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APDC Au Pied Du Cochon, my review

I finally went to Au Pied Du Cochon yesterday as a b-day treat. I've had Martin's Picard book since last X-mas and I was eager to try some of the dishes.

It was quite busy (Sunday evening) and good thing we (My GF and I) had a reservation because a lot of people were turned away. At 10pm when we left there was still a line-up. They had us waiting at the bar with a drink, so that was ok. For how busy it was, they didn’t rush us at all. They let us take our time. Service was great, attentive, genuinely interested (I made a small comment about the pork cartilage croquette and they were really listening).

We had acras de morue as apéro, they were very hot, slightly spicy with home made mayo. We shared an appetizer: fiddleheads on a cheesy potato cake with ham and a sunny side up egg with some parmesan shavings. This was great, I could eat this as breakfast.

Mains: GF had Plogue de champlain (buckwheat pancake with potatoes, bacon, foie gras, cheese and maple syrup), I had the Pied de cochon that came on mash made with cream, roasted garlic and cheese, with a creamy mustard sauce. The Plogue was nice but overly sweet, after trying 2 bites I was already bored. Same problem with my dish, the initial flavors were interesting but I quickly lost interest: it was too rich, too fat, too overpowering. There was nothing wrong with it, but I think it is not my style of cooking.
I think I am more Mediterranean influenced. A heavy or fat piece of meat needs to contrast with something light, something that breaks down the fat (lemon, vinegar, greens, herbs, etc).
Anyways, there was also a croquette of something that I couldn’t quite place (I thought it was headcheese). But that turned out to be pork cartilage. Again, very fat, creamy texture not much flavor (and my reason for discussing with the waitress).

For dessert I had churros and custard made from maple syrup for dipping with a café robidoux (coffee with baileys and cognac, actually it came separated as cup of espresso and 2 shots of booze, kind of dissappointing).

The total bill was around $180 (service and taxes included), so I was very happy I had the gift certificate. (We also had a $50 bottle of wine, Primitivo Salento 2005 Conti Zecca, a glass of red chianti and a pint of coup de grisou).

Overall a good experience, well prepared food but a tidbit too expensive. The cholesterol and fat took the whole night to break down and we didn’t sleep well because of it. I still had a heavy stomach the next morning.

So I am very glad I went, but will I go back … maybe, but I will have something lighter … then again it would’ve been a waste to go to APDC and not order their quintessential dishes. Do I recommend the place? Sure. Will I be taking people from out of town? I don’t think so, I’d rather take them to L’Atelier where they serve great Quebecois terroir cuisine, much lighter prepared with the same care and respect for the ingredients. ( I still reminisce about their tartare de canard with brown rice) And I heard it's a BYOB now, so my wallet will be grateful too.

Side note: I am quite an accomplished cook myself (no formal training though). I guess it becomes harder and harder for a restaurant to impress me. Also the price you pay on average in a restaurant makes me think twice e.g. the lobster yesterday was $25 a pound, the fresh lobsters I bought only a week ago were $6.99 for 1 ½ pound and they came from Poissonnerie Antoine, one of APDC suppliers.

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  1. nice review.

    on a side note, I would be really surprised that Poissonnerie Antoine is one of APDC supplier; Picard outsource directly from the suppliers on the coast.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Maximilien

      I certainly don't know, but I'd be shocked if Antoine was a supplier for a high end successful restaurant. Although I like the people who run the place, and had good $6.99/lb lobster there as well, it's a low traffic (very bad for fish) joint. I'm always amazed they're still in business. Contrast to Falero further north that has a constant stream of customers almost guaranteeing their fish is always fresh. Night and day.

      1. re: everyonelovessushi

        I can't complain about Antoines quality. I've never had anything bad from them and absolutely love their house smoked salmon. My problem with Falero is the price and the service. I find them rude, too noisy, not friendly (although upstairs at Delices Falero I've always had outstanding service). So I don't go there unless it's an emergency (and I live on the corner of Bernard).

      2. re: Maximilien

        Check the book, he lists Poissonnerie Antoine as one of his suppliers (with picture). He does get most of his seafood straight from the coast but Antoine delivers whatever he can't get or needs extra.
        Also, my friend told me that years ago she saw Martin Picard buying loads of pork at 7am in PA across the street. Maybe at the time he didn't have his personal pork supplier.

      3. I find it hard to believe that people in this city complain about the price of APDC...lets be realistic dinner for 2 at a top end restaurant epically one that uses foie the way Martin does and given the overall size of his plates could be allot more expensive than $180

        25 Replies
        1. re: est1986

          If you eat and drink slightly less (ie - one app each, one main, split dessert if you can manage it - we never can) and a few glasses of wine or beer, it's well under $100 for two, which is more than reasonable.

          1. re: est1986

            I don't read estilker as complaining about high prices but rather middling QPR or, to put it another way, bang for the buck.

            Since the portions are so large and the food so rich, patrons are often faced with an unpleasant choice: either overindulging or not cleaning their plates, i.e. wasting food. These patrons could well argue that APDC is overpriced, since prices could be lower if portions were smaller.

            1. re: carswell

              Well, he is complaining about the price of the lobster...but I think mainly he was disappointed in the style of the food, which is another thing entirely...

              1. re: cherylmtl

                «Well, he is complaining about the price of the lobster...»

                Yeahbut while estilker mentions the price of lobster at APDC, it's as an example. It's pretty clear he's referring there to the priciness of restaurant meals in general as opposed to home-cooked meals.

                1. re: carswell

                  Carswell is right, I didn't find APDC too expensive. I paid a fair price for well prepared food and excellent service. If I discount the booze ($50 botttle of wine, $6 for a pint of coup de grisou, $8 glass of chianti and I guess $6 as well for the shots of baileys and cognac with the cafe robidoux, 15% tip) our meal was $100 (shared apero, appetizer, 2 mains and dessert).

                  But if you're somewhat of a cook and you can get your hands on quality ingredients (not that difficult in this town) you can make a dinner comparable to the quality of a high end restaurant at a fraction of the price. The lobster is a great example because cooking a lobster is probably one of the easiest things to do, so the real value is in the freshness/quality of the ingredient and the things you add (a special sauce). Hence I didn't order the lobster. The same logic applies to booze: we all know we're paying double the price at a restaurant. The only added value comes from special private import, matching wines with food, the sommelier.

                  The point I am trying to make is that as a foodie/cook I find it more and more difficult to spend a lot of money on eating out because you know you can do similar things at half the price. And if I do spend that money, I would like everything to be spot on. Nobody cares about an overcooked hamburger at $10, but almost $200 and not entirely satisfied, well that's frustrating.

                  1. re: estilker

                    Makes sense. When paying that kind of money for dinner, it's nice to have something that I can't (or won't) make at home.
                    And aside from their seafood platters, I find much of APDC's food more suited to winter dining (at least IMHO) because it tends to be heavier. Then again, I can eat foie gras poutine pretty much any time of year...

                    1. re: cherylmtl

                      cheryl, for me stuff at APDC is definitely food i would never make at home. I mean i have a husband that i love and would not like to see develop a heart condition, not to mention that i would like to take care of my own health too, there is no way i would cook with as much fat as they do. Once every blue moon, it's nice to have a high fat treat, but it is definitely the type of food i refuse to cook at home.

                    2. re: estilker

                      "The lobster is a great example because cooking a lobster is probably one of the easiest things to do"

                      And so many restaurants get it wrong, either undercooking it, or cooking it to tennis ball texture.

                      As a pretty good cook myself, I so often leave a restaurant thinking I could have done much better myself, and at a much lower cost. I would rather spend the money on premium ingredients and a nice bottle of Champagne.

                      1. re: souschef

                        I hear you ... me too I like to splurge on a bottle of Bolly, oysters, etc. Hardcore decadence! But I do that at home and the money saved goes to my insane hydro bill in winter :-)

                  2. re: cherylmtl

                    I think it's good that he said it may simply not be his type of food - better than complaining outright.

                    The real question I have is: if you have the cookbook, how could you not know what you were in for?

                    1. re: Shattered

                      When I first had the Plogue, it seemed to me a neat trick, an improbable balance of sweet and savory. Recently however, I ordered it and it seemed to me as estilker described it: one dimensional and excessively sweet.

                      Tastes vary. I can take or leave the fried cartilage/collagen cakes, while they are my wife's idea of heaven.

                      Also I'm in the same boat as estilker. I fancy myself a pretty good cook and I find myself wanting to eat out only if the restaurant offers what I am unwilling or unable to make myself.

                      1. re: Shattered

                        To my defence: the pig feet recipe in the cookbook is not the same as in the restaurant (in the book it is served with carrots, boiled potatoes and a maple sauce), and that's a good thing because a restaurant needs to mix things up. Also I had never tasted pig feet before. I could have ordered the steak & frites, but I could order that in any restaurant. As for the plogue: it is difficult to tell if something is going to be too sweet or not. I always put brown sugar on my bacon-omelet sandwich but I want that balance between sweet and salty.

                        1. re: estilker

                          It's true you never know how things will taste, but it seems one of your main complaints, aside from one-dimensional taste, is the heaviness of the food.

                          That's the part that seems obvious from the cookbook, or even looking at the menu online (or my verbal descriptions -every out-of-town guest I've proposed it to has shot it down). I've never been but I still know what it's about -which is why I haven't. I rarely feel like eating til it hurts (watching Bourdain suffer was good enough).

                          Like I said, though, at least you don't 'blame' them for having this rich style. I also agree that 'it better be something I can't do at home reasonably cheap and easily', is also my rule of thumb for dining out (why I usually go for Asian or institutions like Schwartz's or Romados).

                          1. re: Shattered

                            I've only been to APdC twice, but am convinced the best way to do it is to go with a fairly large group (6 would be about right) and eat family-style, ordering about half what you might if you were ordering the "conventional" way. (So, for a party of six: 3 apps, 3 or 4 mains, 2 or 3 desserts.)

                            Either that, or have no plans for afterwards so that it's not too inconvenient to haul the leftovers home. But this also requires choosing items that travel well.

                            After reading most of the book, and particularly the comic book in the front of the French edition, I'm pretty sure I "get it", but I still think most of the portions are just too huge.

                            1. re: Mr F

                              That's a great suggestion. Too bad everyone I know is a wuss.

                              1. re: Shattered

                                If you mean they're wusses in the sense that they're too shy to break the traditional one diner/one plate mould, or too shy to ask for a doggy bag, rest assured that there's really no need to be shy about it. This is definitely not a place where you'll get any grief or dirty looks for sharing, and they're fully equipped to pack leftovers to go.

                                If it's that they're squeamish about some foods, well... even if you steer clear of foie gras and pigs' feet, there's still plenty to enjoy.

                                I can't say it's my all time top restaurant, but I'm very glad I've experienced it a couple of times.

                                1. re: Mr F

                                  Wusses as in more and more of them don't even touch meat, or some are fish-only, or they feel the need to diet at the tender age of 30-35...

                                  Yeah, I know there's options for them, but why would they go at all when they have their fave veggie restos?

                                  1. re: Mr F

                                    Agreed - this is one place where you can truly feel comfortable. The staff is super friendly, and they've boxed up more than one pile of leftovers for me. They even let me have the glass jar containing the remains of my dessert one evening!

                                  2. re: Shattered

                                    I'm always up for APdC with 1 week's notice!

                                    1. re: marblebag

                                      I will take you up on that! ... when there isn't a street fair on the Main, mind you... but soon.

                                  3. re: Mr F

                                    Bigfellow, I think this is a hint for an upcoming chowdown!

                                    1. re: hungryann

                                      I don't think that we are doing them anymore.

                                        1. re: mainsqueeze

                                          Too much hassle and disention for me to organize anymore.

                                          1. re: bigfellow

                                            I guess that's how it usually is with big groups. Too bad.

                      2. It seems like we went on the same night! I was in MTL just for the weekend and based on the foodie buzz I went alone without a reservation at around 6:00 pm. There was just a little hemming and hawing from the maitre d' ("oh, one? well, maybe... dunno... ok - do you mind the bar?)

                        I had the same fiddlehead/potato pancake cake appetiser. There were little chunks of bacony goodness in the cheesy potato, as well as some toasted pecans hither and yon - and I love runny egg yolk, so it was a home run for me. I ordered the "happy pork chop"as the main - a Fred-Flintstonesque affair. It was good, but it made me wish I'd ordered another starter instead - perhaps the beet and goat cheese salad. There was also a hake special that evening, but I figured I should stick with pork on the first go-round.

                        I just had a beer; my total bill was just under $50CAD, which I don't consider too bad for a "special" dinner.

                        Overall - I'll be back. I need to try those fries done in duck fat, as well as the deep-fried foie gras nuggets I kept seeing leaving the kitchen. Oh, and all visible members of the staff are uniformly young, upbeat, and very attractive - always a plus.

                        1. I was at Au Pied Du Cochon 2 night ago. There is a huge discrepancy between the prices listed on the website, and the actual menu prices charged, ex.

                          Foie Gras Hamburger price on website is $23 - actual is $40
                          Foie Gras Duo price on website is $35 - actual is $51

                          As well, for items such as Foie Gras Hamburger, the recipe seems to be different from what's printed in their book; in the book the hamburger is made of fois gras, whereas in the restaurant it's made of fois gras and hamburger.

                          Just a couple small complaints. Overall, it was a fun experience. I went in with the intention to order 2 appetizers, and share a main. But gluttony got the best of me and I wanted my own main! I could hardly move after dinner. Luckily I had a 30 min walk to Place des Arts.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: JedZ

                            "As well, for items such as Foie Gras Hamburger, the recipe seems to be different from what's printed in their book; in the book the hamburger is made of fois gras, whereas in the restaurant it's made of fois gras and hamburger."

                            Beurk. The burger certainly was just foie gras once upon a time. Is it now a meat patty topped with some seared foie? Please tell me the two aren't ground up together.

                            1. re: Mr F

                              It's fois gras in the center of ground steak. 250 grams total. They are not ground up together...

                              1. re: JedZ

                                They finally just updated the site for seafood season. The new prices are also there which leads me to a question. Why are the foie gras hamburger and duo the only two items to have had such a huge price hike? If it's because of the fact that they now put ground meat in it, I don't see it being worth it. I don't see why they would add the meat in the first place.

                                1. re: Simon Patrice

                                  Very strange indeed, especially when you consider that a full order of poutine au foie gras and a burger now costs four bucks less than the duo. Why order the duo at all then?

                                  1. re: rcianci

                                    RCianci - they still didn't get the prices right; website shows burger as $24 when it's really $40 in restaurant. Strange they would update only the duo price.

                                    PS: Seafood platters looked amazing.
                                    PPS: Just checked the menu en francais - it's more accurate.

                                    1. re: JedZ

                                      Ah! Thanks JedZ. So the foie gras burger is now a kind of "Juicy Lucy" with foie in the middle instead of cheese? I think I'm with Simon Patrice on this one. The duo was overkill to start with. Interesting too, that Picard is using beef now, both in this burger and in his tartare. Does that mean he's found a locally raised (albeit expensive) beef that he trusts?

                          2. Looking for a place to eat last night (Sunday), my wife and I tried to go to L'Iconnu, but it was closed so we decided to chance a walk-in at PDC.

                            We got there at 6:40 and were told we could have seats at the bar, but they needed the seats at 8, which was fine with us.

                            Started off with the cromesquis. They were much larger than we remembered - just a bit too large to pop into the mouth, but that's the only way to eat them. The inside was delicious as usual, but the outside was a very thick, chewy crust, which made it not so great.

                            My wife ordered the "foie gras tout nu" appetizer, and I ordered the duck in a can main. They brought us nice hot empty plates so we could share the meals, but by the time the meals were delivered the plates were stone cold.

                            We did not realize that the foie gras was raw - it was actually cold (and no, it was not a terrine). It was served on toast that was far from hot. A very disappointing dish !

                            I had had the duck in a can before and had enjoyed it, but this time it was disappointing. The piece of duck was chewy, the foie gras was "meh", as was what I think was shredded duck confit.

                            After that we decided to skip dessert. We both were so disappointed that we decided that it was a no-return.

                            Dinner for two, with two glasses of Sancerre, and including the tip was $160+

                            Should have gone to our favourite resto instead.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: souschef

                              were we all there last week? I agree with the originator of this post: I went to APDC with an open mind, but I was just not comfortable with the menu. I am only an occasional meat eater, rarely have foie gras (it's just too rich for me) and am not a pork lover. However, we picked our way around the menu and managed to find plenty to order.

                              Among all our choices, the best, by far, was the oysters. We had a dozen and were tempted to get a second. They were top notch. We sampled the scallops, the tempura zucchini blossoms, the beet and chevre salad, and the cromesquis. We also had the churros, and skipped the booze. (Our waiter looked very disappointed that we didn't knock back coffee with the Baileys and brandy, and we offered it to him.) With two glasses of wine each, the bill was about $160.

                              I would go back and have oysters and steak frites. That's about it. I do praise the service, however, the restaurant is just shy of becoming a total tourist destination. Many flashes were going off around us as people took pictures, and that distracts from the meal.

                            2. I'm going to give this place a mixed review. We ordered 4 apps, 2 mains, and 1 dessert. To start, we got the cromesquis, duck liver mousse, bison tongue, and special bone-marrow dish they happened to have that day. Disappointing for us was surprisingly the cromesquis. I understand some people have raved about this, but we all felt it was like consuming pure, albeit somewhat tasty, oil. The main attraction was the mousse: not too heavy, served with a complementary gelee and grilled toast. The poutine was nice, as was the duck in a can, but the duck was (as mentioned a few posts above) chewy! Took away from what could have been a really great dish. We topped everything off with a worthy pudding chomeur.

                              This place is a tourist destination. People's cameras were out, it was jam-packed, the service was slightly self-important (and slow), basically some telltale signs of a place riding on its reputation. Not just jam-packed btw, but CRAMPED, even at 5:30pm on a Sunday (a day when some restos close all together). I was seatback-to-seatback with a corpulent gentleman who at one point asked me to "stop moving so much" (?) even though he was already taking most of our shared floor space due his size. I could also hear him whining to his dining companions about me. All this to say it can get tight in there.

                              At least I tried it, but once is enough. There are more memorable dining experiences in the city.

                              13 Replies
                              1. re: reelection

                                I am a regular reader of posts on chowhound, and I know that many rave about APDC. Personally, I absolutely LOVED the place the first time I went, 3-4 years ago. I returned last year, and my experience was average.
                                While the cromesquis was, for me and my fellow diners, a miss as well (I just couldn't handle the oily-liquidy texture), we truly enjoyed everything else, with the onion soup and the poached pear being our favourites.
                                APDC is definetely a touristy-worthy place, IMO, and I love going there once a year. It's an institution... however, I agree with the fact that they shouldn't ride on their reputation. Service was also average last time I went.

                                1. re: Nifms

                                  I thought I was the only one less than impressed by APDC. I know two people who have been going there since it opened and they both think that the service and the food have gone downhill over the years. It's become a touristy place riding on its reputation unfortunately.

                                  1. re: PadmeSkywalker

                                    I think perhaps the staff is bored by too many of my countrymen ordering whatever Anthony Bourdain ordered when he visited a few years back (Duck in a Can, Foie Gras Poutine, etc.). I know that, these days, when I go I ignore (I don't know what else to call it now except) "the stunt food". (I swear, if I see one more pictorial of Duck in a Can on YouTube or Flickr, I'm going to puke). But if I concentrate on the daily specials, then not only do I eat very well, but the staff perks right up and treats me very well.

                                    1. re: rcianci

                                      They should change the menu if the staff is bored ; perhaps the owner are not bored with the revenue the popular dishes bring.

                                      I am not a fan of APDC but for me, any restaurant has to maintain a consistently excellent service to stay so popular, although APDC is such an institution and has gotten such good press that they are are bound to survive no matter what, their uniqueness and fan base will carry them through.

                                      Server bored with same items being ordered, boo hoo for him.............

                                      1. re: superbossmom

                                        The whole notion of a server being bored with the same dishes being ordered is baffling to begin with, given that they are not involved in the preparation of the food. What exactly is there to be bored about? Having to always look at the same thing in the 10 seconds it takes to transport it from the kitchen to a table? Having to always write down "poutine" on their pad? The Entrecote St-Jean people must be climbing up the walls if that's the case. Obviously their tips won't be affected if the more popular dishes are ordered, especially given that the duck in a can for instance is among the pricier offerings on the menu.

                                        All things considered, not a great excuse for poor service.

                                        1. re: reelection

                                          Didn't say it was a good excuse. Didn't say it was an excuse at all. Obviously they have a high level of professionalism they have to maintain if they want to be considered a serious restaurant. Also I tend to sit at the bar. When I said bored, I was thinking of my last visit; how the kitchen staff lit up when I ordered from the specials. I wasn't thinking of the servers at all. Overall, I think I was trying to suggest that the staff are not so much bored with the dishes, as with the Bourdain-wannabes. Sorry for the lack of clarity in my original post. I was simply speculating on why my experience of the restaurant is so different from others'.

                                          I have heard some variation of "the restaurant is riding on its reputation" more than a few times in discussions of PDC on this board. To me, that means that staff is complacent; unmotivated to try as hard as they did formerly; bored even. So let me ask you non-fans of Chez Martin, what does "riding on its reputation" mean to you? School me. Please.

                                          1. re: rcianci

                                            As usual, I agree. I've most often ordered my whole meal from the specials, and I've never been anything less than thrilled with them. Duck in a can was fun one time, for the novelty, but that was plenty.

                                            1. re: rcianci

                                              Maybe they are bored with the Bourdain wannabes but they're the ones that are packing that restaurant every night.

                                              To me riding on reputation is when a restaurant becomes so famous that people want to eat there as one of the things that you have to do when you're in a certain city and the restaurant quits trying as hard. It's like Magnolia cupcakes in New York, I doubt the tourists really know if they're that good but they still go there because it is one of those places that everyone has heard about. As well, riding on reputation is when a restaurant takes it for granted that they will always be full and quits putting in as much effort to ensure that people come back.

                                        2. re: rcianci

                                          Maybe the staff is bored but that is no excuse for lack of effort. Every dish should be well prepared (especially at that price) regardless whether it is the duck in the can that they've made a million times or the special of the day that they have on the menu twice a year. Somehow I don't think it would go over well with my boss and I handed in a half-assed report and said I didn't feel like putting in an effort because I was bored of having to do the same report all the time.

                                          Maybe one of the reasons that the "stunt dishes" have gone downhill in quality is because they assume that if you are ordering it that you are out of town and won't be coming back. Hence, if it is sloppily prepared it doesn't really matter. For me this isn't an excuse for lack of effort.

                                          1. re: PadmeSkywalker

                                            For the third time, I never said it was an excuse. Please concentrate. I was just speculating if the staff found the whole tourist thing of being the restaurant "one must visit" and Duck in a Can (for instance) being the dish "one must order" a little stiffing. Also don't really agree with you that the dishes, "stunt" or otherwise, are declining in quality. But take heart, if what you say is true, the restaurant's position is ultimately unsustainable. People will rebel at the "slop" served at those prices, fashions will change, and like an old analog watch, the PDC phenomenon will run down and die. Just don't hold your breath waiting for it to happen. ;-)

                                            1. re: rcianci

                                              "and like an old analog watch, the PDC phenomenon will run down and die."

                                              Hey, my beloved 40-year-old analog watch is still going strong. It has character, unlike soul-less digital watches !

                                              1. re: souschef

                                                I have to admit I’m not gaga for APDC either. Went for the first time few weeks ago and made sure to order all the don’t miss dishes. Canard en conserve, foie gras cromesquis, poached pears etc etc. All absolutely terrific but the service was very blasé and at times just rude. (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/678628) In fact my very first experience with APDC was even worse. We tried one evening to see if there was any chance of getting a walk-in table. The maitre d’ responded to this in such an abrasive manner, as if we were stupid for even thinking we could walk in without a reservation. As the first person the client meets when they walk in, a maitre d’ should really aim to be a little more amenable than this.

                                                After reading this thread I’m beginning to wonder if I just missed out on the golden days of APDC. I definitely agree that restaurants with reputations can get a little complacent, and standards can begin to slip a little. All I can say is their reputation may see them through for a while, but if they keep giving newcomers bad experiences it’ll come right back and bite them in the jambon, so to speak.

                                            2. re: PadmeSkywalker

                                              PadmeSkywalker, I note your "bad experience at APDC" thread here for those who missed it: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/660497

                                    2. Thought I visit this old thread again that I started after I went to APDC. Well I went back last weekend.

                                      My original review, wasn't so glowing. But earlier this year we ate at the APDC Cabane a sucre and it was such a great experience so we decided to give APDC another go.

                                      We were a group of 5 and decided to share everything so we could taste a greater variety of things. The ladies in our group ordered ceasars, the men the APDC beer. The beer is nothing special really and reminded me of Stella Artois (not a good thing really, Stella is Belgium's Molson Ex).
                                      We ordered some of the classics and some specials: duck carpaccio, foie gras poutine, trip and calmari, duck-in-a can, boudin tart, and fried cornish hen.

                                      First of the foie gras poutine. Yes, it's over the top. But, yes this is really good. Honestly, think I just found the best poutine in the city. My only gripe is not enough fries, but we were 5 after all, so this dish went fast. But some extra fries to mop up the sauce would've been nice. So we used bread, because we couldn't let anything go to waste.

                                      Tripe and calamari in a tomatoe sauce. There was a nice zing of anchovy in the background, very refined.

                                      Duck carpaccio. Too bad we had attacked the foie gras poutine as a pack of hungry wolves, because this dish was very delicate and well balanced.

                                      Then came the wine. We ordered a Cahors that clocked in just below $60.

                                      Boudin tart: great flaky crust, caramelized onions underneath and bic chunks of blood pudding. The couple of squirts of faintly sweet dijon mustard on top really brought this to life.

                                      Duck-in-a-can. Probably everones favourite. The magret still pink inside, great balsamic glaze sauce and the veggies (some cabbages and carrots) very tasteful.

                                      Fried Cornish Hen: this was very good, delicately crispy, but still very moist inside. The chickie was dredged through babeurre and then fried as a whole (head and feet on). With a slightly sweet sauce. It wasn't a flavour whopper as the Boudin Tart and the duck, but very good nonetheless. Also not that there were some token leafs of lettuce and endives and they had a slightly sweet caramelized onion dressing. So even the "salad" got eaten.

                                      We were full, but not overly so. So we indulged in some desserts. Nothing really exciting going one here, nothing bad either. We had a pecan pie, apple upside down cake (not a tarte tatin, more like and English apple pudding i.e. caramelized apples at the bottom and then pound cake on top) and a lemon meringue pie. The desserts at the cabane a sucre were more of a show stopper, then again it is more a celebration of sugar as well. But we were all full and very happy.

                                      The bills came to $70 each (tip and tax included). Very reasonable I found (as opposed to my original review). The difference being less alcohol and a greater variety but smaller portions.

                                      Service was courteous, swift, informal but never rushed. We were served by a bunch of different people and that's the way I like it. I hate it when "your" server is not available and other servers dare not take your order.

                                      So, is APDC still a must-go restaurant in MTL? Absolutely. Will I recommend it to out-of-towners? Yessir.

                                      So from not-so-convinced to a APDC believer. Can't wait for sugaring season ...