Celebrity chef Martin Picard led Montréal’s meat “new wave” by opening Au Pied de Cochon (translation: the pig’s foot) in 2001, and its patrons and personnel today bank on a seemingly indelible reputation. The foie gras, served at least seven different ways, one as poutine, still merits high praise. And sure enough, it’s fun to open Duck in a Can right at the table. But in all the bustle and frenzy you may receive your entrée a split second after your salad and be asked if you want dessert a minute after that. Tables of four or greater seemed to have more time and space to have a few drinks and laughs. An elaborate raw bar is on view near the entrance of this low-key, upscale, always packed restaurant, and includes oysters, lobster, and local catch. Picard’s newest expansion includes a seasonal cabane à sucre (sugar shack) and an award-winning cookbook with its recipes. Reservations are recommended.
- Leslie Brokaw, Erin Trahan, Matthew Barber