I don't recall the last time I took home leftover food from a restaurant, I don't own a dog; if the food is good, I finish it; if the food suck and I don't want to finish it, then I don't want to take it home.
but an exception was made last weekend while visiting Montreal, we went to this place called 'au pied de cochon'. I have read about this place in a magazine as well as in the Times. I hesitated about going there (I was afraid of being in a room with bunch of fucking tourist like myself), but supposedly half the menu involves foie gras, and namesake dish: stuffed pig's foot ( foie gras is involved somehow), make it the must visit for me while I was there. I love foie gras, and I love all edible parts of a pig (pretty much the whole thing), and I do enjoy pig's feet from time to time (I usually braise them).
I was sort of restless before going there, sort of like going on a blind date when you don't really want a girlfriend, it is not that big of a deal, it is just another date (meal) but yet you hope she is hot, and you want the date to not suck, since you are already committed to drop some cash.
The meal turned out really memorable, if not great. the place was really casual and pretty relaxed considering how busy it was. we had smoked mackerel, a ripe summer tomato salad, and pickled bison tongue to start, they were all good. The stuffed pig's foot (mostly deboned, braised, then roasted in the wood fire oven, you see wood oven in just about every place now, especially ones with open kitchen, but this one was the biggest I have seen in a restaurant anywhere, you probably can fit a whole pig in there, and this is a fairly small restaurant) was huge, with a huge piece of foie gras on top, and also comes with mash potato, gravy and green beans. The wild mushroom risotto also came with a piece of seared fatty liver. I tried my best, but we just could not finish it, the dude who cleared my plate seem to think I did as well as anyone not insane (or a hockey player) can reasonably expect.
the disappointment was the wine list and the wine service, it was a big list, but if I had drunk anything not too young or not shitty, it would have cost me at least half of my monthly rent, very few choices were under $100, it has to be the most expensive list I have seen in a presumably neighborhood restaurant, I guess all that press brings in high rollers, and the wine list reflect that. and the server/sommelier were not very helpful other than recommending things quite a big higher than the amount I told him I wanted to spend. we end up drinking a carignan from Pyrenees that was dark and juicy, but way young and way over priced. it really was my own fault, shit, beers would have been just perfect with the foot.
it was a good time, but I am not sure if it was worth the effort.