Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cabane à Sucre Au Pied de Cochon

After our last visit to Montreal and our amazing meal at Au Pied de Cochon, we were excited to hear that APDC had a sugar shack each season among the farms outside Montreal. Reservations were quite hard to come by, apparently, but we emailed them one minute after midnight on the day they began taking requests for the year (Dec.1) and lo and behold, we got an 8pm slot on the Sunday night of their opening weekend!

we drove up to Montreal, stopping in at Mass MoCA for a Jeff Mangum show, eager to try the decadent sugar shack menu. the shack was more than an hour outside the city (and in the dark, along lonely farm roads, with no GPS...it was a little stressful to find) but we arrived early enough.

It was incredibly cold outside, but we checked out the outdoor equipment anyway.

Sitting at the bar, we could see directly into the meat-fridge.

From time to time the kitchen staff would poke fingers into...something and taste and sniff at it. Hmm.

Quickly the warm cabin got loud and convivial.

The chefs had decided to serve dessert before and after the meal. We started with a variety of maple sweets--maple popcorn, maple cotton candy, maple donut holes, shots of the precursor to maple syrup, maple brittle, and more.

Maple creme on top, maple syrup underneath.

Manchons de poissons et canard sauce BBQ à l’érable. Duck legs wrapped in a mousse of shrimp and salmon, breaded and fried, and a sticky maple BBQ sauce for swabbing.

Salade d’oreilles criss. Some greens and endive underneath; on top, super-crispy fried pork fat, with duck hearts and a bleu-cheese-maple sauce. This sounds bizarre but worked perfectly together.

Omelette au bacon et cervelle à l’érable. An omelette with potatoes topped with bacon, veal brains, and maple.

Foie gras entier sur la crêpe à Cécile. A pancake with baked beans, foie gras, cottage cheese, and maple atop. The runaway hit of the night.

Jambon à l’ananas. Ham with pineapple and "mashed" potatoes.

Poulet farci au cotechino, homard et foie gras / haricots amandines a l’érable. Roasted chicken stuffed with cotechino, lobster, and foie gras; green beans with almonds and maple. Here, in a serving being carried out to the larger tables, it seems to be drowning in its own boat of gravy.

And in cross-section:

For only $10 more, how could we not get a half of a tourtiere (meat pie) as well? Homemade corn relish on the side.

Dessert again: gâteau meringue a l’érable et aux noix (a cake with maple meringue and pecans), Jello et yogourt à l’érable (maple Jello and yogurt Jello), and crème glacée molle à l’érable et tire (soft ice cream with gooey maple taffy--this one was by far the best).

It was, by any measure, a fantastic meal. We probably ate two bites of each dish and took the rest home in bags and to-go containers. Some weren't as good as they sounded (the brains omelette, the maple Jello) and others blew all expectations out of the water (the beans and foie pancake, the fried pork fat and duck heart salad), but overall it was stellar and worth the drive up from NYC.

American Flatbread in Burlington VT

We had lunch at a "hippie pizza" place named American Flatbread (which has a location in NYC, apparently). Despite the mall-ish sounding name, the pizza was amazing. We got a half "medicine wheel" with pepperoni + half Vermont sausage, plus a darn good green salad with ginger dressing.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Namkeen French toast

namkeen French toast. did not follow any recipe, just kind of went with it as an experiment because I was home alone for breakfast + we had extra challah (Priya made maple French toast casserole for Lena's baby shower).

it was really good! I thought of several things I would keep + several things I would do differently next time, if I were making this for other people. one thing I might try is crushing up actual namkeen snacks (maybe dal biji or something) and using it as the coating mixed with the egg/milk (kind of like how cornflakes are sometimes used in sweet French toast).

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Il Buco Vineria

Rob & I took Jenna & Priya to Il Buco Vineria for their January birthdays. Though I'd heard some mixed things, every single dish we had for dinner was fantastic--though dessert dropped to "just OK".

Housemade salumi plate. The American prosciutto was better than most of the stuff I got in Parma. The bread was also awesome--it was $1 per person and we ordered repeats (though they didn't charge us the second time):

Ricotta, Chioggia beets, blood orange, pistachio:

Foie gras, clementine mostarda:

Cacio e pepe:

Enormous short rib with olive, celery, walnuts, horseradish:

Lasagna, kind of deconstructed, still delicious:

Agnolotti with butternut squash (amazing, but this is the one thing we thought was too skimpy on the portion size):

Porchetta with pickled kumquat:


Apple tart:

Pink grapefruit and Campari sorbet, honey-yogurt gelato, and salted-caramel gelato: