Friday, July 5, 2013

Montreal Restos: Au Pied de Cochon; Maison Boulud; Toque; Joe Beef.

Au Pied de Cochon

As far as I am concerned, Pieds de Cochon remains one of my favourite restos in Montreal.

 Very good crunchy baguette and sweet tasting butter.

Tarragon flavoured, very tender bison tongue with carrots and chopped sour gherkins. A wonderful dish for lovers of tongue.

Very tasty house made boudin with sauteed apple on mashed potatoes. 

Perfectly cooked, tender, slow roasted bison rib with a very tasty crust .

 A lot to eat!

Tasty duck fat fried frites that could have been crispier.

Pecan pie for 2....I ordered this, only to taste, but wound up eating the whole thing!! Probably one of the best pecan pies I have ever enjoyed. A perfectly light, flakey crust, fresh tasting toasted pecans and a filling that was not too sweet or too thick/viscous. The perfect pie!

Vanilla ice cream that accompanied the pecan pie.

Maison Boulud

Arancini filled with peas, mint and smoked mozzarella. Very good thin crispy crust with a tasty filling. 

One of two significant misses of the evening, "crispy" violet artichokes were not crispy at all (which they should have been). They were mushy in texture because they had absorbed too much of the oil and were very greasy/oily. The aoli was perfect.

Lobster salad wrapped with thin slices of avocado, with mango, basil and nori. 

The other significant miss of the evening, octopus a la plancha with pequillo peppers, marcona almonds and arugula. The flavour composition was very good, but frankly, a disappointing execution. Unfortunately, the octopus was rather tough in texture. Not bad, but not up to the standards expected of this resto. Joso's in Toronto is still my gold standard for what the texture of octopus should be.

Egg yolk raviolo filled with ricotta di buffala, with fava beans, mushrooms and ramps. A very enjoyable dish.

Wonderful, house made, squid ink spaghetti with fava beans, chopped asparagus, perfectly cooked mussels and prawns, raw sea urchin and clay pepper (pimente d'argile). An exceptionally well executed dish with flavours redolent of the sea.

Black cod, paella style with fregola sarda, prawns, stuffed baby squid and Basque chorizo. A lovely dish where each element was perfectly cooked.

Poached rhubarb and tonka bean vacherin with orange sorbet and tonka bean foam. A visual tour de force!

Beignets hot from the oven! A perfect finish.


I only was able to fit Toque in for lunch. But, I should have gone for dinner as the menu was so much more inspiring and ambitious. Next time!!

A delicious head cheese with chow chow and green salad.

Rare duck breast with apple sauce, braised carrots and radishes and a remoulade of julienned carrots, apple and celery.

An addictive apple and almond tart with dulce de leche ice cream and maldon salt.

Joe Beef

A very satisfying and tasty, well flavoured bouillon soup, with fiddleheads, foie gras and morels.

Lamb's tongue and prune yogurt with paper thin slices of green radish and braised carrots. A wonderful dish.

Roues de Tracteurs: pasta chitarra with clams and basil in a deeply flavoured long cooked pig skin and tomato sauce. A very hearty, extremely satisfying dish. 

The "famed" foie gras double down. This just did not work for me.

Slow roasted onion with toulouse sausage stuffing accompanied by fiddleheads and rapini.  

The major miss of the night, great Cumbrae's beef that had been overcooked. Rare requested (we actually asked for very rare but not a cold centre), med-med rare received! Since we were advised that to cook another steak was 40 minutes, this was it. 

Very tasty fites which were not quite crispy enough.

This was such an appealing presentation of bone marrow and peas and such a great dish for marrow lovers.

Fiddleheads with cream and ham, a very appealing side dish. 

Macaroons with cream fillings of various flavours. 

A wonderful moist cake with layers of dark chocolate and vanilla ganache. If I was not so full I would have had a second helping of this item.

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