Au Pied de Cochon

536 Avenue Duluth Est


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For Martin Picard, who is widely credited with putting Québécois cuisine on the map, almost anything edible is an acceptable vehicle for foie gras. At Au Pied de Cochon, he serves it alongside buckwheat pancakes and bacon (drenched in maple syrup), on hotdog buns and even atop Montreal's favorite comfort food: poutine (fries layered with cheese curds and gravy). Dinner at PDC is equal parts communion and conquest; the restaurant opened in 2001, and devout carnivores have been queuing up gamely ever since, eager to challenge each other to "Duck in a Can" and "Pig's Head for Two." If at times the menu verges on carnivalesque, it has also done much to ennoble a culinary tradition that—though it's hard to believe—10 years ago needed a hero like Picard.

If your visit to Montreal happens to coincide with Canadian sugar season (late February through early May), save room for a field trip to Picard's elevated cabane à sucre or "sugar shack"—where he serves an entire menu of maple-sweetened heavy-hitters to cozy revelers and worldly lumberjacks.

Written by Cabell Belk

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