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Restaurants & Bars 22

Au Pied de Cochon

HabaneroJane | May 29, 2009 05:11 AM

ate there with two others at a preview last night. was the second night of such trials.

mixed reviews all around

for those who care about decor--the lighting was way too bright and according to one of my dining companions, the lack of windows made him feel closed in and claustrophobic. Overall, it looked like the restaurant in Paris at Epcot, but not as nice. Smaller than it looks from the outside too.

The bar could have been fabulous but instead it faces a wall and it backs up to a very brightly lit seafood case.

Speaking of seafood, when we walked in it reeked of fish. Not in a good way.

A delicious, warm, chewy, crusty baguette was given to each of us--just one--in a wax bag. Nice touch. I wanted more but didn't want to get full.

For starters I had the $10.50 French onion soup though it went against my better judgemetn. $10.50 for a crock of soup is indeed a crock! The cheese was delicious. The soup was too sweet and not oniony or tangy enough and I could have done without it.

The others had escargot---pretty good, served in shell with a savory garlic sauce, and a goat cheese and tomato tart which was dry but tasty.

I had the highly recommended 10 oz beef filet which was served with dry, wilted lettuce, a few thick cut potatos cum fries and though I chose the peppercorn sauce over the bernaise, they served the bernaise saying they didn't yet have the peppercorn. The meat was tender but nothing special. All for a whopping $45

My dining companions had veal---one had veal cheek and the other had veal shank--both were tasty--the cheek came in a small pot that was served tableside--like my grandma's beef stew. very tender and tasty served with boiled potatoes and carrots. Peasant food for, I forget the exact amount, but close to $40.

Dessert was mediocre--a massive creme brulee which was a little, how can I say, mushy, not creamy. A "warm chocolate bar with caramel ice cream" which was not as it was described. Ice cream had little flavor, cake was crunchy and cakey. And for the best dessert, we returned to the dinner menu and ordered the cheese plate, which was surprisingly not offered on the dessert menu. Cheeses were fabulous, from a creamy goat to an outstanding, nutty Reblochon.

Also on the menu, all sorts of oysters and fish towers which we've seen everywhere. Lots of seafood and meat and duck dishes.

Being that this is a 24 hour restaurant (not for long, mark my words), we asked if this dinner menu was the one they will serve at, say 3 a.m. and the waiter (excellent and from Marseilles) said yes. Hmm. who is going to eat veal cheek at 3 am?

The breakfast menu looked the best, with typical French fare--croissants, quiches and egg dishes.

Lunch menu was not unlike dinner except for a few sandwiches---croques monsieur and madame and some baguette stuff. Decent prices.

I think the place will fare the best for breakfast.

Wasn't sexy enough to want to return at night , even to the bar, but who knows .

Outside wasn't open, per se, yet, but those few tables may be choicest if it's not too hot.

Overall impression--we were all kind of disappointed and expected it to be more like, say, Pastis in New York, but we shall see what happens as the summer creeps up on them and the economy continues to falter.

I wish them the best of luck, though in this tough market!

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