Friday, October 2, 2009

This Little Piggy Went To Market...

This little piggy went to market and this little piggy should have stayed home! Walking into the classic and bustling brasserie, Au Pied de Cochon in Paris' Les Halles area, the vision is what you would want in a Parisian dining legend. Waiters are clad in black and white, and have the air of longevity in this Art Nouveau decorated brasserie. Art glass chandeliers hang from the ceiling recalling an era when decor was feminine and joyous.

This brasserie has never closed their doors since it's opening in 1946. It has evolved from a local eatery that has always been open 24/7, to a traditional brasserie full of tourists and locals. Our cloth covered, reserved table of 4 was pulled back to welcome us, as we took in the atmosphere that was seemingly halted in time.

Menus were presented and a Confiture de Cochon was brought to the table with bread. It was interesting, but not special.

We wanted to order what this institution is known for. None of us were tempted though, by their well known Pig Trotter's in Bernaise Sauce. After a time that seemed extraordinary, the waiter took our choices. More time passed. Finally, we shared fresh and tasty oysters on the half shell that came with a red wine vinaigrette. My friend Michelle, had to try the French Onion Soup that the Les Halles marketeers dined on after the end of their long days, more than fifty years ago.

The cheese was hot and had that long pull to it, but the broth was a tasteless brew. Our main courses were Duck Confit and the plat du jour, Sausages (we got some pork involved!) with Lentils. The duck arrived ice cold and was returned for reheating. The Sausage and Lentils were good when slathered with lots of Dijon mustard, but really not a reason to come here.

We eyed the seafood plate at the table next to us and wondered if it was a better choice.

Maybe yes, maybe no. We thought about trying to snag a crab when they got up to have a cigarette outside.....our experience here was starting to "go to the pigs!" Perhaps dessert would bring us back. A question to the waiter regarding the Molleux au Chocolat, was met with rudeness, so we paid our bill and decided to have dessert back at the hotel. Sitting in one of the small and private pocket rooms in the dining area of the hotel, we had the Cafe with a selection of varied and satisfying desserts.

Commenting, we were glad to have tried Au Pied de Couchon, but we would not be trotting back very soon!

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La Table De Nana said...

I thought the appy was cute:) How disappointing!! Honestly..I think I just read another review of a famous resto quite similar.

It's when you stop trying to please the customer that it all goes downhill.If I owned the resto and read your review..I would invite you back.And I would do the best I could to win your approval.
Thanks for taking us though..WE have a different one here.. he even now owns a most famous high end Cabane à Sucre..

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

Bleah ... what a let down :( A duck that was served ice-cold??? How in the world?!

Lori (All That Splatters) said...

I guess you paid for the ambience and not the food... or the service! Very disappointing. But at least you gave it a try!

Beautiful photos, as always -

2 Stews said...

Yes ladies, it is about the journey and I'm always glad I went!

M...I checked the link for the Canadian Au Pied de Cochon and it looks very good. I think the original is resting on it's laurels...we can only hope for a comeback!

99.99% of my Parisian dining experiences have been wonderful, whether simple or elaborate.

Such as life!


Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

I've always dreamed of going to Paris and visiting Les Halles. In my mind I've practiced how to say Les Halles without pronouncing the H and sounding like a tourist. When will the $ improve so I can get on a jet plane and be there?