This post is also available in: French
Every year we look forward to one event and that is the Pied de cochon Cabane a Sucre. Getting a reservation here takes patience, luck and divine intervention on behalf of the food gods. Now to be clear, I still haven’t gotten my call back from them but, thankfully, my friend did and got the first date so he offered me a spot. For this, I am eternally grateful. The dinner menu is the same as the daytime menu so, with a liberal interpretation, I am adding this to my brunch reviews.
I should also note that if PDC is reading this please, please, please call me, we love you and I have people from across Canada and the USA asking if I got my call back.
Before we get to the food I would like to share my experience from that day. As we walked up we saw Martin Picard, Anthony Bourdain, Frédéric Morin and David McMillan seated in the kitchen area feasting on food and alcohol. To be this close to my food heroes made me speechless and I still have trouble believing that it was not a dream.
For $59 you get a spot at the table where the food gods have laid out a feast. We started off with a selection of their drinks which is a bourbon and home made maple soda, a maple martini and a daiquiri. They also have beer. The Martini had taffy on a stick placed inside which gave it that authentic sugar shack feel. Also, normally, I’m not a fan of bourbon but this, I was able to drink.
This year we started off with homage to maple and its sweetness. They brought a multi layered opening course separated with log slices. You have chocolate covered whippets, taffy, breads, mini ice cream cones with maple syrup inside, maple spread, and a shot of maple and gin at the bottom. Initially I was curious why they would start off with something so sweet. Then, I remembered my last trip here when I needed to take a mini nap before heading back. The sugar bump will keep you powering though the onslaught of food so by the end you will not slip into that food coma right away.
Once we cleared this dish we made our way to the first round which consisted of foie gras on top of crepes, Oreilles de Crisse aka Pork rinds salad with rabbit hearts and duck thighs in a batter. The foie gras dish was what I was waiting for: large,warm, delicious pieces of foie gras with each bite tastier than the previous. To use the word generous would be an understatement as there was loads of foie gras and I was loving every minute of it. The Oreille de Crisse are an old classic and I love how PDC prepares them. Other places would give you a solid salty block but La Cabane a Sucre Pied De cochon gives what can best be described as a tempura style pork rinds. They were light, fluffy and not overpowered by salt. There was also pieces of rabbit heart which might not be something you would expect but it worked perfectly. Edging toward the end of this round were these large battered duck thighs with a brush and sauce you apply yourself. I like the “baste first then cut” approach while others like it the other way. I think you can do both and maximize this.
Next up was the meat round with a large glazed ham; a full chicken; beans; and an omelette. The maple glazed ham was enormous, topped with a pineapple and it was incredibly moist and we couldn’t even finish it. The chicken came with a lobster and foie gras bisque. The feet were attached to the chicken so if you like chicken feet you can dig in. There was lots of chicken to go around and as someone who brought it home as leftovers, the surplus was much appreciated. The omelette had nuts and brain included. The brain was unexpected but having it eaten before I was up for it. It’s quite neutral to be honest and the taste and consistency don’t stand out in a bad way, so put your fear aside and try it, it’s actually works nicely with the dish. The omelette was expertly done and although we were all full we truly enjoyed having it.
Finally the desserts came around and you get 3 options of a cake, jello and ice cream. The cake was a meringue with multiple layers and it was incredibly moist and devilishly delicious. The jello and maple was served as a square slice and was quite impressive since I expected the yogourt to have a different consistency. Lastly the ice cream and maple syrup came with taffy which is needed in any sugar shack.
In all, here are some reasons why I love the Pied de Cochon Cabane a Sucre: I get to have copious amount of foie gras for $59 (that is unheard of); the dishes are incredibly generous; and, I get to bring home leftovers. If you do the math, spending $59 will never get you the quality and portion of what we got that night.