Sunday, April 13, 2014

Cabane À Sucre: A Pictorial (and Gastronomic) Essay

After being on the waiting list for FOUR YEARS, some friends finally won Au Pied de Cochon's reservation lottery and got us into the Cabane à Sucre in St-Benoît de Mirabel, Quebec. And BOY, was it worth the wait! In fact, they are now doing an apple season menu in the fall, and I am on the waiting list to try to get us in for that. In the meantime, please enjoy our gluttonous experience vicariously through the following mouthwatering and nearly-edible photographs...

The GINORMOUS smoker out front in which they were cooking hams, among other good things.
 The Cabane à Sucre.
 Around back of the cabane.
 The front porch.
A packed house! (They sell out almost immediately after opening the reservations system in December.) And we could catch glimpses of famed Chef Martin Picard through the kitchen window in the back! 
 The cash register and other maple products for sale.
If you peek through these windows, you'll see the sugaring equipment. (It's a real sugar shack!)
Our dining crew (clockwise from left): Domenica, Cyd, Jaime, and Matthew (props to Jaime for scoring the reservation!)
Bread bowl filled with foie gras and oreilles de crisse (housemade pork rinds), served with maple baked beans and scrambled eggs cooked in maple syrup.
Sushi terrine with flaky pastry on the bottom, sushi rice, avocado, gelatin, and salmon tartare decorated with edible gold leaf
Sturgeon quenelles in a sauce with mussels
MAPLE DAIQUIRI! (Like sugar on snow for grown-ups!)

Omelette souffle on top of beef tripe and housemade chorizo in a spicy tomato sauce with these heavenly garlic croutons on top.
Wild creatures crawling around the ceiling beams
The hams are cooked in the big smokers out front on a bed of the bedding the pigs would sleep on...for authenticity? (LOL!) 
Carving the ham tableside so that it stays moist.
BEST ham I've ever had! And it was extra-delicious with their housemade spicy maple mustard!
Baked sweet potatoes with spiced, fluffy marshmallow topping.
Squid ink pasta with cheese and crispy hunks of blood sausage drizzled with a spicy chili sauce.
We thought this was the best dish of all: Duck stuffed with its own entrails or some such delicious horror and flambéed at the table, served with a spicy red pepper sauce.
Light and crispy little cornmeal pancakes drenched in maple syrup...they tasted like upscale French toast sticks (tee hee).
They tossed the squid ink pasta inside a huge block of cheese tableside, scraping up bits of cheese as they went. YUM!
Coffee-infused mocha mousse cake, not unlike opera cake.
Left: Maple frozen yogurt doused in rum and sprinkled with maple candy bits
Right: Sugar on snow (naturally!)

Banana cream tarte with meringue (on the flakiest pastry in the world).
 Cyd enjoys a Lilliputian jar of espresso after our amazing meal.

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