Au Pied De Cochon
Au Pied De Cochon
536 Avenue Duluth E
Montréal, QC H2L 1A9
If Gluttony truly is a sin, then you'd be committing it ten times over with one visit to Au Pied De Cochon.
The brainchild of one Martin Picard, Au Pied de Cochon stands as one of the more celebrated restaurants in Montreal. Mr. Picard would love nothing more than for you to have a clogged artery, extra cushion, or at the very least, a severe case of the meat sweats. To drop dead from a heart attack would be the ultimate compliment as this food is rich and he doesn't fein an attempt at hiding it. The menu consists of all things duck (especially foie gras) and pig with many other eclectic items thrown into the mix.
The place itself can be rather difficult to find as there is no signage out front and the only discernible thing of note is a giant pig. Reservations are a must at this establishment and if possible, try to make them at least 2 weeks in advance. (Also, if you like, try asking for the first seats at the bar as you will get a full view of the kitchen to add a bit of a show to your dinner)
There are quite a bit of choices for your apps so we started with the Duck Carpaccio ($13) which were slices of raw duck that were topped with mushrooms, chives, cheese, and an egg yolk. The Duck Carpaccio was a dish I was clamoring to order as I had never had carpaccio of duck before, but I found it a bit underwhelming. The ingredients never meshed together very well and though the duck had a subtle flavor, it took a backseat to the sharper tastes of the chives and the egg yolk. On another visit with a close friend of mine from Miami, we ordered the bison tartare temaki, which was done so beautifully. The bison was light and the raw egg added a nice touch.
On another visit, I was able to share their PDC's Melting Pot. It was a variety of meats that included the boudin noir (blood sausage), pork belly, and other sausages with mushrooms. The dish is not the largest, but it seemed so filling, especially for an appetizer. I'm not the biggest fan of boudin noir, and this one was a bit more "moist" than I had hoped. The pork belly was so good. Wish I could just order more pork belly, but then again, we had more entrees to come...
We indulged in their namesake Pied de Cochon ($22), which literally translates to a pig's foot. I've had many variations of pig's feet and this one seemed to have encompassed a bit of them all, oddly enough. The skin was left on and it maintained its chewy gelatinous texture. The meat underneath was fork tender as it seemingly roasted under the skin. The meat was very tasty and came served atop a bed of mashed potatoes. This dish is rather heavy though so be prepared to share. (The foie gras chunk on top kind of looks like the creature from Alien, but tastes way better...)
Duck is probably my favorite food ever, so my visits typically include any duck dish, which APDC is ideal for. We ordered the Duck Magret in Mushroom Sauce for another entree. It was a duck breast cooked medium rare with a heaping serving of mushroom gravy (brown) over the top. The looks weren't very appealing to me, and I was afraid the gravy would overpower the duck flavor, but not all! The duck meat was a bit chewy, but seasoned so well and meshed nicely with the mushroom sauce.
My duck obsession continues with an order of the Duck in a Can ($43). This was the dish that drew my attention towards the restaurant. The server brings a plate of mashed potatoes and a small baguette. Then comes a soup can with "Canard Conserve" plastered across it, seemingly store bought. However, when the server opens it up, it plops right onto the mashed potatoes. A fatty duck breast (skin-on) that was marinating in foie gras lays out all over the potatoes. It's actually not a very appetizing sight, but it definitely tastes much better than it looks. The duck breast is a bit too fatty for my liking, but because it was marinating in foie gras, it really made for a hearty meal. The duck is very tender with the fat a bit tough. The bed of mashed potatoes sucked in the foie gras flavor and the baguette was nothing more than a victim as it broke down into mush. Definitely an experience you should have at least once if coming here, though it's not for everybody.
.Service was great and the restaurant was packed on my several visits there. It's not unusual to see a lineup as the place isn't the largest. There are so many other dishes I would love to try like the Foie Gras Poutine or the Pigs Heads, but that will have to be for future visits. Though this is far from the best restaurant in Montreal, there is no doubt that it's reputation deserves your visit.
Ambience: A | Service: A- | Price: A | Food: B+