Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Quebec (inc. Montreal) >
Jul 6, 2007 07:48 PM

au pied de cochon for a non-fois gras lover?

Hi folks, I am new to this site and have been browsing through and appreciate all the good information that everyone has posted. I am traveling to Montreal with my fiancé Aug. 30-Sept. 4. So far I have a reservation at Brunoise on Sat. and was thinking about Au Pied de Cochon for Friday. Here is the thing, I love fois gras and hearty, rich foods in all their glory. However, my fiancé is NOT into really heavy foods. I really want to eat here (and did I mention that Friday is my Birthday!) however I worry that she may not be able to eat. She is adventurous and loves seafood and meat, just not lamb, organ meats and other rich foods. Would she be ok here? I appreciate any feedback you could provide. Thanks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Well! I have the same problem, only in reverse. We've got reservations in a couple of weeks, but I have to be discerning about what I eat while my bf can go all we're mostly eating there for him. I looked at the menu and there's plenty of other stuff. She should be okay =)

    1. APDC should still have some seafood options end of August, early September. Their tomato tarte and fried squash blossoms are lovely. They have some good salads. Your fiancé should be able to find something that pleases.

      Their website has a menu they keep reasonably up to date.


      You know your appetite best of course, but if you want to enjoy Brunoise fully, it might be wise to practice a little restraint at PDC yourself. People who go overboard there tend not to be hungry the next day. Regardless, I hope you enjoy Montreal!

      Au Pied de Cochon
      536 Av Duluth E, Montreal, QC H2L1A9, CA

      1 Reply
      1. re: rcianci

        Glad to have some reassurance!

        Though really, I'm just going along for the poutine and maple sugar pie. I can't have much seafood =/

        We're staying less than a block away from the restaurant, so we should be able to waddle home safely after our meal. haha.

      2. I would skip PDC if I were you. It is definitely a great resto, but in my opinion your fiancee really won't enjoy much. We have been with friends that are either vegetarian or simply not fans of rich foods, and their meals were pretty bland (boring salad or very simple fish--fresh, but not very exciting). The seafood platters will likely be gone by then, and I find them overpriced anyhow. Most here will likely disagree with me----but thats my 2 cents. There are loads of other great restos that you would both enjoy equally, I am sure:)

        17 Replies
        1. re: foodismyfriend

          If fresh seafood and fish bore you, there's really nothing I can say. All I know is that I've eaten seafood all along the quality scale from pristine shellfish that I've pulled out of the ocean myself and eaten on the beach, to tired shriveled clams and oysters that sat out almost too long on a Chinese buffet. The shellfish at APDC is very close to the former and far away from the latter. Getting shellfish to a plate in an inland city restaurant and in such prime condition costs money. I think people who call it overpriced don't understand what they're getting.

          1. re: rcianci

            I knew someone would get their hackles up over this---don't fret friend, just differing opinions, that's all. The fish is fresh, that is great, but I have never seen fish prepared amazingly at PDC--unlike their other meals which are truly out of this world.

            I think we have all eaten fish from all over, fresh and not-so-fresh, good and bad. I know PDC has nice fish, but I assume if I am ordering fish in a restaurant it will be fresh. I also assume that if I pay $250 or more for a shellfish platter, that it will be both fresh and amazing, and in my humble opinion, ours only fit the bill for fresh.
            As for cost, well, we visited La Mer and calculated the cost of our platter. Overpriced and by a mile. My parents grew up in the Gaspé, we visit every summer, so I do understand mark-ups, thank you:)

            1. re: foodismyfriend

              Since when does La Mer regularly stock a wide range of local fish and shellfish caught by small operators and delivered for sale within 24 to 36 hours?

              Though I don't frequent La Mer, I've never, ever encountered seafood there of the quality and freshness of APDC's summer offer.

              1. re: carswell

                I didn't say the fish at La Mer was as fresh as PDC, and obviously most of their stock is coming from big operators. It is admirable that PDC makes an enormous effort to bring fish/shellfish from small operators, I can appreciate that. All I am saying is WHAT they DO with the fish, in my opinion, is not extraordinary. Am I the only one who thinks that simply being extremely fresh fish is not enough? Visit most Maritime provinces and you will be served fish super fresh--not always great meals though.

                As for La Mer, much of their fish is indeed very very fresh and excellent. We have actually seen a proprietor of another well-known poissonnerie in town shopping there. If you develop a good relationship with a couple of the guys working there, they will steer you toward the freshest catches.

                Anywho, I am not trying to be argumentative. I just don't think the fish or shellfish at PDC is great, that's all. Sheesh, you would think people own stock in the restaurant:)

                1. re: foodismyfriend

                  "Am I the only one who thinks that simply being extremely fresh fish is not enough?"

                  Apparently. :)

                  1. re: rcianci

                    Oh brother. Maybe my expectations are too high. I give up :P

                    1. re: foodismyfriend

                      food, I agree with you. Alas I live too far (near Jean-Talon market) to shop at La Mer on a summer's day (I get around by bicycle). I used to work near there (you know, the media city with Radio-Canada/CBC, Radio-Québec etc.) when La Mer opened and it was a revelation.

                      Perhaps I'm a poor freelancer, but I find those prices really too high. Alas Le Poisson rouge, which I liked before, seems to have gone downhill - hope it can recover.

                      Though not a vegetarian (several friends are) I am not a big red meat eater and I am no longer able to digest fatty meals. Oh, I LOVE some good frites, but they will be nude.

                      I would like to ask you your favourite fish, shellfish or other seafood in the Montréal area, whether for an ordinary nosh (I'm fond of Terrasse Lafayette calamari, though at that price they are obviously frozen) or something higher-end to treat friends and relatives who want to eat out.

                      1. re: lagatta

                        Lagatta, looks like we are in a definite minority here, but I am glad I am not the only one that thinks the PDC menu is a tad overpriced. Ferreira is of course always excellent, but not cheap either. Milos, again, I don't think the fish could be fresher but I am not sure you could find a higher pricetag either. Maestro is a bit cheaper, not cheap, and while I am not a huge oyster fan, the fish I have eaten there was excellent. Do share your suggestions too, as we are always in the market for good fish, and haven't found it affordable in many spots. I guess the real answer is cook it at home or grill on your bbq:)

                  2. re: foodismyfriend

                    You're either missing or not addressing my point. APDC has made a heroic effort to source fish and shellfish from local suppliers (eliminating the middlemen in the process) and ensure it is shipped to them within hours of capture. As a result, their fish is better than that of just about any other establishment in town and certainly better -- fresher, more pristine -- than that of *any* fishmonger I'm aware of, including La Mer, where nearly all the fish comes from much further away and is usually days older. Among Montreal fishmongers, La Mer is one of the best, especially now that Nouveau Falero has lost its drive. But, with a few exceptions like Matane shrimp, they don't sell much that is local, let alone less than 36 hours old. APDC's prices are justified because of the effort and high cost involved in procuring a excellent product that is otherwise next to impossible for Montrealers to acquire. And I for one wouldn't want them to do anything more in the way of preparation than they already do; fish that excellent should be prepared as simply as possible in order not to mask its excellence.

                    1. re: carswell

                      But to respond to foodismyfriend's opinion of APDC's seafood platter this summer ,have you had it and found it to be non pareil in comparison with other offerings, restaurant or market, in town?

                      1. re: mrbozo

                        fimf didn't limit his/her initial slagging to the seafood platters, you know. But, no, I haven't had one recently. They've gotten too expensive for my non-high roller's budget and anyway I'm usually more attracted to the fish; indeed, it's about the only draw the restaurant exerts on me these day.

                      2. re: carswell

                        Carswell , "They've gotten too expensive for my non-high roller's budget"

                        If that is the case, then shouldn't you qualify your high praise for the fish/seafood at PDC to the original poster (whose fiance loves seafood)and let them know that the seafood will cost an arm and half a leg?

                        If fresh is what you are looking for and money is no option, I would say Milos over PDC anyhow.

                        As an aside, have you noticed that anytime anyone even whispers a little criticism of PDC on this board, there are bands of others waiting to attack? I don't get it. Love PDC. Love lots of other restos, too.

                        1. re: foodismyfriend

                          APDC is one of Montreal's most talked about restaurants. It perfectly normal that a lot of people are going to have opinions about it. It is also a restaurant that does things in a way that is not everyone's idea of deliciousness. Personally, I love the place, but I can't afford to frequent it too often.

                          1. re: SnackHappy

                            Hey, I love it too. I was among the first to buy the cookbook for hubby when it came out and was sure to have it signed by Picard. Check my other posts--I love that they do things differently than anywhere else and ALWAYS recommend out of town friends to check it out when visiting. That said, I think people need to recognize that one restaurant cannot be all things to all people, and I am sorry, but the fish/seafood at PDC is not their strong suit, and I really don't think PDC is a restaurant to recommend to someone who is visiting and looking for lighter fare. All I am saying is with 5000 restos in the city, surely there is one that the original poster and his fiancee would equally enjoy.

                            1. re: foodismyfriend

                              Oh, I was only adressing your last point. I agree with you about not sending people there if they are looking for light fare or vegetarian options. I understand that APDC is a destination restaurant and that visitors insist on going there despite the fact that they are travelling with people who will most likely hate the place if they are taken there. That's their problem, though. If they insist on taking their cholesterol phobic or foie gras poo-pooing freinds and family, who are we to try and stop them?

                          2. re: foodismyfriend

                            "If that is the case, then shouldn't you qualify your high praise for the fish/seafood at PDC to the original poster (whose fiance loves seafood)and let them know that the seafood will cost an arm and half a leg?"

                            Like everything else about it, APDC's prices have been discussed here ad nauseum. They're also shown on the menu on the resto's website. And, hey, I don't think the fish (as opposed to shellfish) is frightfully expensive or the shellfish overpriced, especially for an occasion like a birthday dinner. Like caviar, it's just not something my budget allows.

                            You're certainly entitled to your opinion about Milos, a place I've often recommended. However, next to none of its seafood is local. And I certainly prefer APDC's raucous come-as-you-are ambiance to Milos's pi**-on-marble (I'm not kidding -- check out the men's room), "you want good service, then show me your platinum card" pretentiousness.

                            "As an aside, have you noticed that anytime anyone even whispers a little criticism of PDC on this board, there are bands of others waiting to attack?"

                            Not true. See for example. There are several instances on this and that other board of trustworthy palates expressing their dismay at the restaurant's inconsistency and the hype it's received in the wake of the NY Times reviews, Bourdain's visit and Gourmet's gushing. You provoked a strong reaction because you made sweeping statements that were controversial and, IMHO, inaccurate.

                            1. re: carswell

                              Hmmmm, well your insistence is intriguing. Maybe it is time for me and my hubby to re-visit the seafood scene at PDC...

                              As for Milos, it is NOT a restaurant I would recommend at all as I feel it is astronomically overpriced and essentially the same criticism that I have of PDC fish--it is fresh but they don't prepare it spectacularly. I simply mentioned Milos because their fish is fresh. We have, however, had excellent service there. There is a French waiter there who knows his stuff in the wine department, and treated our 4 year old as though she might have her own platinum card.

                              While we usually prefer the 'raucous' vibe at PDC, formality can be fun too. Being the foodie that you obviously are, have you made it down to Alinea in Chicago yet? I think that everyone would agree that the second name of the restaurant could easily be 'PRETENTIOUS', but it is an eating experience unlike anything anywhere. If you haven't been, you really need to get there:)

              2. What should I have for dessert at APDC tonight? I'm looking at Maple churros & Café Robidoux. Churros are one of my all-time favourite things in the universe, but I'm afraid I don't even know what Café Robidoux is?

                6 Replies
                1. re: mainsqueeze

                  Assuming you're going to have room left for dessert ;-)

                  1. re: mainsqueeze

                    Maybe there's foie gras in it.

                    Pudum tishhhhhhhhhh...

                    Thank you.

                    1. re: mainsqueeze

                      SnackHappy, how thoughtful of you to bring your own drummer! :)

                      I haven't had it yet, but I heard it described as espresso laced with Baileys and Grand Marnier.

                      1. re: rcianci

                        It's an alongé with Baileys and Cognac. I was sitting in front of mainsqueeze when she had it, last night.

                        I had the lobster roll last night for the first time. It was pure joy and decadence. It's a fine example of what APDC is all about.

                        The tempura soft-shell crab and zuchini flowers, although very tasty, were also quite greasy. I don't think I would recommend them.

                        1. re: rcianci

                          And it's not a simple "lacing" either, it's a full shot of each.


                          Incidentally, the maple churros were pretty good. I prefer a slimmer, crispier churro usually, but they were still very delicious.

                          1. re: mainsqueeze

                            "And it's not a simple "lacing" either, it's a full shot of each."

                            Why am I not surprised? Thanks for the info!