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Chez Piggy

Chez Piggy
It’s been far too long since we embarked on a culinary adventure in the name of Kingstonist. During our previous gastronomical gambados, we’ve tested the tempting plates of Spaghetti is Ready, Olivea, and many others, while we’ve also ventured into establishments that have stood the test of time, including: Morrison’s Restaurant, and Luke’s. Today’s taste sensation falls into the latter category, but it should be noted from the outset that it is truly at the head of the pack. Ask any resident or visitor to the Limestone city for a restaurant recommendation, and you’re guaranteed to consistently find Chez Piggy at the top of the list.

“Nearly 30 years ago, Rose Richardson and Zal Yanovsky renovated an abandoned limestone stable and launched a dining experience that blends grace and gusto, taste and imagination – and helped make Kingston a destination for food lovers.” Nestled along the winding pathway in Rocheleau Court, Chez Piggy is hidden away from the hustle and bustle of Princess St. Many people walk by it every day without ever realizing that they’ve just passed by the dining destination that put Kingston on the forks of foodies from near and afar. In my opinion, there’s something special about places that are a bit harder to find.

As soon as you enter, you are whisked away to a cottage-like atmosphere, which is extremely cozy thanks to the warmth of the wood stove, and friendly hostess. Right away it’s easy to see why so many people keep coming back to Chez Piggy. But that said, the service and atmosphere are really only a small part of the dining experience at the Pig, while the real test is trying to choose from their menu. Although there might be a myriad of offerings you’ve never heard of, including: bocadillo and gambas, I promise that Chez Piggy’s gourmet fare is anything but pretentious.

For lunch this past Saturday, we started by sharing a tasty dish of gambas al ajillo – a pan of shrimp, cooked in oil, garlic and other spices. The basket of fresh bread from their sister shoppe, Pan Chancho, made an excellent accompaniment as it helped soak up the flavored oil from the skillet. I then moved onto the Chez Piggy Club, which is served on Pan Chancho’s bread, with homemade sweet potato chips (pictured above), while my dining companion settled down with a bowl of fusilli alla puttanesca. As you can tell by our mouth-watering photos, the food is delicious, and although it might be a bit more expensive than other restaurants, it’s money well spent. There really is no other way to describe Chez Piggy than divine, and simply the best that Kingston has to offer. If you can’t relate, then it’s time you made a reservation.

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Harvey Kirkpatrick

Harvey Kirkpatrick is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. His features curiously explore urban planning, what if scenarios, the local food scene and notable Kingstonians. Loves playing tourist and listening to rap music. Learn more about Harvey...

4 thoughts on “Chez Piggy

  • December 19, 2008 at 4:56 pm
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    Everyone is welcome to an opinion – so here’s mine…

    Chez Piggy’s reputation is perpetuated by reviews like this. They lack objectivity and don’t look beyond the, ‘ask anyone’ attitude. The truth is that the place is over-priced and has been resting on its laurels for some time. Service too can be lacklustre.

    If you want genuinely good food prepared with style and a sense of adventure and good taste, head for Luke’s.

  • December 19, 2008 at 6:23 pm
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    The review lacks objectivity? Ha! Okay, I don’t work there, nor do I have any financial interests in Chez Piggy. I even paid for the meal that led too the review. Sure my review was solely based on my opinion, but then your opinion of Luke’s would also have to be considered narrow in that it is only your opinion.

    Regarding Luke’s, Kingstonist has already given them a pretty decent review. Subjectively I’ve enjoyed Luke’s when I’ve visited, but also been let down by their sporadic hours, and menu that sometimes goes above and beyond.

  • December 19, 2008 at 8:50 pm
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    Thanks for sharing your thoughts London. I agree that Chez Piggy hasn’t done much in the way of changing their decor over the years but I do know the menu changes frequently (about 4 times a year), lunch is very affordable and I have never had a bad experience with the service. I haven’t been for dinner because it is expensive but I think the food merits the price.

    As for Luke’s, I love it too but would love to see it open often enough for me to actually go. You have to call ahead to get dinner there and they “might” open if they feel like it.

    So, this brings us back to our cry for help again. If you want us to be objective (still not sure how we weren’t….we don’t own the place, work there or have friends there…) help us write! We want this site to be as community based as possible and the three of us writing regularly can only do so much. We’d love to see one of your reviews, London. Or anyone for that matter. Drop us a line if you’re interested.

  • January 7, 2009 at 12:04 pm
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    I find this place overrated. The decor is dated, and the food I’ve had has been crummy. I’ve given it two tries, and been disappointed both times. It’s never a good sign at a restaurant when everyone else in the dining room is over 60.

    Pan Chancho blows it away!

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