We began the day at Jean Talon, a open air food market. It’s what you would get if you mated Haymarket with Quincy Market, lots of vendors, selling all types of food: fruit, veggies, meats, fish, cheeses, breads, sweets, spices, oils, books etc., but nice, clean and tourist friendly.
We snagged a table at a café and got an assortment of goodies from around the market; we had 2 crepes, one nutella and peach, one tomato and goat cheese, 4 croissants, one plain, one chocolate from 2 different bakeries and a baguette with a ripe sheep’s milk cheese.
We also had baklava, maple syrup pie, lemon pie, vanilla bean ice cream, and dulce de leche ice cream later. The maple syrup pie was so sweet that Hubby had to get the ice cream to temper the sweetness of the pie.
We planned on trying the famous Poutine at Patati Platata, but to our dismay they were closed for 2 weeks for vacation (Damn Quebec and their ‘European Mentality”). We ended up getting a quick bite at Coco Rico, a place known for their rotisserie chicken. I wasn’t that hungry (after all, you read all the stuff we ate at the market, right?!) so I only had the potatoes. They line the floor of the rotisserie oven with potatoes and roast them while the chicken is cooking, so the chicken fat and juice drip down in to the potatoes as they cook. Brilliant. MJ and Brian had a chicken sandwich, Hubby had some potatoes and a custard.
Dinner was at Au Pied Du Cochon - “the foot of the pig”
The list of accolades is miles long, from the Gourmet Magazine’s article to Anthony Bourdain gorging himself on a episode of No Reservations. The chef is known for his love of all things pork, and his love for foie gras. We ordered a bunch of things and had ourselves a quite a feast. We had:
- Foie gras cromesquis – a perfect bite size cube of breaded deep fried foie gras. You pop the whole thing in to your mouth and liquid foie gras squirts out. It was unique and innovative as a dish, but not as tasty as exploding liquid foie gras sounds. The neatest part was that they take it out of the fryer and let it cool (because molten liquid foie gras would be painful). They periodically checked it with a temperature gun, like Alton Brown has, to ensure the right temp before bringing it to the table.
- Zucchini blossoms in tempura. I know, there was no meat in this dish, but it was still light, airy, crispy and good.
- Cochonnailles platter – It had a selection of pates, sausage, and other pork goodness. A nice charcutiere plate.
- Tarragon bison tongue - I love tongue, and this was no exception. It was MJ’s first time trying tongue. Brian really enjoyed the sauce, sopping it up with bread.
- Poutine – fries, covered in gravy and cheese curds. This was the dish we failed to hunt down earlier in the day. It’s one of the dishes that
- Foie Gras seared with onions and raspberries. It was the foie gras special of the night. The sweet tartness of the raspberries went well with the rich silky foie gras.
- Duck in a can – duck breast, foie gras, cabbage and onions is packed in to a can (like any you would see down the canned veggie aisle) and cooked. They bring it to the table with a plate of mashed potatoes atop a slice of bread and crack it open with a can opener and dump the whole thing on to the plate. It’s quite a presentation. The duck was flavorful and tender and the foie gras was perfect (my favorite foie gras of the three we had).
- Dessert was a Poached pear with Vanilla Ice cream, Pudding chômeur (maple pudding cake) and a Dark chocolate "pot de crème". We attempted to order the sugar pie, another item on the list of tradition Québécois food to try, but they were out. The pear was disappointing and the Pudding chômeur was too sweet (it needed ice cream to temper it J ). The pot de crème was good, rich, dark, smooth and intense.
Fantastic meal, I really enjoyed it. I’m so happy that we went to people who appreciate food as much as we do. My only regret is not trying the signature dish “Stuffed pied de cochon with foie gras,” that’s right, a pig’s foot stuffed with foie gras. Next time.