Au Pied de Cochon

Pig Head for Two

*Problems! Problems!*

What we had here was:

  1. Beautifully baked until dark brown, nutty crusty baguette whose inside is truly fluffy and soft, with butter (amazing)
  2. Foie Gras Cromesquis (it pops and melt in your mouth!)
  3. Veal bone marrow with caviar, touch of maple syrup, toast (sweet & savory)
  4. Duck in a Can (a must try)
  5. Stuffed Pied de Cochon with Foie Gros (the pig foot)
  6. Sugar Pie for Two & Vanilla Ice Cream
  7. Cappuccino & Latte

Problem 1  As you can see from what we ordered, we came to think, even before starting the main, that the food are not for us since everything seemed too greasy to finish – they are certainly tasty, though. But that’s because we wanted to try PDC’s popular menus, which are pretty much all about foie gras, pork (and fat), duck (and fat)! Plus, our appetizer was deep fried foie gras, a.k.a. deep fried breaded oil nuggets, and bone marrow!!!

When Chef Picard and two other partners opened this restaurant in 2001, the concept introduced to PDC was “cultural mash-up”: American in terms of its portion (PDC is definitely not French, portionwise!) and its relative readiness of preparation, and Quebecker French/French cuisine. It is easy to see that is why Poutine Topped with Foie Gras is said to be the PDC’s signature dish, of many Picard’s creative ones there.

So if we order next time any fresh salad or seafood platter, combined with PDC’s original dishes, it’d be much more appetizing and enjoyable throughout the whole meal there. (The caviar on top of veal bone marrow didn’t do anything to prevent us from reaching the fat saturation point where we felt that even the house mashed potato was greasy, mixed with curd cheese and heavy cream. Ha ha……)

Problem 2  Also I got attached too much to the baguette which was so tasty. I finished 1/3 of that big whole baguette *alone* that they gave us, asked them MORE though I do care now about my daily carbohydrate intake. Totally ignore the right daily portion because it is the best baguette I’ve ever had! So, do not like the bread at PDC!

truly unforgettable baguette freshly baked daily

Problem 3  The whole meal, from appetizers to desserts, took three hours. Heard some complaining slow service, but actually PDC seems to serve the food using certain time intervals depending on the type. Are they following traditional French dinner guideline? Is it because of the long cooking time to serve the pig foot? Never know as an ordinary diner!

Problem 4  We sat on high stools at the counter to look into its open kitchen. I’m a person who don’t feel comfy when my feet are not on the ground. What about you? Besides, the restaurant was extremely loud between 9 to 11. Think about it. It is TWO @#$%ing hours sitting on a high stool, the chefs right in front of you constantly shout, and they are so so BUSY making notoriously popular dishes. The staff are running around the entire restaurant. Yeah yeah I am part of the scene, but remain being a bystander, taking pictures, looking around, waiting for our orders which never come out soon, and mostly, eating bread and butter… :P

A chef making a caramelized sugar crust of creme brulee

The famous can!

Problem 5   My boyfriend goes, “Baby! the Chef came in just now! Do you see him?” I was gasping to have more bites of our mains. Yes, Martin Picard came in with his two cute looking kids around 11:15. He was checking out the seafood counter and talking to his staff. Wow! Finally! Here comes Chef Picard! When he passed by us, I gazed into his eyes and said, “Hello~ Hi~” Picard was smiling back to me very nicely, “Bon soir~ Bon soir~”  I should’ve asked him that I really really wanted to take a picture with him..!  :(

What I noticed was that Picard’s appearance did lighten up somewhat tired atmosphere in the restaurant. Our waitress suddenly had a nice powerful energy in her voice and face. Other staff as well got warmth in their eyes after he came in. Picard must be their core source of work-motivation in the food industry. It was awesome to see that.

Around midnight. Find Chef Martin Picard in this pic!! :D

Problem 6   Great sugar pie for two. If this was the highlight of my meal at PDC, would you feel like getting rid of me? … A touch of cream on top of the gently warmed-up pie with perfectly flaky buttery crust and caramel-y (maple sugar? -not sure) sugar custard. It was to-die-for, and it’s OK if you say I’m insulting the PDC’s art of cuisine. It came with vanilla ice cream in a massive American milk shake glass, the one that you easily see at an American diner, and the ice cream was not sweet like other regular ones I’ve had! Probably it was to balance the sweetness of the sugar pie, but the pie itself was not that sweet, nicely done! Just an amazing sugar pie experience at PDC, along with my fave, the baguette. LOL Did I just make a bunch of haters?

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