Wow, we haven't dined with M&M since Dine-Out at Hart House! No, we didn't go pick up some chicken wings, a flat of Sheppard's pie and apple blossoms from M&M on our way to Hart House. Rather, M&M are 2 friends of ours whose names happen to start with the letter M. Too bad they didn't name their kids M names. Otherwise they'd be mini-M&M's (lame joke, I know...). Tonight, we were all childless and decided to try out Pied-à-Terre on Cambie. There are so many of these small moderately-priced French bistros popping up all over the place. French food is becoming more accessible and affordable. We arrived promptly at 6:30, however, due to some extenuating circumstances, both M&M were late. We'll refer to the wife as Bubbly because she has enough energy to run a small town. Also, we'll refer to the husband as Chill because nothing ever seems to faze him. Bubbly was stuck on the Oak Street bridge for almost 20 minutes. Second, Chill was stuck behind some bike parade in downtown for about the same time. It was almost like fate was working against them for this meal. No matter, the staff at Pied-a-Terre were extremely understanding and professional about the matter. When Bubbly did arrive, she hijacked my camera and starting snapping photos like there was no tomorrow. She is an avid photographer and I have to give her credit for some of the pictures. She's definitely got an eye for the artistic flair. One thing I do know is she made me look normal for once, because she was taking more photos than I would normally. So that's how someone appears when they are madly snapping photos of food. No wonder people stare at me!
Viv and Bubbly both decided to have the Table D'hote which gave them a choice of appetizer, main and dessert for $31.00. Viv chose the Terrine Maison to start. She figures it was pork terrine with some bacon. She thought it was pretty good because it was well-seasoned. The sweet figs, horseradish cream and sour cornichons complimented the Terrine really well. Bubbly got the Fennel Cream Soup for her first course and it was luxurious in texture. There was only a slight fennel taste to the soup. I opted for the Steamed Mussels to start and it was a decent portion. Bathed in a white wine and onion broth, each mussel was opened and very sweet. I got extra bread to soak up every last bit of the
Viv went for the Coq au Vin as her main. The perfectly stewed chicken rested on a rich red wine sauce with carrots, peas, onion, lardons, and mashed potato. I tried some and the chicken was tender and the wine had penetrated nicely into the meat. Bubbly had the Onglet Steak & Frites with a Marchand du Vin sauce. The server gave the heads up that it was a hanger steak and it could be a bit tough. Normally, a hanger steak cannot be cooked past medium-rare and should be cut against the grain. I tried a piece of the steak and although it wasn't tender, it was not overly tough either. It definitely had plenty of flavour due to the cut of meat and the sauce.
Chill had the Rib Eye Steak & Frites with Marchand du Vin as well. His steak was cooked perfectly medium-rare and was predictably tender. The fries were very crispy and light. He was quite hungry and plowed through it. All I could get out of him was that it was "good". I was going to have the steak as well; but seeing that 2 people were already having steak, I went for the Muscovy Duck Confit with Cassoulet Beans. The duck leg was beautifully cooked with an extremely crispy skin. Normally, I'm not really into eating skin or fat of any kind; but I enjoyed every piece of the duck skin. The meat itself was melt-in-your mouth tender (due to being simmered in duck fat). It was a bit saltier than I would have liked; however, salt is an integral part of duck confit. However, eaten with the orange slices, it did balance the flavours. Although the beans were a side to the duck, I personally thought they were the star of the dish. The soft, haricot beans were prepared beautifully.
For dessert, Bubbly decided on the Chocolate Mousse and Viv got the Creme Caramel. Simply presented, the creme caramel was absolutely divine. It was silky smooth with a rich caramel finish. Viv remarked that there was a hint of orange as well. Bubbly thought that the mousse was the better of the 2 desserts and I will agree on that. At first, I didn't enjoy the mousse as much because I'm not really a big chocolate lover. However, the mousse was fluffy and full of chocolate flavour without being too sweet. Good food aside, the rest of the dining experience was very positive as well. The staff were quite efficient and very knowledgeable. The ambiance was cozy and warm, partly because the restaurant itself is quite small. Value-wise, it was very good. The prices were reasonable and the portions were more than adequate. Pied-a-Terre is another great bistro among many in the GVRD.
- Generous portions
- Food is spot on
- Excellent service
- Make reservations, it's a small bistro, walk-in diners will not get a table