Went yesterday night as a stranger in town. Found it very annoying and mostly scandalously expensive. It's not bad -- even pleasant -- , but it's still low end, in a can indeed, food at fine dining prices and in a very uncomfortable setting. That looks like a good business, but why I should have spent some of my foodie time in Montréal here is beyond my comprehension. I'd much better go back to My Canh on Saint Laurent for a 8 eur Pho soup, way better, way cheaper, and at least I felt respected. I am revolted by the indigence of this place.

Julot, it's too bad you didn't enjoy APdC! Also, it's funny that you're in Montreal - I'm going to Paris this afternoon. We should have swapped apartments! Enjoy the rest of your visit!

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  • 2 weeks later...
I am revolted by the indigence of this place.

As someone who felt wholly indulged by APdC, I'm fascinated by this. What exactly was indigent about it? Or are you being hyperbolic for some reason?

Oh good, it's not just me - I was about to ask essentially the same thing. I've read where Picard said something like you either get it or you don't, and I understand that - it isn't necessarily everyone's kind of place. It is very specific, unabashedly so, but even if I didn't like it (OK, love it), I think I'd appreciate the intent. I'venever had the pleasure of dining in a more sincere restaurant, and I mean that in the best possible way. I found the whole staff to be extremely professional, sweet and thoughtful, and the food inspired.

I'm completely fine with everyone liking different things, but I'm baffled that APdC could seem to merit such scorn.

"Life itself is the proper binge" Julia Child

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm visiting Montreal on July 5th, and am curious about the Foie Gras Poutine. Since I might not get a chance to go to the restaurant (not enough time), can I just pop in and see if I can get a seat? Or would I need a reservation?

Thanks!

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If you go pretty late, I'm guessing you might be ok for a single seat at the bar. I once went around 10h30 for a "light snack" and got seated almost immediately (Finally went for some cromesquis, a Plogue and a pouding chomeur.) Since this is high season for tourism, I'm not sure it'd be that easy.

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