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Au Pied Du Cochon

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Going to Au pied du cochon in October. Nevre been before. What are the must haves? The foie gras looks great..so many options though. What is duck in a can?

Anyone try the steak frites or the bison ribs? Heard the portions were huge. How much would one order with 2 people dining? Apps?

Any feedback would be great

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  1. The duck in a can is a must. The steak frites is good, but I wouldn't go there for that. Bison ribs aren't always on the menu - or so I was told, but the one time I had them - YUM.

    It's a great place to go, and to go back to.

    1. Duck in a can is half a duck magret with a hunk of foie gras tucked under the skin, buttered cabbage, bacon, roasted garlic, thyme, and venison demi-glace, sealed and cooked in a can. The can is opened at your table and dumped over toast covered with celery root puree.

      You know your appetite best of course, but I would suggest you each get an app and share a main, if you want room for dessert.

      1. The foie gras poutine is my fave, the tartare used to be good, but I haven't tried it since they switched from venison to bison (although I'd be surprised if it wasn't at least as good, if not better). We usually split an appetizer, and each have a main. The only drawback is that it leaves no room for dessert... Be warned that portions are very filling - even if they don't necessarily look that huge (although some do).

        1. Agree with everyone. The duck in a can is amazing, and the portions are huge, and rich with the foie gras. I believe they do their own charcuterie, too. We had no room for dessert so I can't comment on that. Enjoy!

          1. Just to avoid confusion, and to maybe facilitate your searching, it's actually called Au Pied De Cochon.

            1. Not to take away from the duck, but the lamb confit is my personal favourite. I also find it doesn't leave me as unpleasantly full as the duck. (but that's just me).

              As for portions, I have never seen anybody (though it might happen) have an app, a main, and a dessert in one sitting.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Moosemeat

                When my boyfriend and I went we shared:

                tempura zuchinni flowers
                bison tartar (app)
                tempura crab with foie gras (app)
                gu├ędille au homard (main)
                and had a dessert each

                We were BURSTING afterwards. Too much!

                1. re: Moosemeat

                  Re portions, just a small piece of advice which is probably obvious but wasn't to us at the time: when we went to APC, we had an early reservation, which we made late, and understood the table was needed 1:15 later. We thought that would be plenty of time for a main and dessert, but got our mains 50 minutes after we walked in, and had no time for dessert which was disappointing for the kiddies (and me too, actually).

                  I secretly felt the waitstaff should have steered us towards apps and dessert seeing as we were pressed for time, or at least informed us how long it would take for mains to come out; they know how long the mains take to prepare, and sitting there for 40 minutes with hungry kiddies after ordering was not very enjoyable. And Martin Picard was sitting at the bar, practically in front of us, chatting with one friend the whole time! What is the point of the owner being there if he is not working the room and checking on the guests and making sure they are okay?

                  1. re: Moosemeat

                    Last time I went, I had:

                    Soup au Girolles
                    Swordfish
                    Wild Strawberry and Almond Tart

                    the time before that:

                    Bison Tartare
                    Potee du PDC
                    Maple Churros

                    and I cleaned each and every plate.

                    1. re: rcianci

                      I'm impressed. I think I could've done it as a teenager, but not now.

                      1. re: rcianci

                        Yes, but you're a 6'10" Vermont lumberjack who subsists on grubs, berries and rutabagas when not dining in Montreal, right?

                        Seriously, your point is well taken. While so many diners, especially first-timers, view APDC as a Bourdain-sanctioned excuse for overindulgence, it doesn't have to be.

                        1. re: carswell

                          Exactly! Since the entrees are substantial, when dining solo I find that by selecting two entrees one can have a reasonable - dare I say light dinner.

                    2. We had
                      Zucchini flowers
                      three beers-white local beer can't remember the name
                      poutine
                      au pied de cochon
                      lobster

                      All were fantastic. cochon and lobster were OUTSTANDING

                      1. Fun to read - we're going there next Friday night for dinner. We're spending the weekend in Montreal and It's my husband's birthday (a milestone birthday). This was his choice for dinner on Friday night and we're going to Lemeac on Saturday evening. I've eaten at Lemeac before and really enjoyed it. Should be a fun weekend.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: SusanB

                          Well, our plans were changed. My husband's mother passed away in Australia, and we got word that he should come late Wednesday. I booked him a flight and then cancelled our Montreal arrangements, so he spent his birthday on an AC flight to Sydney. We'll definitely have to celebrate his birthday later this year.

                        2. I've had an app, main, and dessert on many occasions. It's definitely doable. Speaking just for myself, however -- evidently the opinion is not shared on this board -- the desserts are a little too cloying for my taste. So if I had to skip a course it would be dessert.

                          As for what to order you've gotten lots of good advice. My own would be to listen carefully to the specials and if one of them strikes your fancy to go for it. I've never gone wrong ordering a special at APDC. Often they're truly remarkable. Sometimes they are for two people, which is a major commitment I realize, especially since this would be your first time there, but that is the direction I would steer you.

                          Enjoy!

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Patelenberg

                            Agree wholeheartedly about the specials. I love to sit at the counter and scope out the specials and off-menu items. Some of my most memorable meals at PDC began with a well timed "What's that?"

                            1. re: Patelenberg

                              going back to APDC in mid-october. You seem like you have been there many times, when do they have that seafood tower? I have had at other restaurants but I hear theirs is off the hook.

                              1. re: Dcemont

                                In the summer time.

                                1. re: Dcemont

                                  May to August (approximate).

                              2. It's one of my favorites, I'm going tonight, to sit at the bar... and have a "light" meal. I always get the poutine, my husband sticks with the duck in a can but can never finish even half. We split an app and never do dessert, if he could give up that duck in a can maybe we could make it that far.
                                I've also heard they had great oysters in the summer but I can never get there at the right time... maybe tonight!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: biggirlco

                                  It's really great food. That's the bottom line. Bourdain aside, portions aside, gluttony aside, just good food.

                                  I will be going back EVERY time I'm in Montreal.

                                2. My wife and I took my parents last weekend, following my mother's birthday the previous week. We made reservations for 8 o'clock, but it seemed as though the previous service's patrons were reluctant to abandon their tables. Nonetheless, we were seated in due course.

                                  If I recall correctly, the specials for the day included a big eye tuna tartar, pizza with serrano ham and foie gras (of course!) appetizer for 2-3 people, grilled tuna with eggplant, and grilled shark, which was memorably displayed over the bread cabinet with a tomato in its jaws.

                                  The four of us (smallish Asian people, although I do have prodigious appetite) enjoyed the cochinailles platter (three different rillettes: one duck, one chicken, one pork campagne; boudin noir; some sort of blood jelly; and sausage), the pizza appetizer, the tuna tartar appetizer (wonderful, with intriguing croutons and the yolk swirled around the edge), duck-in-a-can (as decadent as described above), the lamb shank (I think you need to read the recipe in the cookbook to truly understand), the pied de cochon (wonderful, although the other items had much more savory flavors, so this was the only item we had a regretful amount left over), and finally the cheesecake (worth asking your waiter about reserving, since it seems to often run out, which we loved, although perhaps there was a little too much crust).

                                  My advice for two people? Eat a light lunch. Go to the gym, or at least the sauna, in the late afternoon/early evening. Consider the cromesquis, and in addition, only order one appetizer. DO NOT EAT THE BREAD--it's good, but the portions make it unnecessary. Order two entrees. Alternatively, unless you eat a lot, order two appetizers and one entree, plus an order of the mashed potatoes (if they don't come with entree) or the fries (or the poutine variants).

                                  If you can, reserve two seats facing the kitchen. It's a lot of fun.

                                  Have a great time,

                                  Young-Ho

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: youngho

                                    oh you've just got to eat the bread. even the butter at pdc is heavenly.

                                    1. re: celfie

                                      It's funny, but I'm always impressed by the butter in Montreal (and eggs and bread, etc.). Perhaps I should buy more European or Amish butter.

                                      I meant to suggest waiting until the entrees come to eat the bread, since it would seem wasteful to fill up on bread. To tell the truth, we did end up eating a little bread with butter and mopped-up sauce.

                                      Young-Ho

                                      1. re: youngho

                                        Haven't ever asked but wouldn't be surprised if the butter at APDC is Lactantia My Country. Picard has enthusiastically reccoed it in cooking courses he's given.

                                  2. Ate here a few weeks ago when we were in Montreal for a wedding. This is one of the best meals we've had in North America. Duck in a Can is a must but keep in mind its the last meal you'll need for the following two days. I had the Lamb Shank which was also excellent. Plenty of great appetizers to choose from. We had the tomato salad & cromesquis which were both great.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: ElJeffe

                                      I'm going back to APDC on friday and was wondering, if anyone went recently, if there's any special not to miss.

                                      Thanks!

                                      1. re: Simon Patrice

                                        I went last weekend. GF and i split the blue cheese and apple/pear salad to start. Definitely big enought for twoa dn was very tasty. Massive chunks of delicious blue cheese. For entree, I had the lamb shank which was amazing. Meat fell off the bone and had such a nice flavor to it. GF had duck in a can. Huge portion, but very tasty. I only sampled a few bites, but it was very nice, flavored bird done 3 ways. We managed to sneak in creme brule for dessert. Awesome! All in all, great night! We had reservations but waited almost 30 min to be seated. Went on a Sat night and it was packed! But a great experience. I would go back next time I visit. BREAD was great too!

                                        1. re: rafer madness

                                          We've rebooked our trip to Montreal and I made a 9 PM reservation for the Friday evening. I will try to arrive hungry!

                                    2. After dining there last night, I must give HUGE credit to the APdC staff.

                                      Our party of six arrived on time, and our table was delayed. It was freezing cold outside, so we were huddled inside making the best of it and attempting to stay out of their way. As always, the place was PACKED. About ten minutes after we arrived, and after many apologies and much friendly conversation, the hostess came over to us with complimentary glasses of their sparkling cider. We enjoyed it standing up while chatting amongst ourselves, and after being seated, they brought over complimentary starters for us to enjoy - this goes far above and beyond the call of duty, and was much appreciated by everyone!

                                      The menu was, as always, fantastic, and completely over the top in terms of quality and quantity. I could not finish my pot de creme, so the staff bagged it up, mason jar and all, for me to take home. It made a fantastic breakfast this morning!

                                      For sheer friendliness and lack of any pretension, APdC gets top marks in my book.

                                      1. Late response ... for the ones going soon ...

                                        Was Au Pied de Cochon last Thursday. My wife and I shared everything as we dont like to waste food, and portions are huge ...

                                        Appetizers:
                                        Tomato tart with cheese ... crisp and tasty
                                        Fries cooked in duck fat ... couldn't dare ordering the poutine !

                                        Entree:
                                        Duck in a can ... amazing. All the flavors stuck in this can, coming up to life like the bouquet of an old wine. You better share !

                                        Dessert:
                                        Pouding Chomeur (or Poor Man's pudding). Had I finished my wine, I would have ordered a big glass of milk to go through that maple sugar ...

                                        Verdict:
                                        Everything was very tasty, but overall heavy as they dont cut corners there. It is very different from the usuall and typical French/Italian restaurant.
                                        Too heavy to be my "second kitchen", or my "local restaurant", but definitely on my top list.