Saturday, January 08, 2011

Au Pied de Cochon (Montreal) 01/2011

Everyone here, and a lot of foodies around the world knows about PDC. Taxi drivers don't need an address, indeed there is no sign outside, only the number 536, Concierges react to the name remarking on it's special character and bloggers almost universally write mouth wateringly favourable reviews.
If you've not heard of it let us fill you in.
PDC is a restaurant of extremes. It serves extremely rich, extremely large, and extremely tasty food in extremely unusual presentations at reasonably high prices. As the name suggests they serve lots of pork but they also serve lots of foie gras and duck. Half a dozen foie gras appetizers, starting at $22 for the simplest, foie gras 'nu' which we had up to substantial dishes which alone would make a meal for some. They are renowned for foie gras poutin which is served with french fries in a gravy with shredded cheese. Mains include pigs head, for two, their signature Duck in a can, a gigantic deer steak on the bone and foie gras stuffed pigs trotter ($45) which would feed four.
The meals begin quite benignly with a platter of warm crisp bread and butter.

After a discussion with the waiter, who convinced us that we should reduce the amount of food we were ordering, "lot of food" he repeated several times. the super smooth, melt in the mouth, foie gras on a couple of slices of crisp thin bread gave no hint of what was to follow.
Duck in a can was just that,

a large duck breast with a centimetre + of fat was poured out onto a parsnip or perhaps celariac puree, we couln't tell, with another slab of foie gras on top of it, with a pile of other rich ingredients. Cooked in the can and opened by a waiter at the table, it was tipped out onto the plate ready to eat. No fancy decoration at all. It was lightly seasoned and very moist with great flavour but so very rich. The foie gras stuffed trotter,
more like a hock I thought, was an enormous serve with yet another slab of seared foie gras on it. In among the tender skin and fat and the meat, and there was plenty of that, were some veggies. Broccoli and carrot I think but they were certainly not there for the health conscious. I was stuffed after not more than a third of the dish. Unlike Australia virtually every restaurant happily gives you take away containers for unfinished meals if you ask for them. We finished with a Quebec national dessert pudding Chomeur.
Some thing like a slice of cake soaked in a super sweet syrup with a little extra sugar!!
PDC is the most vital restaurant we've been to in ages. It occupies along room and seats about 40 at bare wood tables with another dozen or so at the bar. They continue to serve from 5.00pm 'till close to midnight, cooking in a big wood fired oven as well as the more regular kitchen in front of a long bar.
All the staff were young, dynamic and helpful
with plenty of spirit. As a chef put it to me, when half the tables were empty near midnight, this is a quiet time, usually we're really pumping much later than this!
PDC could well be renamed Heart Attack House. I bet they've got a defibrillator behind the bar!
An unforgettable meal in an unforgettable place.
Apparently a favourite of Anthony Boudin
Score 14.5/20


modern canvas print said...

Oh this looks lovely, thanks a lot for sharing this great recipe!

Elliot and Sandra said...

Either you artistic fellows have a great love of food or this is just scam advertising! Not hard to tell as there is no recipe!!!@