Au Pied du Cochon: Exciting Quebecois Food in Montreal

The picture above?  That’s a pig’s head with a lobster!

Of all of the delicious, delicious restaurants in Montréal, I dare call this one my absolute favorite, and so do many others!  Featured on most all top-Montreal restaurant lists, food blogs and a host of TV programs, including Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern, Au Pied du Cochon is chef Martin Picard’s Québéc tribute in Montréal.   Au Pied du Cochon – or PDC as its sometimes referred to – features almost exclusively traditional Québécois cuisine (albeit with a modern twist).  Fair warning: this place is not for vegetarians or those dieting.

I most recently visited PDC in July 2015.  We made a reservation at 8:00 p.m. on a Sunday evening. The restaurant was packed.  Definitely make a reservation a few weeks in advance.

The waitstaff all speak perfect English and are happy to translate the somewhat confusing menu (its confusing even in French), and they are not pretentious like some other Montréal restaurants recently featured on this blog.

After deciphering the menu and hearing the specials, we had a terribly difficult time picking one single dish.  Luckily, there were three of us!  As such, we split one main and a platter for two, and two very small appetizers!

First up, Foie Gras Cromesquis.  $4 and described as a foie gras explosion in your mouth.  Sold.

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They were basically fried foie gras with a broth that really did “explode” upon biting into it.  Very good.  I will definitely order these again.

For our second starter, Dan ordered the tongue. He said it was great.

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For our first main, we unexpectedly went off the menu.   As we were preparing to order, we saw  a cart going around in which it appeared that the waiters were mixing fresh gnocci in a cheese wheel.  Yes, that’s what it was !  Change of plans, that was one of our mains, and a great choice.  A sous-chef came over with the cheese wheel and mixed in gnocci and the makings of a very garlicly pesto, then mixed it in the cheese wheel.  YUM!  This was so delicious, and such a large plate!

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For our second main, Dan really, really, really wanted to order the pig’s head.  I acquiesced.  This was by far one of the craziest things we have ever ordered, but Dan swears that this was one of his best meals ever!  The cost was $90 (for 2 people), but you could easily split this between 4-6 people and then supplement with another entrée or appetizers.

The dish came on a baking sheet lined with mashed potatoes, asparagus and a number of other fresh vegtables.  Then the pig’s head.  It was an entire pig’s head that looked like a pig’s head.  Through the middle, the largest lobster I have ever seen.  This would have fed six people no problem (the dish is said for “2 people”).  You just dig right in and it came with brown gravy and lobster bisque sauce on the side!

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And yes, for those wondering, it was complete with brain and tongue.  The entire dish was done really well.  The asparagus were my favorite.

Finally, I had to order PDC’s famous duck fat fries!

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Well not finally, we decided that our meal was so good that we could not pass up dessert.  So we split the homemade bread pudding with maple.  It was quite decadent and very dense, but delicious nonetheless!  We had no problem finishing it!

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To round out your meal, PDC has a good wine list with a number of bottles reasonably priced.  They also make their own beer!

In short, we love this restaurant.  PDC is a nice splurge that does not get too fancy.  PDC is also a great opportunity to try some Québécois food.  Final thoughts, this food is delicious but dense.  I recommended not eating in the hours (or days!) leading up to this meal.  You won’t regret it!

Steal Our Trip

Au Pied Du Cochon – 536 Duluth Est, Montréal (Québec), H2L 1A9. T: Tél: 514.281.1114. Fax: 514.281.1116, reservations@restaurantaupieddecochon.ca

I recommend making reservations 3-4 weeks in advance.  We made ours about a month in advance and still had a bit of difficulty (although, it was prime tourist season!).

On a Budget

Montreal has many other great restaurants.  Some of my favorite, less expensive options are Olive et gourmando and Juliette et Chocolat!

Further, PDC has a food truck and opens up a Sugar Shack outside Montréal in the winter.  Check the website for time/location/cost.

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