Thursday, July 22, 2010

Our Annual Au Pied De Cochon Dinner & The Tête De Cochon

Fougoo, Redneckhunter & I have loved our dinners at Montreal's Au Pied De Cochon going on for 4 years now. This year, we rounded up a several cousins from NYC to join us, which meant. . . more food!
I've had been eying the Tête de Cochon on their menu since we started planning our Montreal visit, so even though the APDC menu said it was a dish designed for 2, I knew that if we had 6, we would be able to tackle it.
More on that later. We started with a set of foie gras cromesquis - the deep fried cubes of liquid foie gras. You just pop the whole piece in your mouth, and when you bite, it's a wonderful splash of foie gras.

This year, we opted to not have wine with dinner. Instead Redneckhunter and Stacey ordered APDC's own house beer, while Xtine and I ordered some cocktails. We both a lemon-lime slush with vodka, and I ordered a very fresh raspberry mojito- both great for the heat of July.

Of course, it was imperative we order our compulsory plate of foie gras poutine- duck fat fries, foie gras gravy, fresh local cheese curds, and a slab of seared foie gras. It still is a perfect summation of APDC's outrageous take of Quebecois food.

We shared a very generous order of beef tartare. It was good, not quite as good as the one we had at Le Quartier Général earlier in the weekend, but good.

To prevent meat overload, Stacey wanted us to order some veggies, so we got a cone of wonderful deep fried zucchini blossoms.

Redneckhunter wanted again this year to get APDC's plateau of fresh seafood. I would say this year's platter was better than last year's. It was loaded with items like oysters, clams, mussels, razor clam, small snails, squid, conch, and fried cod. It came with housemade tartar and mignonette sauces.

Picking the small snails out of their shells with a toothpick reminded me of eating snails at a Chinese restaurant when I was young.

Since it was the first time for a few members of our dinner party, we ordered the Duck in a Can.
It's presented with a piece of toast and celery root puree on a plate. Then, the can is brought tableside. It is loaded with duck, foie gras, cabbage cooked with lardons, and a balsamic venison-based glaze.

The can has been heated, and is opened up a tableside and it's contents are poured onto the plate.
The combination of all those flavors and textures are just so spectacular. We did not get this the last time we ate at APDC, so it was like the return of an old friend.

A repeat from last year's visit was the APDC Lobster Roll. Served up in a toasted brioche, it was packed with lobster, cheese curds, lettuce, mayo with pieces of foie gras on top drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

The last entree was the Tête de Cochon. It is the whole head of a small pig slow roasted with herbs. Our was accompanied by a large lobster, it's head stuck in the pig's mouth, and then the pig's tongue sticking from the lobster's head. To the side was a pot of low cooked root vegetables and the generous lobster tail. Slathered over the eyes of the pig like a blindfold was APDC mashed potatoes, made with large amounts of cheese curds.

The meat from the pig's head was so tender, the gentlest push of a fork would peel off the meat and skin. Everyone got to try the wonderful cheeks, jowls, and ears. Redneckhunter & I both had an eye- which had the texture of a firm gelee with a small pop like a pea on the inside. The flavor was all pork- so good.
At first we figured that they surely would not leave the brain in, but no, APDC had served the pig's head in it's entirety. We dug into the delicious brain which had the consistency of egg yolk or firm tofu. Xtine was hesitant to try it, but once she did, she had seconds.
As you can see, we picked the whole skull clean. I think we may have terrified people near our table especially when we devoured the brain.

We certainly could not leave without dessert. We ordered the Dark Chocolate 'Pot de crème', the pecan pie, and an item we have not had since our first dinner there, the Pudding Chômeur.
Fougoo mentioned that she had eaten so much food our first trip up, that she had no recollection of trying the Pudding Chômeur, but since she paced herself well this night, she really enjoyed it. It is basically a hot maple syrup soup with a biscuit floating in it- a classic Quebecois dessert.

We hope next time we go up to Au Pied De Cochon to get the lamb for 4. Can't wait.

536 ave Duluth est
Montréal, QC H2L 1A9
(514) 281-1114


fougoo said...

I do remember eating the pudding chomeur the first time... I just didn't enjoy it because it was so sweet and rich and I was overstuffed.

This time I loved it!

The Benny's said...

OMG... Drool, drool drool :-)

BrookLEn said...

Brilliant, the best APDC yet.

Mr. Micro said...

We have reservations here next month. I can't freakin' wait! Great post.