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.

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