Au pied de cochon report
After Carswell`s rec, I decided to take my NYC guest to PdC for dinner on Fri night. Arrived at 8PM and the restaurant was busy but not oppressively so. We were actually given our choice of tables which was nice. Did I mention that wonderful aromas were emenating from the partly open kitchen? We decided to begin with a douzen fresh oysters (there were 5 varieties on the menu so we did 2 of each). The shellfish were perfect (falling into our mouths with no more effort than tilting the shell). The oysters were served on ice with a small vinegar and red onion sauce on the side. I had a half pint of the stout to accompany them...a perfect match. As an interim course, we chose to have a simple salad that was very fresh and perfectly dressed. We also tried a pepper that the chef was coring and flash frying...they were fantastic with jsut the right amount of bite so that they did not overwhelm the palate (there was a garlic mayo served on the side). For plats pricipaux, my date had the lamb and I the magaret de canard with mushrooms. Both were incredible (the lamb melted in your mouth). We washed it down with a reasonably priced Ribiera del Duero (Spain). Instead of desert, we opted for a cheese plate and were not disappointed. The plate had a trio of cheeses: goat, padano, and a third that I am forgetting, but not because it was forgetable, it was actually very similar to an cheese that I had at a friends farm in Ticino in Sept). As a bonus, the simple crusty country bread that was served with the meal was perfect for mopping up sauces.
Now for the kicker....as we were waiting for a cab, Martin Picard came over to ask how the meal was etc. After a few seconds (I think that he took a liking to my date), he invited us to have a post-dinner drink with him at the bar. After some vodka neat, he wanted to know what we had had for dinner. When he discovered that no fois gras had been savored, he jumped form his stool and raced into the kitchen. When he returned, he had three of the biggest, most luscious pieces of fois that I have ever seen. An already great evening of eating was capped off with fois gras and a 1.5 hour conversation with the chef. Oddly enough, he and I share the same birthday, so I think that I am supposed to go hunting with him next week, but it was getting a bit hazy by that point of the evening.
My advice to all is go be a pig au pied de cochon!
PS I had another wonderful evening with my fiend at La Papaye Verte the following night.
Great story, O'Malley! Glad you had a good time.
>(I think that he took a liking to my date)
Could be. But, then again, he didn't invite your date hunting, now did he? ;)
Another theory: Over the years I've come to believe that many people in the fine food and wine business--a generally outgoing bunch to begin with--have a sixth sense, a radar, that allows them to identify strangers who appreciate their work, share their enthusiasm. And they reward this almost automatically. Don't know how otherwise to explain unrequested and unbilled dishes that have appeared on our table at restaurants the first time we've eaten there; or an invitation to poke around the kitchen at Chez Panisse the first time I ate there; or the free pours from bottles hidden behind the counter at the Salon des vins and other tastings; and so on.
Oh, now I'm *really* jealous.
My husband and I were just in Montreal, on vacation. Au pied de cochon was on our list of restaurants to try, but we simply didn't get around to it. Now I really wish we had. :( It'll be on my "must-see" list next time, though.
How lucky for you that you got to hang with the chef and sample his foie gras. Too bad you didn't have some lovely sauternes with you, eh?
Thanks for the details of your evening. I love reading this stuff. Hope your NYC date had a good time, too.