Pied-à-Terre has been on our list of places to check out for a while now. Q and I have driven/walked by the restaurant many times but we never seem to feel like French food when we’re in the area. After watching Caitlin Hall, the Chef de Cuisine of Pied-à-Terre, compete on Top Chef season 3, we were even more interested to check them out. Finally, we made a booking and had dinner there. (Q: I actually wanted to try it even before Chef Hall went competing on the show! This restaurant has been in the Cambie neighbourhood for a long long time.)
Pied-a-Terre is a really small bistro with just 30 seats. The decor is super simple and elegant, while maintaining an atmosphere of casual dining.
Their menu isn’t expansive, and I like that. It was fairly easy to decide on what to get!
In addition to their regular menu, they have some specials up.
Q and I started with an appetizer to share – the Foie Gras Torchon with Seasonal Fruits and Toasted Bread.
It sounds pretty simplistic on the menu, but it is certainly a complex dish! The foie gras was quite smooth, savoury, and gamey. The fruit compote and jelly went quite well with the foie gras! (Q: I personally did not like foie gras…it is too gamey to my taste. The smear you see on the side of the plate is pear sauce and it was very refreshing. I guess it is more of a palate cleanser.)
We ran out of the toasted bread pretty quickly (Q ate them all too fast!), so it’s a good thing we also had a lot of regular bread to have with the foie gras. (Q: The complementary bread actually came before the foie gras! The bread was hot and pillowy soft! I love the way it is served! My only complain was that the butter was cold making it hard to spread. The butter is also in a ufo-shaped container. I don’t think you can use all that cold, packed butter personally…Beside the minor details, the bread was very enjoyable!)
For the entree, I had the Jarret d’agneau, which was a braised lamb shank.
I really really liked this dish! The lamb shank definitely came with a bit of wow factor. Beautiful presentation. The lamb itself was incredibly tender – it was easy to get the lamb meat right off the shank. While I found the natural gamey-ness of lamb quite mild with this dish, I appreciated the overall richness of the lamb and sauce. I also quite enjoyed the soft polenta, as it helped balance out some of the sauce’s richness. (Q: I don’t eat lamb…it is still gamey to me when I tried it…)
Q ordered from the specials board – she had the Confit Duck Leg!
If you’re a fan of the natural duck flavour, you will love this dish. Unfortunately, Q isn’t a huge fan of that type of flavour, so she wasn’t terribly fond of the dish. Luckily for me, that just meant I got to finish it! (Q: I wanted the roasted chicken actually BUT I know C also loves duck so I ordered this dish with him in mind.) Great crispy skin and ridiculously tender duck meat. (Q: the skin was the only part I ate the most that night. It indeed was like chip and tasty. The duck meat falls off easily and I could tear it off with just my fork) I’m a huge fan of duck confit! The Jus was surprisingly sweet, but still very rich in duck flavour. Roasted veges were also good, but simply an accessory. (Q: I filled up on the vegetables. They were good! Lightly roasted and not too mushy.)
(Q: the bill came to around $140 with a glass of red wine. In hindsight the $99 dinner for 2 would probably be a good deal and I would’ve like the food better.
Service was good and attentive. Well, it better be since we were the only 2 ppl in the restaurant at 5:30pm. I love that they hung our coats for us given that the tables were so small and tight. The waiter and hostess were not pretentious and willing to explain the menu. It is a good place for an intimate date with the dim light and french atmosphere.