It was a miserable, rainy day, as we headed over to the Atwater Market for some exploration and a light breakfast. It reminded me of Granville Island in Vancouver or the Byward Market in Ottawa. There were many shops selling various meats, cheeses, seafood and other goodies. We stopped at a bakery for some croissants and coffee.
Underground Passage to Eaton Centre
We then metro’d over to the underground passage hoping to explore the shopping malls. Unfortunately, the underground paths were not the easiest to navigate and we ended up having to walk above ground in the heavy rain to find our way to Eaton Centre. We did not spend too much time there as we were tired and hungry, so we made our way out of the mall for some lunch.
The Silver Lining: La Banquise
It was a weekday at around 2pm and the weather was still terrible so I figured it is a good time to try our luck at La Banquise, which usually has a long line. My assumptions were correct, as there was no wait! We were happy to finally sit down and dry up, while sharing two poutines – the Classic and La Fred Caillou. The classic was even better than I had remembered it. The potatoes and gravy were sweet and the cheese curds were tasty. The Fred Caillou was also excellent and truly a meat-lover’s paradise with ground beef, smoked meat, spicy sausage & merguez sausage.
The rainy weather was truly a bummer so we headed up for a siesta in anticipation for our exciting dinner plans tonight.
Au Pied de Cochon: A Foie Gras Lover’s Dream
For dinner, we had made reservations at Au Pied de Cochon (PDC), another very popular restaurant in Montreal. We had originally wanted to order some wine for the table but their drink special was too enticing. They were serving gin and tonics sweetened with their own maple syrup and a splash of champagne. It was very tasty and probably the best G&T I’ve ever had.
For those who do not know, PDC’s specialty is foie gras. We cannot help but to order a year’s worth of foie gras dishes this evening. Some items were not available but we were able to order their most popular items.
For appetizers, we started with the Wagyu beef tongue. It was super tender, melt in your mouth good with a phenomenal sauce on top. I’ve always been a beef tongue fan but this one was probably one of my favourites. We wished we saved some more bread to dip in the sauce.
Next, we had the Foie Gras Nigiri, which was truly one-in-a-million. It was nicely presented in a spoon, hors d’oeuvres style. The generous portion of foie gras was served over a spicy rice with a peanut butter sauce in between. You then pour a ponzo sauce on top of all that as it trickles down the layers into the spoon while soak through the rice. Close your eyes and experience a truly magical experience in your mouth. That way you can fully appreciate all the layers of deliciousness all in one bite. I think most of us regret till today that we did not order a second serving of this unique dish.
Our last appetizer was their special for the day, a pear foie gras dish with a layer of mystery meat. It was good but definitely not as remarkable as the first two dishes.
As for our mains, we started with the famous Duck in a Can. Don’t forget the 100g of foie gras. It was literally served from the can. It was nicely made duck but we felt we were probably over doing it on the foie gras by this point.
Next, we had the famous stuffed PDC and foie gras. I felt the the skin of the pig feet was a bit too dry. And at this point in our meal, we definitely had WAY too much foie gras.
When we were ordering, we questioned whether we should order another main. Our server suggested that we should, so we had their special for the night, the pork shoulder. The serving sizes here are definitely generous and we quickly realized it was a mistake and our server overestimated how much we can eat. The meat was tender and served with a side of butter risotto which felt like it was 90% butter, less so risotto.
At the end, we had to pack most of the last two dishes as left overs. Despite all that, the guys decided to end the meal with some dessert, specifically the Milkshake XXX made with maple syrup liquor. Luckily, it was not too heavy but a milkshake is still a milkshake and I could only take a few sips by this point. Overall, a very gluttonous night, but also one which was unforgettable.