Canard a la presse in Toronto?
My mom requested canard a la presse for her birthday dinner. Does anyone know a restaurant that serves it and if it's any good? I had no idea what it was until I did a bit of research: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pressed_.... I thought I knew my food, but chalk it up to my mom for finding something that I knew nothing about =)
I'd love any tips/advice. Thanks!
I've not seen this being served, or seen the press itself (as decoration), in Toronto. It's a very specific and fancy dish - usually done tableside (I think) - which is probably why most people don't order it as well.
Chris Klugman had it on the menu at Winston's in the early 90's and even then it was considered a retro thing to do. He had rescued the antique presses from the restaurant's attic where they had been long disused.
The chef's at Joe Beef in Montreal had an article in the Lucky Peach magazine about making canard al a presse. It not on their regular menu as far as I can tell but it can't hurt to make a call and ask nice. I'd be willing to bet there's a restaurant somewhere in Quebec that has this on their menu.
I think your Mom is really telling you it that she wants to be taken to Paris for her birthday.
I bought a sterling silver one back in the eighty's for around 2K. The idea is to squish out all the blood, marrow, fat and juices from the cooked carcass to slather on the breast and leg of the just cooked duck. This warm liquid is usually mixed with pepper and a good Bordeaux. I use it occasionally for both duck and lobster. You use it at the table to wow guests, so it's as much for show as anything.
I had pressed duck last year in a very traditional restaurant called Via Veneto in Barcelona. When I arrived (at 10 p.m.) I was the first there, by the time I left (around 1:30 a.m.) almost every table had ordered the duck! I know Daniel's (New York) was serving it, but here is an idea closer to home. I've seen it on the menu at chinese restaurants in hong kong and san francisco. I wouldn't be surprised if you called around a bit and found that a more upscale chinese restaurant (probably in Markham) might have some version on their menu or would prepare something for you.
I cooked at the long gone Lake Placid Club that had Pressed Duck on the menu. Well-healed customers loved it for the show and wait staff hated it for the mess. They had to clean and polish the contraption.
You might find an older hotel or restaurant (Royal York?) that can do it, but i'd guess you are looking at a very pricey meal. I'll ask a few older chefs for any ideas.
Unfortunately this will prove to be impossible in Toronto. In fact, I only know of 1 place in Paris serves it.... La Tour d’Argent. I have to agree with bytepusher on this one...Your mom wants a ticket to France....