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Is APdC possible for VeggieTypes?

VivreManger May 28, 2007 10:34 AM

Does au Pied de Cochon have much on its menu to satisfy veggie types, fish --not foie gras-- eating diners? I have been there twice and enjoyed everything, though I wish the frites had been a bit crispier. However some of my would-be dining companions won't eat fat, liver, pork and shell-fish.

They like light soups, salads, lots of vegetables, and fish with scales. Perhaps if they have been good for most of the meal, they will take a bite of pudding chomeur at the end.

In July will there be enough on the menu, perhaps fish from the Gaspe, to satisfy them? Or is this a lost cause?

  1. b
    batterypark May 30, 2007 07:15 PM

    If you are sensitive to your friends' inclinations, consider this a lost cause.
    There are so many places that don't scream out "yummy dead animals" in Montreal that you should spare your friends the sight and smell of so much red meat. I, personally, am looking forward to pigging out at APdC, but would attempt to go there without people who might find the whole enterprise offensive.

    2 Replies
    1. re: batterypark
      VivreManger May 30, 2007 07:39 PM

      Actually they are quite tolerant of what others eat. Their only concern is what they put into their own mouths.

      1. re: VivreManger
        eoj May 31, 2007 09:30 AM

        They may be polite, but they will probably enjoy themselves a lot more at another restaurant.

    2. carswell May 30, 2007 06:39 PM

      Another place to add to your short list is Au cinquième péché, which always has one or two purely vegetarian options on its menu (most notably the sweet potato gnocchi, the kind of dish that almost convinces me I wouldn't suffer unduly if I swore off meat) as well as fish dishes. Carnivores will find plenty to interest them (sweetbreads, flank steak, veal cheeks, etc.).

      1. eoj May 29, 2007 05:09 PM

        what's the point? don't try to make a clearly unsuited restaurant fit them, find a restaurant that you'll all enjoy.

        1 Reply
        1. re: eoj
          tombombadillo May 29, 2007 08:00 PM

          Please check Happy Cow.net(under the category of Montreal restaurants), also please google Amanda's kitchen, sorry I do not have the direct link.
          These sites will be very helpful.
          (most veggies do so by choice, not due to poverty or religion as in India)

        2. e
          ElisaM May 29, 2007 07:56 AM

          One of the things I love about APDC is the greasy, decadent, overwhelmingly meaty aroma that hits you as soon as you walk in the door. Your friends may not like this so much.

          5 Replies
          1. re: ElisaM
            tombombadillo May 29, 2007 11:55 AM

            Most vegetarians have heard of Gary Null. He mentioned taking a trip to a 4**** Parisian (left or right bank, I can't recall) restaurant and getting a full 7 course meal from a non vegetarian restaurant. The meal was purely vegetarian with with no dairy or fish.
            The point is with all of the wonderful restos in this superlative foodie town, why get caught up over a place called "Pigs Foot"!
            Brunoise, Lemeac, L'Express, Chez L'Epicier, Toque, Petit Plateau, Petit Extra, and any traditional French resto that is recommended on this board should satisfy and enthrall any vegetarian palate!!!!

            1. re: tombombadillo
              lagatta May 29, 2007 03:02 PM

              I'm not vegetarian (though I am not enough of a meat-eater to enjoy Au Pied du cochon) and had never heard of Gary Null, though my work requires me to be reasonably well-informed about most things. (I googled him of course). He is probably better known in the US. (Just to pull yer crank - nicely - most vegetarians live in India, and I'm sure few have heard of Gary Null...) That is a good story though. Actually I think he was lucky; many vegetarians I know have not fared as well in Paris and I started up a topic on the "France" board (and on Lonely Planet Thorn Tree) because a vegetarian friend of mine is now visiting Paris for the first time.

              I most certainly would opt for somewhere else. Lots of good restos in Montréal, even though we are still mourning Les Chèvres.

              And since these parties eat fish, that opens up many more possibilities!

              1. re: lagatta
                tombombadillo May 29, 2007 04:21 PM

                Interesting, I guess if you went to California or Florida, or New York, folks would be kind of put off by that India remark, If you lived anywhere in Eurpoe you would have heard of him.
                The pont is French cuisine regardless of which region and whether nouveau or traditional is flexible enough, to accomodate a purely vegan palet!

                1. re: tombombadillo
                  lagatta May 29, 2007 04:43 PM

                  Hmm, I beg to differ. Most of my friends in France and Italy have certainly not heard of that person (and they are a highly-educated lot, many in media-related fields) and I don't think all of the more Northern folk have either. (Sorry, I really don't want to start an argument about a silly point, but I have lived in Europe on many occasions for long periods of time).

                  Indeed, in France, I've had so many harvest-time meals that were really purely vegan - or perhaps a bit of butter if north of the Loire - simply because French farmers (professional or hobby) are so thrifty that we have to eat all those wonderful vegetables.

                  Why would they be put off by the India remark? There are regions of South India where hundreds of millions of people are vegetarian. That is more than the total population of California, Florida or NY.

                  Indeed, la cuisine française is a thing of wonder. (Anche quella italiana, la cucina madre, naturalmente)...

                  But we have to come up with good suggestions for our friend. I've been wracking my brains about this... I can't think of anywhere that upscale - Le Petit Alep and La Sala Rosa are very veg friendly, but not as much "creative" French or Québécois cookery...

              2. re: tombombadillo
                carswell May 30, 2007 06:32 PM

                "Brunoise, Lemeac, L'Express, Chez L'Epicier, Toque, Petit Plateau, Petit Extra, and any traditional French resto that is recommended on this board should satisfy and enthrall any vegetarian palate!!!!"

                Huh? While a pescatarian could certainly cobble together a decent meal at most if not all the places you list, a strict vegetarian would have a much harder time of it and, at some of them (Le P'tit Plateau, for example), would probably end up ordering only a green salad and dessert. Montreal's restaurants, especially the French ones, are not very vegetarian friendly, especially if the vegetarian wants to eat something other than an omelet, cheese, bread and "our delightful medley of steamed vegetables."

            2. Gary Soup May 28, 2007 12:28 PM

              Somehow this reminds me of an old story from the late columnist Herb Caen's column about a San Franciscan going to a bistro in Paris and asking for a decaf coffee drink. The barman simply glared at him and said "Monsieur, ce n'est pas une pharmacie."

              I don't think that restos should be all things to all people, and APdC shouldn't have to bend its philosophy.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Gary Soup
                VivreManger May 28, 2007 01:53 PM

                I quite agree, but for the record today one finds decaf in most Paris bistros. Caen did not live long enough.

                As for aPdC's menu, I am not asking them to change their offerings, simply trying to learn what might allow me to sell the place to those unsympathetic to its reputation. Picard used to have a wildly out of date website with an out of date menu, but even that has disappeared, I believe.

                1. re: VivreManger
                  Moosemeat May 28, 2007 02:14 PM

                  The menu he has online now is pretty up to date - www.restaurantaupieddecochon.ca
                  I was there two weeks ago and the online menu matches up pretty well with my memory. Unfortunately for you (fortunately for most) APdC just isn't a place for light fare.

                  1. re: Moosemeat
                    VivreManger May 29, 2007 05:31 AM

                    Thanks for the website URL. It is far superior to the old one that was filled with bells and whistles and unreliable info.

                    Has anyone had the guinea hen for two? That strikes me as potentially a dish that my friends could manage. Hen, along with greens, tomato tart, and the catch of the day, they would not starve.

                    1. re: VivreManger
                      rcianci May 29, 2007 06:14 AM

                      Haven't tried it yet. However, the recipe is in the cookbook. It includes braised cabbage which contains both butter and bacon. Your friends could simply push this aside, I suppose. Also, in every picture I've seen of the dish, the gnarled claw-like feet are still attached to the legs. Would this bother your friends?

              2. r
                rcianci May 28, 2007 11:05 AM

                There is usually at least one fish with scales selection on the menu, particularly now through September. However it sounds like your friends are into "eating light" and that you're simply not going to find at Picard's table. If I were you, I'd consider BaZaar, Racha Bassoul's new venture.

                2 Replies
                1. re: rcianci
                  VivreManger May 28, 2007 11:24 AM

                  My wife loved les Chevres and the others would have too, but BaZaar might do the trick, I thought that the Chevres chefs were opening another cheaper place. Or has that yet to happen? Where are Patrice and Stelio working now?

                  I should add that all will eat chicken and meat not drenched in butter. But tarte tourtiere is not for them.

                  1. re: VivreManger
                    Campofiorin May 28, 2007 02:01 PM

                    Patrice has been the pastry chef at Laloux for a few months now.

                2. SnackHappy May 28, 2007 10:43 AM

                  APDC would be wasted on your friends. They would probably spend the whole night complaining about how fat everything was.

                  My suggestion: Make some new friends.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: SnackHappy
                    lagatta May 28, 2007 11:09 AM

                    Isn't there fresh fish there now?

                    I have never gone there because like your friends I'm not a big meat eater (though I suspect I'm not nearly as fat-phobic as they are).

                    I'm always on the lookout for places who will satisfy a group of close friends ranging from an Argentinean who ONLY eats meat to a couple of real vegetarians who don't eat any fish. Any ideas, of restos as good as Au pied du cochon? Often we wind up at places such as Le Petit Alep, though that, while good, is more casual dining and not as "creative".

                    Les Chèvres was the obvious place to take your veg friends, but alas it is closed.

                  2. c
                    C70 May 28, 2007 10:38 AM

                    hmm.. I had grilled tuna there once.

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