This winter break, Rachel and I was looking for a cozy and comforting meal to brace us for the dropping temperatures. Our search was promptly answered by Pied-à-Terre, a charming little bistro on Cambie Street. Pied-à-Terre serves classically inspired French cuisine in a humble setting.
I ordered the scallop ravioli for my first course. Both Rachel and I agreed that the scallop ravioli was very well made because you could actually taste and feel the texture of the scallops within the ravioli quite distinctly. Unlike many other raviolis that I have had in the past, where the content of the ravioli is lost in a incomprehensible mush, Pied-à-Terre’s scallop ravioli actually tasted like what it describes on the menu. Furthermore, the herbs and the tomato sauce paired very well with the raviolis, making this a very enjoyable appetizer.
On first glace this dish might seem to be all over the place. But when it came to tasting it, the different elements fits in pretty well with each other. The goat cheese added some weight to the otherwise lighter beets, carrots and oranges. The crunchiness from the hazelnuts and lettuce really added different layers of texture to the dish. The bold flavours from the pink peppercorn jelly was surprising, to say the least. I am not exaggerating when I say was like eating peppercorn but in jelly form. On top of everything, the festive colours from the different components, made this dish very appetizing.
From the first bite of this trout, we knew that something special was going on. After trying it, we both agreed that this fillet of trout was one of the crunchiest fish we have tasted. However, as the skin of the fish stayed crisp the meat of the fish remains moist and flavourful. Pied a Terre added a generous portion of vegetable to this dish that we really appreciate because it helped balance out the portion of the meat. The ginger-soy beurre blanc sauce was a little bit tangy and it accompanied the fish and the vegetables quite well. But the memorable part of this dish remains to be the crunchy fillet of trout… what an awesome piece of fish.
Well, in my opinion, the coq au vin symbolizes the feeling of the meal pretty succinctly. We found this dish to be extraordinarily comforting, the sort of food that you crave on a snowy or rainy day, the food that you imagine yourself eating beside a fireplace… I think you get the point. The chicken was cooked brilliantly, as the meat was fall-off-the-bone soft and remained very moist. The wine flavour penetrated every portion and every crevice of the meat. The pomme puree was the perfect medium to soak up the wine sauce and the crispiness of the French beans gave a little twist to the texture of the dish. O ya and did I mention how comforting this dish made me feel?
Pot de crème is a loose French custard made with egg, crème and milk. We found the pot de crème to be very smooth and light. The hidden prunes, underneath the pot de crème, were a nice tarte surprise for us as we dug deeper into this dish. The roasted mixed nuts allowed for a very playful contrast in the texture of this dessert. However, we both felt that the flavour from the Armagnac is lacking, as we could not taste the Armagnac in pot de crème or the prunes. But we thought the dessert as a whole fit comforting theme of the meal nicely.
The Yohgurt Sorbet was very different dessert than the pot de crème. It was comforting in its own way, because it was very refreshing. Due to the big portions and the abundance of the sauce in the Coq au Vin, and I’m not complaining, the meal left me feeling a little heavy. Well the yohgurt sorbet and the pink grapefruit kind of wakes you up and lift you from that sleepy place you get to when you over indulge yourself. We were both pretty impressed that the yohgurt sorbet had a strong flavour of yohgurt, which due to our fondness over everything yohgurt, was very welcomed. Mostly, we were pretty grateful that this dessert allowed us to wake after such a cozy meal.
Pied-à-Terre is quickly becoming one of our favourite French restaurant in town. Although it is a little more expensive than Les Faux Bourgeois, it adds more refinement to its dishes compared to the rustic preparation of the plates coming from Les Faux Bourgeois. Furthermore, the desserts from Pied-à-Terre is much more inspiring than the desserts from Les Faux Bourgeois. Overall, the thing that impressed us the most is how Pied-à-Terre really embraced the winter mood with its menu. The entrees worked wonderfully to warm you up and the desserts were creative and was able to comfort us in their own way. Even though their appetizers could be better, overall, I would give Pied-à-Terre an 8.5 out of 10. If you are looking for a comforting French meal this winter I would definitely advise you to head towards Pied-à-Terre. Happy holidays everyone!