It was a shock to me when another foodie friend told me that Pied à Terre would be closing its doors at the end of the month, after they’ve finished their Tenth Annual Wild Game & Mushroom Festival. Nowhere on their website mentions anything about their closure, but further investigation on their Facbook page confirms it. They’ve also posted a picture for a new restaurant name and concept: Sorella, delicious Italian cooking est. 2015.
Of course I had to take this opportunity to try Pied à Terre one last time, especially since I was able to take part in their Ninth Annual Festival. I was able to make reservations for 8:30, it didn’t sound too busy despite it being just 3 more days until their closure. My heart had sunk arriving at the front door, they have repainted the flying pig mural on the side, and put on a new layer of orangy-coral paint outside to reflect the new restaurant’s colour. The interior was still relatively the same, with only two waitresses running in the front. It was a full restaurant save for 2 empty tables, one of them being for RC and I.
The bread came, but it was n longer served on the spike. It was still cut freshly on the side, slight warm, and served with the same butter dish.
Gilbert Cellars – allobroges
Aside from the special menu, they were also doing 50% off French and New World wines. RC doesn’t fancy French, so I went for the later. I gave two choices for our server to decide, and she went with the Gilbert Cellars, because it is a blended wine, it would be more easily acceptable yet still compliment the game meats. The Allobroges 2010 was a blend of Syrah, Mourvedre & Grenache. Maybe due to the Syrah’s nature, it was a bit too sour with the first few sips. After letting it air a bit, it became a more smooth, medium body, with hints of smokiness that paired well with our savory dishes. Not so much with our appetizers or desserts though.
Ravioli Potato & Truffled Brie Filling, wild mushrooms, sage butter
There was a Quail Breast Salad and a Pan Seared Foie Gras on the menu that I was interested in, but seeing how RC doesn’t eat too much I refrained from ordering extra menu items al la carte. Instead went for something that even he was surprised I got since we just had ravioli the night before. There were only three raviolis on the plate, but the filling was rich and creamy that it would have been just the right amount. The only mushrooms I was able to identify were morels and shimeiji, I especially enjoyed the morels because they soaked up the sauces like a sponge.
Rabbit Cooked Hunter Style; smoked bacon, red wine, cippoline onions
It didn’t mention that there would be pasta on the dish, but can I say that the fettuccine was the highlight? Less wide than a pappardelle, it was cooked to perfection, al dente and toothy, with a hint of egginess that I’ve never tasted in any pasta before. I didn’t get any bacon, or at least I don’t think I did. Well back to the main attraction, which turned out to be a disappointment. The rabbit felt under seasoned and overcooked, like a boiled piece of chicken breast, even the jus couldn’t help revive.
Venison Trio; roast fillet, sausage, parmentier, seasonal fruits & vegetables
RC’s dish looked a bit small, compared to the ones served a table over, it looked like only half the portion was given. Only half of one sausage and two pieces of fillet were given, after further digging pulled meat were found on the bottom. I had to Google what Parmentier was, I’m assuming they meant Hachis Paramentier which is a French version of a dish similar to Shepherd’s Pie. That somewhat explains the braised and pulled venison. The fillet was tender, but everything else had a star anise flavour to it, or those similar to leftover carcasses when making Chinese soups. Especially the parmentier, which was dry and tough. The creamy mash potatoes underneath it all made it easier to accept.
Chocolate “Nemesis”, raspberry sauce
With a nutty crumble and chantilly cream, which is a fancy way of saying whipped cream. RC wanted to order this from the beginning, because of the word ‘nemesis’ in the name. We were never explained or described what it was, so it was a mystery until the first bite. It was very rich and dense, the cream and raspberry did its best to help cut through it all, but if you were to eat it alone it would have been too much. It is hard to describe the texture, as it wasn’t hard and cake-like, nor was it creamy like a pudding, it was somewhere in between. Runny yet still held its form, it was as if I was eating par-cooked brownie batter.
Lemon-Lime Pot De Crème, wild mountain huckleberries
Once again, another dessert that you would have to eat together with its accompaniments, unless you enjoy a very strong tart flavour. The Pot De Crème was excellent, smooth and delicate, it melts in your mouth perfectly with an added zing from the citrus. The sweetened huckleberry sauce did make it more easily acceptable, but I enjoyed the tartness so didn’t use up a lot of the berries.
This last dinner was a bit confusing, and a hit & miss at some points. Service, though good, felt a bit lackluster. We were constantly being refilled wine when only a few sips were taken, and our food seemed to have taken forever to arrive. The main courses weren’t as good as I’d expected, but there were notable ingredients on there that helped make it a bit better. Final notes, I’ll be sad to see this neighborhood gem go, but I’ll be looking forward to their new installation that will be taking its place.