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Meditation on Au Pied de Cochon

Posted by Kim / May 16, 2008

20080515_apdc5.jpgAu Pied de Cochon is no stranger to Midnight Poutine. Quite clearly, it is no stranger to me either, and thank God for that. I wish that I could write individual reviews on each dish I enjoy there, but I doubt that would go over very well with the powers that be. Instead, I will settle for writing reviews per visit, and attempt to do fair justice to all the dishes I get to enjoy.

The menu at Au Pied de Cochon seems to change so much and so often that each time I go, it feels like I'm at a different restaurant; it's always a surprise, with the exception of the consistent amazingness of the staff, skill in which the food is prepared, and the light-hearted and joyous atmosphere of the entire place.

I read somewhere that Au Pied de Cochon can be called "fantasy" food; what an apt description! The experience of eating there is as magical as the food itself. Add some foie gras (it's APDC, you've gotta), and there's no restaurant that offers up anything as fantastic as is this place.

20080515_apdc9.jpgThe selection this time around consisted of three entrees and one main course, split between two of us. Needless to say, we practically rolled home in utter bliss. The first entree was the tarragon bison tongue. I had never sampled tongue before, and now I'm sorry I've been deprived of it my whole life. The sliced tongue sat in mounds alongside some cubed carrots and a small amount of tarragon-infused sauce, all of it sprinkled with fresh herbs. The meat was smooth and almost creamy; cutting into it was like slicing through warmed butter. Tasting slightly like pork, the tarragon stood out proudly.
20080515_apdc4.jpgNext up, a special of the day: fingerling mashed potatoes with cod cheek. I closed my eyes in mind-numbing delight with every bite. When I first tasted the mash potatoes, it was so smooth, rich and creamy, I forgot I was eating potatoes and instead, had been served a big bowl of cream sauce. The cod cheek added a delicate, flaky texture to the dish and was surprisingly light and flavourful, even with such a potato backdrop. Little fried bit of potato added a shock of crisp saltiness. Wow.
20080515_apdc1.jpgWe also ordered the duck Carpaccio, which was exquisite. The duck was like velvet, with a sharp cheese thinly sliced over the top, with dollops of Dijon mustard around the plate and a raw egg in the corner. I have been quoted as saying sometimes I wish I didn't have to swallow some foods. This Carpaccio made me say this again.

But the dish that took the cake was the foie gras (pictured on top). A mound of it sat atop potato chunks, which were smothered in cheese, with a maple reduction sauce as thick and sticky as molasses covering the whole thing. It attacked every taste bud I own, all the flavours melding perfectly with the heavenly foie gras.
20080515_apdc8.jpgThe main dish was a special of the day, and was a light way to end this fantastical journey into creamy, buttery, fatty foods. A filet of halibut sat beside three shrimp cakes, with bits of warmed tomato and fiddleheads on top. Bursting with freshness20080515_apdc3.jpgand flavour, the fish pulled apart wonderfully, and joined well with the saltiness of the shrimp cakes.

Au Pied de Cochon is where you go to escape reality and enter a world of decadence. As far as eating food goes, I call the experience of eating there transcendent; each dish a journey into what food of my dreams is made of.

Au Pied de Cochon
536 Duluth Est



Jay / May 16, 2008 at 08:28 am
Foie gras poutine!
kim / May 16, 2008 at 08:37 am
I'm sad to say I have to to experience that, Jay.
I'm always too tempted by the other dishes on the menu - but one day!
Rob / May 16, 2008 at 09:32 am
Looks and sounds interesting... but I must admit those ingredients have always made me a little squeamish. / April 4, 2015 at 11:16 pm
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