Choosing travel destinations based on cookbooks can seem foolish -- until you find the right cookbook, that is. For me, one of those cookbooks is Au Pied de Cochon -- The Album. After ogling it for a month and preparing the wonderful foie gras poutine recipe, Rachel and I decided to make the pilgrimage to la belle province for a meal at the source. We just needed to find the opportunity. So when it found us, in the form of our friends Jill and Rob, we packed our bags and thanked The Fates for giving us friends who are perpetually willing to venture near and far for good food.
For a restaurant praised by the likes of Anthony Bourdain and Gourmet, Au Pied de Cochon's dishes are surprisingly unrefined, and gratifyingly so. Most reflect the traditions of pure laine quebecois and their descendants: rustic and bold, devoid of pretension, yet elevated by the quality of the ingredients and the care taken in their preparation. As an Album junkie, I arrived with a list as long as my arm of things I wanted to try.