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Au Pied du Cochon


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#61 Adrian

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 07:28 PM

I was there this summer for the first time in a couple years and was reminded how wonderfully vulgar the place is. I think it's physically impossible to finish a meal there and feel good about yourself. What did surprise me is that it no longer feels quite as fresh and unique as it once did. Back in 2002 or so, there were few other places doing anything like PDC. Now, lots of the things that were so unique, the copious amounts if pig, the modern interpretations of traditional local comfort food, the charcuterie, are being done elsewhere and with more precision (although nowhere else has been able to figure out what makes the poutine special, and no one else uses foie gras with such abandon). What is still unique is that it's the perfect representation of a certain strain of Quebecois culture and probably a restaurant similar in concept couldn't exist anywhere else. I think in most other places patrons and critics would miss the point, call the place vulgar, and be done with it. PDC is maybe the most joyful restaurant I've ever visited.

Earlier this year I was at the Breslin (probably the closest you can get to PDC in New York) for a birthday at the chef's table. Placed with much pomp at the center of our table was a whole roast suckling pig. The kitchen cooked it beautifully (although, as with Bloomfield's other restaurant, I found everything a little too salty) - the skin was evenly crisp and the meat was moist. Still, some of the girls at the table, svelte and wearing expensive cocktail dresses, turned green at the sight of the thing. I couldn't help but think of the same sort of girls in Montreal, equally as thin, equally as well heeled, digging the cheek meat out of a slightly less expertly prepared pig's head at PDC.

I think you need to interpret what I'm saying in a reasonable way.


#62 Sneakeater

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 07:37 PM

I'm moving to Montreal.
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#63 Sneakeater

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 07:40 PM

Although, I have to say that I once had occassion to take two Svelte Young Women In Cocktail Dresses to the Breslin. (Don't ask.) One of them dove into the stuffed pig foot (figuratively); the other turned that shade of pale green.

You can guess which one I'm still seeing.

(When she discovered Gregory Pugin's tete de veau at Veritas, it was like going home for her.)
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#64 Adrian

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 08:45 PM

Although, I have to say that I once had occassion to take two Svelte Young Women In Cocktail Dresses to the Breslin. (Don't ask.) One of them dove into the stuffed pig foot (figuratively); the other turned that shade of pale green.

You can guess which one I'm still seeing.

(When she discovered Gregory Pugin's tete de veau at Veritas, it was like going home for her.)


I contrast the revolted girls with my friend’s fiancée (herself a SYWICD) who merely rolled her eyes, laughed and spooned herself some more fennel when he very nearly started making out with the pig’s skull. No wonder they’re so happy together.

The poor girl probably thought that she was supposed to be disgusted by the trotter. Moving to Montreal would mean that the test of character you used at the Breslin wouldn’t yield a clean result. You’d have to take them both home (and spend the night tending to their foie gras hangovers).

I think you need to interpret what I'm saying in a reasonable way.


#65 Orik

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 08:57 PM

I was there this summer for the first time in a couple years and was reminded how wonderfully vulgar the place is. I think it's physically impossible to finish a meal there and feel good about yourself. What did surprise me is that it no longer feels quite as fresh and unique as it once did. Back in 2002 or so, there were few other places doing anything like PDC. Now, lots of the things that were so unique, the copious amounts if pig, the modern interpretations of traditional local comfort food, the charcuterie, are being done elsewhere and with more precision (although nowhere else has been able to figure out what makes the poutine special, and no one else uses foie gras with such abandon). What is still unique is that it's the perfect representation of a certain strain of Quebecois culture and probably a restaurant similar in concept couldn't exist anywhere else. I think in most other places patrons and critics would miss the point, call the place vulgar, and be done with it. PDC is maybe the most joyful restaurant I've ever visited.

Earlier this year I was at the Breslin (probably the closest you can get to PDC in New York) for a birthday at the chef's table. Placed with much pomp at the center of our table was a whole roast suckling pig. The kitchen cooked it beautifully (although, as with Bloomfield's other restaurant, I found everything a little too salty) - the skin was evenly crisp and the meat was moist. Still, some of the girls at the table, svelte and wearing expensive cocktail dresses, turned green at the sight of the thing. I couldn't help but think of the same sort of girls in Montreal, equally as thin, equally as well heeled, digging the cheek meat out of a slightly less expertly prepared pig's head at PDC.


I was going to post almost exactly the same message in response to Sneakeater. It would be impossible to produce something like PDC (which btw is trying to regain some of its edge now - there were some 9 or 10 specials, all new, something I've never seen there before, but it's never going to be what it was when it opened of course) in New York without the cultural context.

The flip side is that nearly any successful restaurant in Montreal these days, no matter how it describes its cuisine, is selling Quebecouise food, whether they claim it's Italian, "North American", or French (I think there's an exemption for Portuguese). That said, I'll write later about a meal at DNA, where the cuisine is the weirdest thing I've run into for some years (not in an entirely bad way, just really weird).

I was also at the Breslin recently for a whole pig dinner. It's hard to call it a dinner as what you are served is the pig (which is about as beautifully crisped as I've seen anywhere), with a few forgettable sides. I figured that you can sell something like that in nyc if you produce enough of a spectacle (and also because you have a fairly diverse dining public, and a large group offers peer pressure), but that there's no way they could sell 10% of that pig with some potatoes and greens for $60.
I never said that

#66 Adrian

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 09:13 PM

I was going to post almost exactly the same message in response to Sneakeater. It would be impossible to produce something like PDC (which btw is trying to regain some of its edge now - there were some 9 or 10 specials, all new, something I've never seen there before, but it's never going to be what it was when it opened of course) in New York without the cultural context.

The flip side is that nearly any successful restaurant in Montreal these days, no matter how it describes its cuisine, is selling Quebecouise food, whether they claim it's Italian, "North American", or French (I think there's an exemption for Portuguese). That said, I'll write later about a meal at DNA, where the cuisine is the weirdest thing I've run into for some years (not in an entirely bad way, just really weird).

I was also at the Breslin recently for a whole pig dinner. It's hard to call it a dinner as what you are served is the pig (which is about as beautifully crisped as I've seen anywhere), with a few forgettable sides. I figured that you can sell something like that in nyc if you produce enough of a spectacle (and also because you have a fairly diverse dining public, and a large group offers peer pressure), but that there's no way they could sell 10% of that pig with some potatoes and greens for $60.


Agreed. There was a tuna collar for two (more like eight) when I was there this summer and a few other interesting specials.

As for Quebecois cuisine, it's one of the reasons I find eating in Montreal so fascinating. Although I haven't been to DNA or many of the newer openings, Toque, Club Chasse et Peche, PDC, Joe Beef, Atelier, and even places like Pinxo and La Colombe are showing the range of possibility within a fairly particular and local genre. The food at each place both clearly personal and clearly part of a broader movement towards a Quebecois cuisine. It's not like with many of the NBC or New American places where I find the food pretty interchangeable. No one is going to mistake Picard's food for Morin's or Pelletier's for Laprise's. I find that very compelling even if the execution isn't always perfect (although sometimes it's very close).

I think you need to interpret what I'm saying in a reasonable way.


#67 Sneakeater

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 09:22 PM

Seriously. I was considering moving to Amsterdam if things continued the way they seem to be going here. But maybe I'll just move to Montreal.
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#68 Orik

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 03:35 PM

Amazingly enough, pig's head is apparently served as a special at the somewhat self-parodizing institution fatty cue:

http://blogs.village...kin_preview.php

Well, it's half a head and the skin is described as inedible, not at all the case at APDC (and at $45 per half head without the scallops or anything it's significantly more expensive than at APDC), and it's served with gloves because supposedly it's not properly cooked and can't be cut with knife and fork...

And as if to prove a point about how this is viewed in nyc:

In general it was delicious, but I'm not sure I'm ready to do it again for another year or so.... Of course, the cholesterol-fearless will actually eat the fat itself, but after a bite or two, you realize it's too rich, even for you...


I never said that

#69 Adrian

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 04:46 PM

Amazingly enough, pig's head is apparently served as a special at the somewhat self-parodizing institution fatty cue:

http://blogs.village...kin_preview.php

Well, it's half a head and the skin is described as inedible, not at all the case at APDC (and at $45 per half head without the scallops or anything it's significantly more expensive than at APDC), and it's served with gloves because supposedly it's not properly cooked and can't be cut with knife and fork...

And as if to prove a point about how this is viewed in nyc:

In general it was delicious, but I'm not sure I'm ready to do it again for another year or so.... Of course, the cholesterol-fearless will actually eat the fat itself, but after a bite or two, you realize it's too rich, even for you...



They also serve a pig's head for two at Craigie on Main in Boston. It's $60 and is surely prepared much better than that monstrosity at Fatty Cue (ie. you can actually eat the skin). When I had it, before they plopped down the head, they first served me a meticulously arranged plate of root vegetables with a saucer of veal jus. It probably should have come with a side of pink lipstick as well.

I think you need to interpret what I'm saying in a reasonable way.


#70 Rail Paul

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 12:04 AM

The Wall Street Journal has a weekend travel mention of Cabane à Sucre Au Pied de Cochon, the newest restaurant from Martin Picard. Specifically, the deep fried pancake with maple cream syrup.

The pancakes are fried in a few inches of duck fat, and the conventional serving is with maple syrup only. For this article, the chef adds cream and raspberries.

Several comments note the recipe is identical to the Danish Aebliskiver. The recipe in the article substitutes canola oil for the duck fat

Ingredients

2 cups milk

3 eggs

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour

2½ tablespoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons baking powder

Salt, to taste

¼ teaspoon sugar

Canola or peanut oil, for frying

1 cup maple syrup

½ cup cream

½ cup frozen raspberries


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