I went back to Au Pied de Cochon yesterday, and I can absolutly say that you cannot compare both restaurants.
APdC is a brasserie, big hearty excellent meals, lots of very good wines, good service. The ambience is frantic, tables are simply set, silverware and standard, but the glassware is very nice; It's a place to have a party.
The CC&P is a more fancy restaurant, cozy, more intimate, the cooking is the same cozy, intimate, as excellent as the APdC, but touch more elaborate (IMO ).
I depends on what kind of experience you want to have.
I suggest going to APdC and sit at the bar; try having an early dinner; I came at 17:30 yesterday, I could have a chat with the Second in Charge, suggested a few things, and I could watch the whole first service at full force, all cooks going at it, no mistakes (ok, 1 dropped hamburger ), no recall that I could see, all plates delivered on time; quite a feast for the eyes and ears when you are not accustomed to how a kitchen really work when it is behind closed doors.
I made reservations at both, torn between the two!
First up: CC&P.
First observation: great leather chairs.
Shared two appetizers: oysters and risotto.
Six oysters on the shell, each pair prepared differently: two cooked hot with cheese, two others served cold with cream and caviar, two au naturel: all delicious.
The risotto was cooked with shreds of braised pork: luscious, creamy, al dente rice but salty.
Two mains: surf and turf and duck.
The surf and turf was so-so: the lobster tail was meaty enough but no great shakes; the two chunks of Kobe beef were insanely tender and flavourful.
The slices of duck magret: soooooooooo good. The duck confit okay; also salty.
We also shared a plate of veggies: very good porcini with baby spinach that would've been better had they not been so salty (what was up with the salt shaker that night?), creamy parsnip puree, pan- fried white beets, and cold, nutty, tasty white beans.
Scrumptious and not too sweet kumquat tart with a buttery pastry and equally scrumptious and not too sweet brownie-like cake.
Service was efficient and friendly all through-out.
Overall, a good, pleasant experience but not outstanding. But it is worth at least one visit.
AP de C, here we come!
eoj, we were in Montreal this past week and gave AP de C a try. Question: If AP de C is supposed to be "Quebecois" type of food, can you explain what that square fried thing placed on top of my mashed potatoes was? The waitress explained it as pieces of the pig's foot ground up, however, it was quite unappetizing to me and probably requires a taste for it. As you broke through the outer crispy fried crust, what looked like cooked oatmeal came spilling out. I did honestly give it a try, but did not care for the taste at all.
We did think AP de C was a really fun experience, though.
The fried cakes are made from bits of meat and cartilage and gristle that are by-products of boning out the pig's feet. Personally, I like them very much, but I could see how they would be an acquired taste. I don't think they represent a Quebec tradition so much as an approach to food that respects the animal that died and wastes as little of it as possible.
Both very good and quite different vis-a-vis atmosphere and what is on offer.
I tried both during my visit in the Spring and personally I would opt for AP de C because of the good time I had there. The layout promotes a casual good time and large portions.
However, CC et P was also excellent but more like other restaurants I have tried in terms of style and atmosphere.
Not a case of one being "better" than the other. Just different.