Eating at Au Pied de Cochon makes me think a lot about what it would be like if lumberjacks and fur trappers decided to throw a celebratory feast in the dead of winter. This only works if you can imagine lumberjacks dining on foie gras and all sorts of braised meats with lobsters, crabs and scallops on the side! Nonetheless, if there is such a thing as elevated on the fray wilderness mountain man cuisine, this is a good example. After all, this is food coming from a man who made an episode on cooking moose heart.
As you’ll notice, there is nothing precious or fussy about the food. It is rich, heavy and all together meaty and simply plopped on big white plates. There is little to no atmosphere, the dining room is plain and well-lit, and I don’t recall any music playing. The kitchen staff is right in front of you firing the wood oven, peeling onions and prepping and cooking as the night goes on. At one point, my eyes started to water from the smoke coming from the fried onions. So, yeah…not a romantic date dinner unless you’re into The Lord of the Flies and find something sexy about watching people eat a whole, roasted pig’s head.
We started dinner with a lovely Tomato Tartlet, baked to flakey perfection and drizzled with olive oil, and a side of duck fat fries. Unfortunately, we couldn’t really pick out what made duck fat fries more special than regular fries, but as far as fries go they were good. While I found the tomato tartlet very enjoyable and light, it was nothing spectacular and Leo thought it was almost too simple.
For my main, I ordered the The Melting Pot. It came in a cute red cast iron pot filled with different cuts pork sitting on a bed of garlic & cheese mashed potatoes with two whole onions. If I’m remembering correctly, the meats included boudin/pig’s liver, pork chop, housemade smoked sausage and ribs. The mashed potatoes were drenched in the meat juices and kinda of a sloppy mess, it had too much garlic and cheese for my liking and I stopped after a few bites. The smoked sausage and pork chop was good, tender and moist. As I didn’t care for liver, I had a small taste and left the rest for Leo. Out of all cuts, my favourite was the rib, it had a nice smokiness to it and I enjoyed the caramelized bits.
Since we couldn’t go at P.D.C. without ordering the famous Duck in a Can, Leo bravely attempted to finish the entire thing. All I will say about this dish is that I cannot imagine a more gluttonous experience than duck fat melting on your tongue. If you’re going to eat and chew on pieces of fat, it doesn’t get any better than what we’ve had.
We ended dinner with the lightest dessert we could get: the crème brulee. While it didn’t look appetizing at all, it acted like a much needed palette cleanser. Having some nice tea helped as well.
We went home with leftovers, of course: