Restaurants & Bars 3

Au Pied du Cochon

Moulaert | Mar 31, 2004 10:43 AM

So finally my wife and I went to "Au pied du cochon" . We started with a tarte de foie gras - a nice gallete of mille feuilles covered with schmear of chocolate and topped with melted roquefort and slices of foie gras. We shared this appetizer and I felt like I wanted my own. The flavor combination was very innovative while the contrasting temperatures of the uncooked foie gras and the warm melted cheese gave it a bold appeal. I am more of a purist with foie gras and like mine sautéed in a bit of butter with a small piece of poached pear next to it but I have to admit that Picards' imaginative combination is a treat. Maybe its me but I felt like it needed a bit of salt, just a dash. At the end of our dish the waiter brought us a complimentary cromesquis de foie gras - one for each- a typical ammuse guelle sinfully good, imagine a small dice of foie gras rolled in a delicate dough deep fried and served hot - completely unexpected but surely one great touch of hospitality.

The main dish was stuffed cuttle fish for two. Amazing. Piccard is a risk taker and obviously likes to amuse himself in the kitchen - I agree with that, if you don't have fun cooking order take out. Again, the combination of flavors and textures of this dish is something that you will not find elsewhere. I wish I had a better handle of the spices to describe this dish. The stuffing of the fish - a big one about 6 inches long and four across- was some sort of ratatouille and on the side black squid ink rice with rosemary. You have to try this if you can, I love eating stuff that I couldn't cook at home and this is one of those dishes.

Finally we had a small chevre and a Poudin Chaumer for dessert (matched with a port). cheese is always good - you can have that at home, stick with the chaumer you will not be disappointed, on a small ceramic bowl a slice of bread pudding - very light and crispy like floats in a butter sugar reduction. A treat that doesn't match the port so just have water of coffee.

Two things that I did not like are (hum) the portion sizes, one the one hand I thought that the appetizer would be bigger yet the entree was enormous, why serve two people what four would eat? and, the air quality, I am glad that you can't smoke in the restaurant, it is great to have a mélange of spices in the air, but the air circulation is nil, the long room feels very humid and stuffy and the light selection could use some closer attention. This doesn't seem to bother the patrons that were in full force even taking digital photos of the food. Ah! and the bread wasn't hot, a basket of bread should be always hot...

The service was impeccable, fast, friendly, laid back just the right amount we felt right at home. We went on a Tuesday night I wonder how this changes on the weekend.


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