appetizers, main course, and dessert, naturally.
I'd love to start this post with a brief introduction to who exactly Martin Picard is and why some 20 local food bloggers were freaking out over scoring a coveted reservation at his sugar shack, but I'm going to skip it and short track straight to the food.
Anyway, many of you have probably already heard of this Montreal chef and the restaurant where he hangs his apron, Au Pied de Cochon; although, come to think of it, I've never seen him in an apron.
It's not really Martin's style. This is more his thing:
The eating was seemingly endless....the photography documentation exceedingly extensive...all which makes the report expansive. Three posts it will be.
So let's get to it!
Part 1: Appetizers
First up was a salad of fresh greens, walnuts, aged cheddar, and ham, topped with an mound of airy 'Oreilles de crisse' (deep-fried pork rinds). One could hardly call the rinds a garnish, as they equaled the greens in volume, but when all the elements were assembled, the salad made for a very tasty and well-balanced mouthful.
The salmon gravlax was well executed, but a tad boring--and I was wishing for some crostini to drape the silky fish over.
Toast or bread of any sort would have also been welcomed to accompany the following dish: 'Cretons'.
A spiced ground pork spread, this traditional French-Canadian breakfast staple may look like cat food, but I can assure you it is delicious when it is prepared properly.
I thoroughly enjoyed APDC's version, toast or no toast.
Which brings us to the first item I did not enjoy: barbecued chicken feet.
I attacked the spindly claws before any other dish, as I couldn't imagine trying them cold, but even piping hot, crispy and lacquered with a succulent maple glaze, I could not, WOULD not, eat more than one bite.
A quick word on service: excellent.
As I've experienced long waits at the mothership APDC, I didn't have high hopes for the sugar shack. I was pleasantly surprised by the prompt service, smart servers and general attention we received.
Granted, we were a group of 25 foodies/food bloggers. Perhaps that helped. We made quite a scene with our cameras. Good grief. The Cameras.
I was all over this split pea soup with it's earthy chucks of ham and nuggets of foie gras. I doused mine in maple syrup and was completely happy.
These nondescript buckwheat pancakes were alone worth the trek up north, but then I'm a bit of a pancake fiend, as we all know.
Although they were wrapped inconspicuously in a warm towel, they didn't last long around me. Each one was dipped in pure maple syrup and eaten in two bites. Delish.
To be continued...