Two summers ago, tfung had come to Montreal with me as I needed to find an apartment to live for my upcoming school years at McGill. He had wanted to visit Montreal as he used to come here often with his family, as his mom is a McGill alumni.
We had booked Pied de Cochon about a week in advance and were only able to land an 8pm booking. From word of mouth, this was apparently a very good time. A lot of my friends can only get a 5pm or 9pm booking. Perhaps it was because we went on a weekday, I’m not sure.
Either way, we had closed the deal on my apartment, paid the deposit and signed the contract, so I was obviously very relieved and happy. I had said that this meal was my treat, as he was a huge help in my apartment-finding ordeal.
To be honest, the restaurant was a little difficult to find. The area wasn’t too difficult, but there wasn’t a huge sign that said Pied de Cochon, and I wasn’t used to the Montreal restaurants back then. Nonetheless, we finally found it and were seated straight away.
The decor of the place is a hybrid between a grill and a seafood restaurant. There were huge tanks filled with different types of seafood, and right behind if was the kitchen where all the grilling and stewing was done. There was also a bar by the kitchen, which was nice for patrons who wanted a heavy snack with a light beer. We were seated close to this bar and so we were able to get a good look at everything.
Bread came after we ordered, and I thought their logo was super cute. Au Pied de Cochon means Pig’s leg.
We ordered half a dozen oysters. It was this summer that we started getting into raw oysters and this was probably one of the first places that we had it together. It was quite fresh and I really enjoyed it. There was some salt at the bottom so on some oysters, you could taste it as you ate the oyster. I believe the oysters were of the East Coast which was why they were sweeter and did not carry the fishy taste.
We also ordered the Foie Gras “Tout Nu”. It was a decently sized piece of foie gras of a firmer consistency. There was a reduced fatty sauce on it, served on a crostini. Honestly, when it first came I was thinking “That’s it for $21???”. But as we started eating it, it was REALLY filling. The two of us could barely finish this piece. It really was delicious and didn’t have a strong organ taste that can turn a lot of people off. It was rich and the sauce complimented it well.
We were recommended the Duck in a Can by our friends, but we opted for the Pied de Cochon as our main. We figured there was a reason that this dish was named after the restaurant. What we got was a piece of pig’s leg covered in a scrumptious mix of onions, tomatoes and other common veggies. On top of the pool of mashed potatoes, was a piece of deep fried mixture of pig’s leg meat, fat and gelatin. I didn’t enjoy the deep fried package much, as I didn’t like the texture and it just tasted gross to me. However the pied de cochon and the mashed potatoes were very delicious. The pig’s leg was completely braised, tender and almost melts in your mouth. The medley of vegetable-filled sauce went well with the braised leg. The potatoes were not too salty or too bland. They were extremely silky which leads me to question whether it’s real potatoes. But altogether it was really good. However the portion size was a little much and we really couldn’t finish it.
The service was quite good. They came when we wanted them to and gave us enough but not too much time to decide. I hate when they rush us in the beginning then don’t come back to take our order for another 30 minutes. They were nice about us sharing a main dish, and were overall quite hospitable despite us being anglophones.
Although it was really good, the food was really really heavy and fatty. It was yummy but I felt guilty about eating this for days after. I haven’t gone back in the last year, mainly because I didn’t want all that fat in my mouth again. If you’re not conscious about what you put into your body, definitely give this a try, and make sure you make a reservation early!! I would recommend at least 1-2 weeks before!
Atmosphere: casual, bustling. grill
Price: $30-50 per person