It is not everyday that one gets a chance to act as The Bauta from the Commedia del’Arte. I decided to purchase this mask for a series of photographs that I am planning in the very near future. I will admit that the wearing of this particular mask brings an odd sense of power, but I suppose that is why such things were so powerful within the context of the carnival. Speaking of the carnival…I ended up being able to procure a 6pm seat at Pied du Cochon this night, and that is alway a show worth the price of admission.
To begin the evening, I took the Metro up as far as Mont-Royal and then walked down to Duluth. Scoring a seat at the bar of PDC on the night of was a pleasure I had not expected, but that is the only benefit of being a man alone: most high end restaurants have bar seats left for singles who might put out heavy cash at a meal. Fortunately for me, heavy cash at PDC is only about $150 for a meal of glorious perfection, a bottle of excellent wine and leftovers for the next day. I will easily admit that I wished I had a friend with me to help with the disaster of perfect food that was to avalanche upon me, but I held my own and knew when to say when.
Though Picard is not present at PDC, his line chefs can move a wicked game throughout the pressures of a hot night. In their selection of toques, they made quick work of Picard’s style of Gargantuan-style food. For my own part I was wise enough to settle for a small appetizer of molten foie gras cubes and a pig’s trotter stuffed with foie gras. Even at that minimum I was only able to eat half of the order without going to a bad place. The remainder was wisely left until the morning hunger hits me. I left a smidge of Chateau Neuf de Pape for that express purpose.
The vibe at PDC is what keeps me enthralled with the place. It is not the place you take a sexless waif on a first date. Rather, it is where you take an insatiable woman who appreciates the glories of the body and the carnival. In my time there I have watched countless men mismatch their dates to this venue; it is sad, and yes, I have done the exact same thing. It is a restaurant for a bacchanal, and danse macabre and an appreciation for what is bodily in this life. If you want to have sex with your date, then please accept that it will need to happen before dinner – just sayin’…
Finally, on my way to the restaurant I came across a shop that sold the most beautiful and francophone dresses. I absolutely adore this style of patchwork clothing. It epitomizes the concept of the harlequin, the carnival and the imagination. The colours are muted yet earthy. The fabrics are soft and pliable. The lines are absolutely feminine. Quebec is a compelling place and holds a culture that the rest of our country would do well to emulate.