Pied à Terre is part of the same group as La Buca, A.ryo and I didn’t know this at first until we realized that our server was the same person at La Buca. Layout and decor is similar, spacing is very limited and tight, you are likely to hear each others’ conversation with enough room just to squeeze out. The only difference between the two establishments is that Pied à Terre serves up a refined and focus French menu.
Not to mention there was also this really adorable mural of a flying pig on the side of the restaurant, just to add in a little fun.
By magical luck or the grace of the Foodie God, we stumbled upon Pied à Terre when they were having their Ninth Annual Game & Mushroom Festival. Even just typing that out makes me feel privileged to be a part of such event. The menu was small and in the form of a three course dinner for a set price, you can also order the items à la carte if you don’t think it’s enough. Knowing me, it is never enough.
Château Clinet – ronan by clinet grand vin de bordeaux
We were stumped on wine, so we requested the help of our friendly server. She suggested a Bordeaux wine for us, since the menu mainly consisted of game and red meats, it would compliment the dishes best. It is very full bodied and earthy, yet it went down very silky. It was a bit hard to drink at first by itself, but once the first few bites came, it rolled off the tongue a lot smoother.
They have the bread served on a receipt spike just like Sardine Can’s, which isn’t a surprise since they’re from the same company as well.
Elk Tartare, chives, cornichons & homemade potato chips
This was a side order, since the Feast only included two sides each, there were too many options to choose from. This sounded interesting since neither of us had tried elk before, assuming it would be like any other beef tartare-like dish. It was actually quiet lean but tender, it was smooth and easy to chew, you wouldn’t have missed the fat. The cornichons helped liven up the dish with crunch and acidity, but I was a bit confused with the chips. They were good on their own, but didn’t seem to bring anything to the table, they failed as a scoop for the tartare.
Roasted Quail, stuffed with foie gras & brioche
With a cranberry compote underneath to help cut the richness, if my memory serves me right. This was my choice, and it was pretty big given the fact that you were served a whole quail. The flavours of foie gras was very dominant in this dish, though I enjoy it for me it seemed to have overpowered the fragile bird. The quail was cooked perfectly, still juicy and tender.
Frisée Au Lardon, with wild boar bacon, poached duck egg & mushroom crouton
The Wild Boar Bacon was what made A.ryo choose this dish, also the fact that one doesn’t normally eat duck egg. Unless it’s the Chinese style salted or century duck eggs. Despite this being called a frisée salad in french, there weren’t a lot of frisée. The duck egg was poached nicely, and the bacon were crisped up just right, yet it didn’t have that ‘wow’ factor I was expecting. On the other hand, the mushroom crouton was the highlight for us. It was made to mimic a pâté of sorts, it was rich and velvety, and still retained a nutty-earthiness to it. It wasn’t smooth, you can taste real chunks of mushrooms that were lightly pulsed with each bite.
Braised Rabbit Provençal
Came to the table full of aromas and bursting with flavours of the game meat and herbs. Once again, another bit dish. The meat was still tender, with a ‘taste-like-chicken’ kind of flavour but bit more gamy. I’ve only ever had rabbit once before, so there really isn’t a lot I have to reference or compare it to. It was a very hearty dish that had all the essence of fall cooked altogether.
Assiette Of Red Deer Three Ways; roasted loin, grilled sausage & braised cheeks
All nestled on a bed of creamy mash potatoes, green beans & baby carrots, swimming in their own jus. This dish was outstanding, and once again, neither A.ryo or I had tried deer anywhere in anything before this. I expected it to be more towards the leaner side, like the elk, seeing how the loin (left) had no fat or tendons in it whatsoever. It was very easy to chew through, despite the bad lighting, the meat was that red and we were told that that’s the best way to serve deer. The middle we have the braised deer cheeks, which were excellent as well. It did feel a bit rough on the edges, but it melted in your mouth like butter. The sausage paled in comparison with the rest, I couldn’t tell that the meat was any different and the herbs seem to overpower the flavours. It was a little bit too salty according to A.ryo.
Chocolate Passion Fruit Tart
Prune & Armagnac Pot De Crème
The final course, desserts. The Chocolate Passion Fruit Tart was interesting, it came as a small sliver but was perfect due to its richness, it was just the right amount. The combination didn’t work for me, I didn’t enjoy the sweet and sour mix as much as A.ryo, it also left my mouth with on a bitter note with the passion fruit’s aftertaste. The Pot de Crème was good, smooth and delicate, similar textures and flavours of an egg custard. Prunes could be found on the bottom of the cup, it added a nice tartness to the deep dish. The biscuits were alright.
Another wonderful night, I put this on the same level as other great French bistros in Lower Mainland. The price is reasonable with astounding execution and flavours, yet unlike most French fare, their portions were quiet generous. Not to mention the professional and knowledgeable service. This place is a gem along Cambie, but be warned that reservations is highly recommended for the limited spacing they have.