Saturday, April 23, 2011

Au Pied de Cochon

I ate a lot of pork at this restaurant.  When I say a lot of pork, I don't just mean a large volume of pork.  My entree contained no fewer than four preparations of pork served over mashed potatoes that were at least 50% cheese.  Did I mention this is sort of a fancy place?

We were inspired to go to Au Pied de Cochon after seeing the insanity that is Head Chef Martin Picard on Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.  Seriously, this guy seems more than a little bit nuts.  His food, however, is amazing.

Our experience wasn't quite as overwhelming as the one shown in the video (and involved far less foie gras).  Half the people present were, more or less, able to finish their dinner.  Not without significant work mind you, and with no room at all for dessert, but still.  I finished my entree (eventually), but was literally not hungry for days afterwords.  Compared to Au Pied de Cochon, La Banquise was just a preview of coming attractions.

For an entree, I ordered the PDC Melting Pot.  I had read online that it included pork and mashed potatoes.  With this in mind, I was less than prepared when a pot of sausages, pork, potatoes, mushrooms, and duck fat arrived.  This isn't my photo, but someone on Flickr got a photo that sort of does this monstrosity justice.  From what I could tell, the contents included boudin noir (blood sausage), pork sausage, pork belly, and pork shoulder.  All of this was served over mashed potatoes that included a metric (this was Canada after all) ton of cheese, mushrooms, and duck fat.  It was incredible.

Objectively, potatoes with that much cheese and fat couldn't be anything less than amazing.  I'm normally not the biggest fan of boudin noir when served on its own, but even that was really good.  Combined with the potatoes, I could pretty much eat it all day, every day.  I'd be a million pounds and have a heart attack a week, but I could do it.  The rest of the pork products were equally good, with the pork belly being my favorite I think.

We had a (nearly) vegetarian lunch many hours before going to Au Pied de Cochon.  In retrospect, this was probably a good thing.  Aside from lunch being amazing (and it totally was), Au Pied de Cochon is not the place to go if you are looking for anything resembling plant-based nutrition.  I thought (and still think) that the food was basically the best thing ever.  If I'm ever in Montreal again, I'll be making a stop at Au Pied de Cochon.

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