We arrived following the 90 minute drive from Ottawa to Mirabel about 25 mins before the doors opened. We were the first seating of the first day of the Fall Season for the Cabanes à Sucre - Au pied de Cochon. It was all new for both the house and for us, and we were both hot with anticipation. Servers and cooks scurried about preparing for the first guests and M and I took a few minutes to gather ourselves for the opening of the doors by sitting in a couple of beautiful Adirondack chairs on the front porch of the restaurant. We weren't alone, no less than a dozen other adventurers waited alongside us, for the grand moment when apples, squash and pig - glorious pig would caress our bellies. The Cabane was true to its name, a rustic place with a whole lot of timber. When the doors finally opened we were the first ones through, no surprise there, and a delightful young hostess strongly suggested a couple such as us would be much more comfortable sitting at the bar than at one of the large communal tables which lined the entire restaurant. This isn't a place for romance, no dainty little tables for two, no candles... lights on baby this is a place of orgiastic food lust.
As we settled into our cow hide covered bar seats we were quickly met by our server for the evening. The brightly coloured (read - a lot of tattoos) young lady with ample cleavage (in my defense I didn't mean to look - I was reading her tattoos) in the standard uniform of red lumberjack top, khaki shorts and work boots welcomed us warmly. She made us feel right at home and was quick to serve up our first drink, a Blanc de Blanc which I didn't have the good sense to note beyond that. We were there, we were ready and the bubbly was quickly getting us in the mood.
This chef knows how to please and isn't shy about getting you well and truly ready for the main event. I mean, he had me at "Bonjour" but dang these were some very fine appetizers. Four in total, that left both M and I in a sweat craving a cigarette before the real action had even begun.
In truth, and as happens so often with appetizers, they were more interesting and adventurous than the main course. M chose a wonderful French wine (2009 Domaine Meo-Camuzet Bourgogne Hautes Cotes de Nuits Clos Saint Philibert) to accompany our meal which paired well with most courses but mostly just kept us both perfectly lubricated for the meal to come.
It was official, though, we were getting full and the tower of take home had begun.
Honestly it really was done dirt cheap, remember at the end of all of this, the entire table d'hôte was only $50/person. Alcohol extra, of course, but I digress. We had made it through the appetizers and it was now time for the main course. The course where pork, pig, swine, that magical animal capable of all things beautiful and good takes centre stage and begins to shake me to my soul, forcing me to re-evaluate my atheist ways.
You've all eaten pork, I don't have to explain how good pork can be in the hands of a master, but I should share with you the veritable myriad of different hunks, links, slices and chunks of pork which were present on the massive platter. The platter itself was served German style with boiled potatoes and sauerkraut, the meats all prepared in-house including the sausages and cured meats. We dined on, and you'll please excuse the long sentence: Mortadella, pigs foot sausage, pork fat and liver pancake (OMG amazing), pickled tongue, hot dog style sausage with foie gras and apple, pork belly, ham (done two ways, sliced thinly and thick smoked), a pepperette of sorts and pork loin on the bone pork chop.
The amount of meat coming out of the kitchen was obscene. We barely made a dent in our platter and here lies my first cirticism, what were they thinking putting all of that meat on a single platter. Were they trying to kill us with porky goodness? This was truly a dangerous amount of meat product... shhh... don't tell but I actually had a fear boner. (Tip of the hat to The League for the inspiration for that joke. You must check out that series.)
Needless to say the tower of take-home continued to grow. At the end of the main course, we had three large containers already filled with risotto, bread, cheese and massive amounts of pork.
I was done, M was done, we were weak in the knees, there was nothing left for us to give, and then they came at us again.
One desert, of course not, that would be silly, Who needs only one desert after 4 appetizers, every pork product ever conceived, six cheeses, bread, drinks... bah!!! One desert is for the weak.
We were weak and we knew it, BUT, we were smart and prepared to take home another container.
Desert one, the one that was consumed at the restaurant was a squash Mille Feuilles, it was reminiscent of pumpkin pie spices and was amazing. Light, crispy, rich custard filling with a perfect blend of spices. We loved it and while very full, M enjoyed a glass of desert wine with it that was wonderful.
The second desert went straight into a take home container, two homemade apple jelly filled donuts which were enjoyed the next night. While they were excellent, a day old donut isn't as good as fresh.
The third dessert was a homemade soft-serve ice cream. Pumpkin and stout ice cream, no less. Heavenly and delicious. Who knew that pumpkin could serve so many dessert-purposes?!
If it weren't for a 90 minute drive home, I very well could have just gone straight to sleep. Satiated, spent, happy, with giant smiles we headed home with our FOUR large take home containers.
We have vowed to get reservations for the Spring season. We're hooked and our lives will be forever changed. Thank you... you wonderful, sick, evil genius!