Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Friday, April 25th

another very late start. we headed to St. Viatur Bagel for breakfast (at 2pm) to try the famed Montreal bagels at a place supposedly "better than Fairmount Bagel". the bagels were odd-looking, very thin, and tasted very much like a soft pretzel--quite sweet, though. we split a plain one and then went to our real lunch, to a place recommended by a friend of priya's.

it was a Guyanese place called Jardin du Cari (Garden of Curry?). we got a ginger beer and a sorrel soda and two rotis--goat, and chickpea-and-potato.

both were delicious + cheap + large! then we scooted over to the famed Fairmount Bagel for another plain bagel for comparison. it was darker and more cooked than the Viatur bagel, and still kind of pretzelly. decent, but not blow-your-mind amazing. priya threw her half away (we were pretty full).

we strolled around waiting for priya's friend adam to arrive and met up at a supposedly awesome cooking shop called Les Touilleurs. it had some fancy and cute stuff, but was ultimately disappointing--pretty small, not much selection, very overpriced. very sad. we did go to several more cooking stores as we killed time waiting for our giant dinner and made a bunch of small purchases--kitchen timers, tea spoons, et cetera.

finally it was 8:30 and time for our reservation at Au Pied du Cuchon. we met simon at the restaurant and were seated within fifteen minutes or so. nevertheless, they gave us a round of beers on the house for waiting, I guess--St. Ambroise, since they were unfortunately out of the house PDC brand.

I had never eaten foie gras in my life before, so this was going to be quite a first experience. we decided to order family style and try as much as possible...

first, deep-fried cubes filled with liquid foie gras. you had to put the whole cube in your mouth and bite it and "shoot" the hot liquid, else it would squirt everywhere. they were called cromesquis, I believe. we'd also ordered a goat cheese and golden beet salad, hoping for some fiber, but there were basically no greens on it! oh well. the chevre was delicious.

then came one of the best dishes of the night: a pancake topped with bacon, cheese, fried potatoes, foie gras, and maple syrup. like the most decadent breakfast of all time. alongside it was an order of the dish that had put the restaurant on the map: foie gras poutine, with two thick gravies and a large lobe of foie gras laid atop cheese curds and french fries (fried in duck fat, of course). both dishes were amazing. so far, foie gras was treating me well.

which was good, because the drippiest and richest was yet to come. a lamb shank studded with garlic and cooked with lentils was absolutely delicious, yes, but the highlight was the pied de cochon itself: a pig's foot (with an attached leg, the size of a person's arm, almost) stuffed with foie gras, topped with a lobe of foie gras, on a bed of cheesy mashed potatoes, with a thick creamy mushroom and snow peapod gravy...we had to turn the hoofy part away from priya, but in the end we ate pretty much all of it. it was very very meaty, with huge chunks that just pulled away from the knobby bones of the leg and foot, and whole garlic cloves floating here and there, infused with thick rich creamy foie gras...the very thought of it almost makes me sick now, but it was so, so good.

before and after:

of course we saved room for dessert. unfortunately, they had run out of tarte de sucre (sugar pie; Simon claimed they only make two per day. really?) so we had two orders of pouding aux chômeurs (pudding for the unemployed, perfect for the recently-laid-off priya). this was basically a piece of bread/cake soaked in a dish of thickened, delicious maple syrup. perfect for all of us, as it turned out.

and the total bill? $60-70 each, including a glass of wine for adam and me. amazingly low for what we got, I think! we spent more at Montee du Lait (about $80 each with wine bottle, tip, tax, etc.)

would eat at PDC again, most definitely. but maybe not for quite some time.

and I know this is ostenstibly a food blog, but how about a picture of DISFEAR taken at the late late show at Katacombes?

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