Cabane a Sucre au Pied de Cochon
11382 Rang de la Fresnière
St-Benoît de Mirabel, Québec
62$ per adult +tx and gratuity
As stated in my last post, I have become a big fan of Martin Picard having been to his Montreal restaurant, Au Pied de Cochon and now the Cabane a Sucre bearing the same name.
The PDC Cabane a Sucre is located in Mirabel, Qc; amongst the many sugar shacks along the road. It looks a little rougher than its neighbors. Its unassuming with its large gravel parking lot and simple wooden structure. Upon approach we had no idea of the deliciousness waiting for us inside.
Feel free to dress down. Jeans and flats for sure, ladies. The gravel will not be kind to your high-heels 🙂
People there were so different. There were the regular folk of course, the obvious city-foodies and a variety of groups of different nationalities and back-grounds. I haven’t been to a cabane a sucre in a long time but I think its safe to say that you will seldom find such a variety of people and the presence of Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Porsches in the parking lot, like at this place. Martin Picard has everyone interested!
We went during apple season in September so there were giant wooden crates filled with apples outside, which you can eat at your leisure while awaiting your table. You’ll wanna snack with the amazing aromas wafting out of the ‘mess-hall’.
The inside mirrors the outside. There are wooden beams overhead, thick wooden tables and bench-seating. It is loud and festive. When you walk past other diners’ tables, it’ll look like they’re having a feast from the times of Louis the XIV and nothing like you have ever seen before.
Note: If you are a small party of 2 or 4, there is a chance that you will be seated with other people although you will not be sharing the food. Your parties will be served separately.
When you are seated, the experience becomes even less typical, when your server asks you if you would like a cocktail. Now, that is exactly what other sugar shacks are missing, cocktails! They have a variety of great beers as you would find at their Montreal restaurant + some exciting seasonal cocktails. We had their apple martini, served in a traditional Martini glass, with a perfect white apple core inside as garnish.
They do not offer a menu which worried me at first. You have to eat what they give you but I assure you, you won’t mind at all.
Our first course was unbelievable, crazy-delicious and left us wanting more! It was a beautiful apple pie, served with slices of cheddar on top, layered once again with a few whole pieces of seared fois-gras. Again, there was that tell-tale complexity of flavour comprised of such simple things. There was the tartness of the apple, the traditional flakey pie crust, the flavour of the cheddar and the complimentary buttery-sweetness of the fois-gras. It promised so much for the rest of the meal.
Next came a big le Creuset style pot of steaming hot soup of vegetables, duck and chicken. Once again, unexpected and delicious.
Then came the salad. Now this was something I had never seen before in any restaurant. It arrived, the baby-lettuce leaves still planted in a small pot, fully ‘dressed’ with a fine mist of oil, vinegar and salt. To serve the salad you have to snip off the leaves right into your plate with the scissors provided. You can’t get any more fresh than that and it really came through in the taste.
Our main course did resemble a Louis the XIV banquet or a meal for Conan the Barbarian. So much meat heaped on this giant slab of wood that would surely scandalize those “non-carnivours” we all know lol.. I felt exactly as I did at the Au Pied de Cochon the restaurant. The first impression is that it is needlessly gluttenous and unkempt but that is deceiving. Everything was special. Everything was carefully prepared. There were several types of sausages including apple-fois-gras. We had house-made mortadella cut half an inch thick but it is nothing like the store-bought kind. It was almost like paté and was outstanding. There was also some head cheese, more fois-gras…thinly sliced charcuterie meats and of course a pig’s foot which was so delicious with it’s crispy skin and tender meat on the inside. All was served on a bed of sauerkraut and potatoes with a jar PDC mustard on the side.
This picture below is a fraction of what we got.
You might be thinking, “there can’t be more”
Oh but there was…
For the next course we….got….a….cheese…platter…!! Not little pieces of cheese…not a sampling. This was a platter of big wedges and whole rounds of some seriously delicious Quebec cheeses, which they encourage you to bring home if you can’t eat it all, which you can’t, and we had some professional eaters with us!!
All the food at the Cabane can be brought home. In fact, is is welcomed. They provide takeout containers and everybody in the place brings food home.
Yet another platter arrives with delicious & creative desserts. Swirled light brown and orange soft ice-cream – half beer flavoured and half squash flavoured. The beer and squash lent very interesting yet subtle flavours to it so it still tasted like ice cream. We had beignets too but the real star was the mille-feuille which was the best I have ever had. The falky pastry was so fresh & crispy that you could cut into it without smashing the whole thing. (a common problem with the common mille-feuille 😉
I don’t know if this is unique to my family but every time a platter arrived, our eyes widened and our mouthes probably gaped open for a second, incredulous, in awe and excitement! We must have looked funny but I love us.
All considering, we were full but not uncomfortable. I’m not too sure why though lol
Deliciously rustic is the best description of every aspect of our experience and its what we have come to expect from Martin Picard.
I cannot wait to go back. They open for breakfast , lunch and dinner on the weekend.
Thanks for reading & I hope you try it!