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if not Au Pied de Cochon, what? or is it a must? (for a tourist)

I have another thread asking for general suggestions for lunch etc, but i wanted to ask especifically this question: I have made a reservation at APDC for a date night whileour visit to Montreal, but I am having secondthoughts- seems too heave and maybe not too delicious. I know nothing really compares to it, but if pressed, what would you recommend that might be a better option and still give you a sense of what Montreal food is about? I don'ty need super traditional, but rather a sense of what people are eating now. I went to Black Hoof inToronto and loved it. So maybe Le Comptoir Vin et Charcuterie? Or would something like Le Local give us a better sense? I always want to find innovative, fun cuisine.
or if you think we must must go, please tell me why!

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Le Local
740 rue William, Montréal, QC H3C 1P1, CA

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  1. The Comptoir is the "in" place right now in Montreal.

    You can try get a reservation at the new "Le Filet" restaurant on Mont-Royal st. (see info and menu http://www.motto.ca/eflyers/lefilet/0... )

    1. Just to add, there's really nothing in Montreal that compares to APdC ...it's an experience in itself.

      3 Replies
        1. re: adamandeve

          Well, it's an overindulgence of comfort food (with foie gras in all shape and form!!) with some good produces, good solid cooking; awesome wine list (albeit expensive)

          If you can sit at the bar facing the kitchen, it's very fun, and you can see what people are ordering, and can get insights on what is good by directly talking to the chefs.

          I go more or less once a year, and always order from the day's special and the last time I went, I only ordered fish ans seafood! (go figure!)

          M.

          1. re: adamandeve

            I think it's delicious - it can be heavy, but it depends on what you order - they have smaller portions of their foie gras poutine and of their tartare, either of which work as a full meal for me. You can also share a meal, and have separate appetizers and desserts. There really is no other restaurant like it - and while it has its detractors, it has far more fans IMHO. Go - you won't be disappointed. Le Comptoir is okay, but not in the same league.

        2. Is APDC delicious, definitly, but you need to like that kind of cooking, and be in the mood for it.

          Last time i went, i had the Pied de cochon au foie gras, a whole pig foot, stuffed with foie gras, served on top of mashed potatoes and covered with sauce! definitly not for the faint of heart, and like nothing else i've ever had before, but oh so tasty! Would i have it again, most probably not, not because i didn't liked it, but because having that dish one is enough.

          1 Reply
          1. re: westaust

            As a lover of all things Montreal,and an out of towner(Toronto) i think APDC shouldn't be missed if you've never been. I've dined there 3 times.The first time was amazing,It was about 3 or 4 years ago I think.I sat at the bar(in Anthony Bourdain's elk horn chair) and watched the kitchen do their magic.The second time was good and the third time was a disappointment,both the food and service.3 times is enough for me.There are so many great restos in Montreal to choose from,my fave is Club Chasse e Peche.If you do go,sit at the bar,order at least a couple daily specials and enjoy the show..

          2. Go, if just for the pudding chomeur, l loved it, two nights in a row late last summer. Everyday, no, but at least once. Had a fabulous time. Picard showed me around, introduced me, treated me like family, that was why we went the second night in a row and cancelled Toque.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

              Second best resto desert I have ever eaten.

            2. some organic farmers i met who supply restos really like the st. urbain, corner st. urbain and fleury.

              1. I'm on a mission from god or I think I have an obsessive behavior to make sure the addresses of the restaurants are tagged in the threads ;)

                trivia: did you know that there's a restaurant called LE PIED DE COCHON in Gatineau, Qc.
                Any relation to the one on Duluth?

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

                1. Hi Adam&Eve,
                  the APDC is an excellent restaurant with a different approach to cuisine! Very filling! It got lots of attention because of the Food Network and Anthony Bourdain TV shows. But it's not the ONLY restaurant in town to serve excellent food.

                  More traditional places are Toqué and le Club Chasse et Pêche. I like Le Local, a refreshing new cuisine.

                  Is it a "Must", maybe if you want to try a very different style of restaurant.

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                  Le Local
                  740 rue William, Montréal, QC H3C 1P1, CA

                  1. Garde Manger!!!!!!!!! I went on Canada Day last year with my girlfriend and everything from the food to the atmosphere was excellent. The atmosphere is very cozy and cool. It has great music is great and the place becomes more lively as the night goes on. You could go for dinner and stay for drinks and partying. It is in a very old building in Old Montreal. Chuck Hughes was in the kitchen preparing the food which surprised me due to his popularity. He also took the time to have a pic taken with us despite the place being insanely busy. It is a seafood centric resto with some non seafood choices and the chalkboard menu changes frequently.
                    Service was excellent but most of all the food was amazing! They specialize in comfort food done exceptionally well and you will find the choices not as heavy as APDC.

                    We shared the jerk crab legs and oysters to start and I had the braised short ribs while my gf had the lobster.

                    Every dish was the best we have ever had. I don't know what else to say other than I consider it a Montreal must go.

                    You will not regret a visit. I promise.

                    11 Replies
                    1. re: stonegenie

                      Meh.. They day I went it was Chuck's day off.Not impressed.

                      1. re: petek

                        It seems to be currently acceptable that most nights at a restaurant are also the chefs night off. My last two weekend visits to PDC were "sans Martin et sans Hugue".

                        Just don't get me going again on that whole thing ....

                        1. re: PoppiYYZ

                          To be fair to Mr Hughes,I read somewhere that the weekend I visited Garde Manger he suffered some sort of foot injury.Everyone deserves a day off,but when I;m paying almost $100.00 for a meal,it better be as good as when the chef is cooking or not.

                          1. re: petek

                            @petek: That's the difference between a cook and a chef. A cook can only do that, but a chef is a great teacher/mentor as well. You can cook the best meals in the world, but if you can't teach those skills, you're no chef.

                            1. re: Shattered

                              I have much respect for Chuck Hughes as a chef,that's what drew me to his restaurant in the first place but that particular night was a disappointment.
                              I might even give Garde Manger another shot.

                          2. re: PoppiYYZ

                            Hugue Dufour hasn't worked at PDC in a good while. He and his wife run a restaurant, M. Wells, in Long Island City, NY.

                            1. re: rcianci

                              I think they were talking about Chuck Hughes of Garde Manger, not the person you're thinking of. He has a show on Food Network Canada called "Chuck's Day Off" - hence the earlier reference.

                              http://www.chuckhughes.ca/

                              1. re: kpzoo

                                I know who Chuck Hughes is. We get his show here in the States. Was addressing my remarks to PopiYYZ who is talking about dining at APDC when the famous chefs are not in the house.

                                1. re: rcianci

                                  Oh, sorry about that. Too many Hughe(s), I got confused as to who was responding to what. ;-)

                                  p.s. didn't know Chuck's Day Off was on in the US!

                                  1. re: kpzoo

                                    I know. It's difficult to tell Hughe(s) is Hugue. (Sorry, couldn't resist.) :-)

                                    1. re: rcianci

                                      Hehe. Thanks for the morning giggle. ;-)

                      2. I also live in NYC but go to Montreal at least once a year. Au Pied du Cochon is the only place we go on EVERY trip. It's definitely in my top 5 favorite restaurants in the world. You won't find anything close to it in NYC and everything I've had there has been absolutely delicious. If you like foie gras like I do, it's heaven. Start with foie gras cromequis and end with pudding chomeur. Duck in a can deserves every bit of hype it gets. Foie gras and boudin tart is another personal favorite. Their seafood tower is also fabulous. Definitely check out the specials. Basically I've never had anything that wasn't delicious there.

                        The only caveat - the food is heavy (though you could order light, but that's kind of missing the point) so if you're planning on any "action" after the date, I wouldn't recommend it.

                        1. There is nothing I can think that compares to APDC and thats not just North America. I live in TO and if I could drive up every weekend to eat there I would do it!
                          Its the highlight of my life as foodie! Indulgence a life time event something that has to be experienced to comprehend. Black Hoof is popular here in TO but can;t be compared to APDC.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: elvisahmed

                            ok- you guys have convinced me. maybe the way to go is to gather a bigger group and try all kinds of stuff, and leave the date night for when we visit another place!

                          2. The Plogue A Champlain at PDC should be in your Top 3 "Must Eat" items before you die. It may help you die, but what a way to go.

                            Simply must be experienced.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: PoppiYYZ

                              Oh yes - love that too. Perfect combination of sweet and savory.

                            2. I think I am one of the few who finds this place meh. I've been here three times now with various visiting friends that wanted to try it and left feeling that "it was acceptable".

                              It's not terrible by any means but I don't really understand the hype.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: gerbera

                                I'm curious to know what was the problem with your experiences?

                                The only dish I didn't like was the poutine au foie gras. It was just a total messy plate, The fries were soggy. The rest was very tastefull. It is heavy food that takes time to digest. But I must say that we ate like pigs, filling the belly to the top.

                                1. re: maj54us

                                  There was no problem.

                                  I just didn't find the experience or the food as hyped up as it is on this board. For me, I found it acceptable but I would not go out of my way to come here on my own.

                                  For the record I like foie gras and game meats.

                                2. re: gerbera

                                  I agree. Except for the amazing pudding chomeur, APDC just lathers lard on everything, including side vegetables. Just because something is indulgent to the extreme, doesn't mean it's good.

                                  1. re: db050870

                                    Have you had any of the seafood options? I've had beautifully roasted halibut among other seafood courses that were far from "lathered lard".

                                    I've only ever detected finishing olive oil drizzled on the vegetables, but maybe I'm wrong...

                                    1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                                      I'm with you Splendid. I love the bison rib as well. It is not bathed in lard.

                                3. Au Pied de Cochon is a definite "no miss". As others have warned, the food is quite heavy, but very delicious. I feel that its best to have repeat visits and order very lightly each time. Since you can't do this strategy, you should go with a group and order multiple things to share.

                                  I like The Black Hoof, but have never really understood the hype. I don't think it compares at all to APdC.

                                  1. I have eaten at APDC many times and highly recommend it, BUT you have to be an adventurous eater. If you don't like foie gras, bison, or are repulsed by the thought of a dish being served at your table in a can, then don't bother going.

                                    If you really want a Quebecois experience, visit their Sugar Shack. http://cabaneasucreaupieddecochon.com...

                                    I just went this weekend and it was one hell of an experience.

                                    Also, if you want something truely Montreal, you have to go to Schwartz's for the smoked meat.

                                    6 Replies
                                      1. re: VanCosta

                                        I doubt they will be able to get a reservation at the APDC sugar shack - a few weeks ago someone said in another thread that there are no more spaces available this season.

                                        1. re: kpzoo

                                          They might be able to get seats at the bar. When I went, it was wide open.

                                          1. re: VanCosta

                                            There's a bar at the sugar shack?

                                            1. re: kpzoo

                                              Yes there is. I went for lunch, but I hear it gets quite lively at night.

                                          2. re: kpzoo

                                            Yeah, their website says they're booked up this season. But someone on Outer Boroughs board said on a thread about their old chef's restaurant in Queens (M. Wells) that sometimes it's possible to snag a seat last minute - good luck! I wish I was going.