F4tF: Montreal, Part 4 – Au Pied de Cochon

If you haven’t been keeping up with my latest series of posts from another recent epic food trip, this posting is the fourth and final posting from my trip to Montreal from Friday 2/25 to Sunday 2/27.  So far I have written up my lunch on Saturday 2/26 in the posting Friday For the Foodies: Montreal, Part 1 – Schwartz’s Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen, my lunch on Sunday 2/27 in the posting  Friday For the Foodies: Montreal, Part 2 – Cabane à Sucre Au Pied de Cochon and my amazing and challenging dinner on Friday 2/25 in the posting Friday For the Foodies: Montreal, Part 3 – Nose to Tail dinner at DNA Restaurant. This last posting is all about my dinner Saturday 2/26 at Au Pied de Cochon.

If you go to Au Pied de Cochon you better be aware of two things. 1) Chef Martin Picard loves meat, especially Foie Gras and 2)  The menu is not for the faint of heart or for those with heart conditions.

The one caveat I have to give with this review is that this was a meal where four of us relaxed and enjoyed the food, service and ambiance.  I did take pictures of the meal, but I did not write down everything we ordered – and we ordered a lot. I reached out to my fellow diners that night and got some items ID’d  but not all of the pictures will have the menu item labeled.  Hey, sometimes on these trips you just want to sit down, relax and enjoy the food, ambiance and people you are with.

READ ON for more on Jon’s trip to Au Pied de Cochon…

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Friday For the Foodies: Montreal, Part 2 – Cabane à Sucre Au Pied de Cochon

Last week, I started to recap the epic three-day dining weekend I spent in Montreal with my story Friday For the Foodies: Montreal, Part 1 – Schwartz’s Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen. This week brings part 2 of the weekend, my trip to Cabane à Sucre Au Pied de Cochon aka The Sugar Shack.

My retelling of the weekend is not happening in the order I ate however as my meal at Cabane à Sucre was the last of the weekend and Schwartz’s Deli was the second of the weekend. However, once all four of my meals from the weekend are written up you will understand why I did them in the order I did.

Opened in 2009, Cabane à Sucre is a sister restaurant to Au Pied de Cochon which has been open in Montreal since 2001. Both restaurants are helmed by Chef Martin Picard whose unabashed love for Foie Gras has earned him both respect and scorn in Canada. We were lucky enough to have gotten a reservation at Au Pied de Cochon the Saturday night I was in Montreal. One of the friends who I was with tried to get a reservation the day Cabane à Sucre started taking reservations for 2011 but was shut out. We later found out from one of Martin Picard’s partners in Au Pied de Cochon that the demand for seats for the 2011 season (all of 9 weeks) was so high that the entire season booked out in less than 36 hours this year. Luckily for us, the weekend I was in Montreal was opening weekend which meant that Cabane à Sucre was doing a soft opening weekend (less people sat to get the kinks out, get the service down). During our meal at Au Pied we were lucky enough to score seats to the first seating (11AM) of the second day of service for 2011. On the morning of Sunday, February 27th we hired a car and a driver and headed out from Montreal to St-Benoît de Mirabel, Québec (about a 25 minute drive). 35 Minutes later we arrived at what we later would realize was nirvana. READ ON for more on Cabane à Sucre…

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Friday For the Foodies: Montreal, Part 1 – Schwartz’s Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen

I am back from my epic dining weekend in Montreal last weekend which included a Nose to Tail dinner Friday night at DNA cooked by Derek Dammann & Chris Cosentino, lunch Saturday at Schwartz’s Deli, dinner Saturday at Au Pied de Cochon and lunch on Sunday at Cabane a Sucre Au Pied de Cochon.  I have pictures and descriptions from every meal but this week I am starting with the easiest of the 4 experiences to write up, Schwartz’s Deli.

Here is the history of Schwartz’s and the explanation of what smoked meat is as per their website:

Schwartz’s was founded in 1928 by Reuben Schwartz, a Jewish immigrant from Romania, and our restaurant has been in the same location ever since, on boulevard Saint-Laurent, where it is now tucked in around funky storefronts and trendy boutiques. The restaurant is a single white-tiled room containing several rows of long narrow tables.

We’ve protected our tradition for over 80 years by maintaining the standards of old. Unlike other smoked-meat purveyors, who add chemicals to their briskets, Schwartz’s prepares smoked meat the old-fashioned way using a secret blend of fine herbs and spices marinated for 10 days. Our smoked meat is smoked daily and contains no preservatives; just the award winning taste and freshness that have brought celebrities from all around the world to our tables.

READ ON for more on Jon’s trip to the legendary Schwartz’s…

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F4tF: Guts to Eat the Guts aka Nose to Tail

By the time most of you read this, I will be seated in a restaurant in Montreal, Canada named DNA for a nose to tail dinner prepared by DNA Chef/Owner Derek Dammann and Chef Chris Cosentino of Incanto in San Francisco.

You are probably wondering how a well known chef from San Francisco winds up in Montreal working with a local chef for his Nose to Tail dinner there.

Every year, Chef Cosentino does a nose to tail meal at Incanto.  On February 25, 2009, he changed how he selected his “volunteers” to help with the dinner and put the following posting on the Offal Good site:

Do you have the guts to help cook Head to Tail?

Which read as follows:

I have decided to do something a little different for this year’s head to tail dinner, inspired by the constant requests for knowledge about how to cook offal. Now’s your chance to learn. I will be accepting 2 volunteers to help with the event this year. You get to come into my kitchen and help cook 2 nights of head to tail dinners. You will work your ass off, have some fun and learn a ton, but there are rules to this game. This offer is open to professional cooks only. You will be an unpaid volunteer. You must commit to working in my kitchen for 5 days, from Friday, March 20th through Wednesday the 25th except for Tuesday, which you’ll have off to recover. You must submit your resume and a short essay on why you should be one of the chosen ones. This is a busy time and I don’t have time to be baby sitting. The Head to Tail dinner is a multi-course menu with a shit load of detailed work..

READ ON for more of this week’s column…

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The Stills : Crocodile Cafe, Seattle, WA 4/25/2006

Though now living in New York, The Stills are, in some ways, in an (un)enviable position: they hail from Montreal, the latest “buzz city” and home of The Arcade Fire, among others. While undoubtedly proving a useful boost to young, hungry bands, the current popularity of their hometown also means heightened expectations for all who hail from Montreal. Fortunately for The Stills, their live show is proof that some buzz is justified; they bring it, and bring it good.

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Wolf Parade: Wolf Parade EP

The latest in the line of the hip Canada bands are art rockers Wolf Parade with the release of their self-titled Sub Pop EP. At four tracks and a little over thirteen minutes long the discs give you a good taste of what

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