Zack Sklar, chef and owner of Peas & Carrots Hospitality, recently opened his fourth metropolitan Detroit restaurant, Au Cochon. Located at 260 N. Old Woodward Ave. in Birmingham, Michigan, the concept’s debut brings the total Peas & Carrots brand to five restaurants in Michigan and Chicago.
Prior to opening to the public, invited friends and family had the opportunity to experience Au Cochon. All proceeds from the evening’s food and beverage sales were donated to the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Michigan Humane Society, Oakland Bar Foundation, and North Farmington High School.
The menu, developed by Sklar and Executive Chef Mark Barbarich, explores upscale French café cuisine.
“While developing Au Cochon, we wanted to make French cuisine approachable,” Sklar says. “In doing so, we created an open-concept kitchen, akin to what we have at other Peas & Carrots restaurants, where diners can watch as their appetizers and entrees are created using only the best ingredients. In addition, they also can enjoy views into the pastry kitchen.”
To start, 10 appetizers, ranging from $7 to $16, offer diners the choice between seafood dishes such as shrimp, mussels, and oysters; pomme frittes, French for fried potatoes, topped with aioli and ketchup; Fromage blanc, a fresh cheese served with truffle honey, lemon and toast points; and gougere, a baked choux pastry with ham, warm gruyere mousse, and mustard.
Next, three salads are being offered and include the: Tasso, with sweet corn, haricot vert, tomato, red onion and creamy honey mustard vinaigrette; Shaved, with seasonal vegetables, cevre cream and lemon ginger vinaigrette; and Wedge, featuring iceberg lettuce, lardon, tomato, cucumber, radish, onion ring, and Roquefort, a sheep milk, Blue Cheese dressing.
For entrée selections, seven options are available including: the Half Chicken, Cheeseburger, 24 oz. Rib Eye, Steak Frites, Skate Meuniere, Salmon, and Chickpea Crepe. Items will range in price from $13 to $48. In addition, six sides such as frites, tots and curds, pickles, marinated carrots, potato puree, and coleslaw are being offered.
Diners can polish off their meal with classic French desserts for $7 such as pithivier, a round, enclosed pie; pot de crème, and profiteroles.
The full bar has a heavy focus on craft cocktails and includes 10 house specialties and 10 classic cocktails. In addition, Au Cochon offers 17 wines by the glass, 60 by the bottle, and six for dessert. Diners also can enjoy a wide selection of bottled beers.
“Zack and I are extremely excited about the menu we created for Au Cochon,” Barbarich says. “While it definitely includes some classic French favorites, it also offers our diners a few items that they may not be able to enjoy elsewhere.”
Designed by Chicago-based 555 International, the 1,500-square-foot restaurant seats a total of 112, including 12 on the patio and 20 at the bar. The design features copper, brass, and steel materials throughout, including in the bar and on the ceiling. The interior was created to provide a traditional feel with leather banquettes, tufted leather bar stools, hardwood details, mosaic tile floors, and subtle lighting.
The 2,500-square-foot open kitchen near the front of the restaurant will be shared with sister Peas & Carrots concept, Arthur Avenue, an Italian restaurant that is slated to open in several weeks. With a name inspired by the Bronx street that is home to numerous Italian eateries, featured dishes will include pastas, subs and cannolis.
Between the two restaurants, Peas & Carrots will employ around 100 people.