I came to Black Hoof with foodigatorJ around 7:30 on a Monday evening and luckily the two of us were able to get a table immediately. I was afraid we’d face a long wait since they don’t take reservations and are often quite busy. I heard they even made Gordon Ramsey wait in line when he came to visit the restaurant!The exterior isn’t anything flashy and the interior is casual, dim and intimate. The menus are only written on the chalkboards on the wall as I assume the menu items change every so often. According to their website, they have a “meat and off-cut centric menu”, which is a great way to describe what they serve up here.
We started off with the House Cured Meats ($18), a platter full of a variety of delicious cured meats. The platter came with six varieties including pancetta, duck prosciutto, walnut salami, summer sausage… and I apologize, I can’t remember what the remaining two were! But my favourites were definitely the pancetta and summer sausage. The platter is a must-order. Nobody should come here without getting this!When the platter came, they also served us a small bowl of bread for ($2), even though we didn’t ask for it. Not that I’m complaining though, as it was a necessary vehicle for the meats and the next dish that came – the Foie Partfait ($13). The portion was enormous – a large slab of rich, buttery goodness! It tasted delicious with the bread and at $13, it was quite a steal. It tasted quite similar to the one I tried at Splendido (which was also delicious!).
After the first two dishes, the final two dishes took another twenty minutes or so to arrive. Since the food was so rich and there was quite a bit of time in between the dishes, I was starting to get a little full.Finally, one of our final dishes, the Roasted Bone Marrow ($8 – market price) arrived. On its own, I’m not a huge fan of bone marrow since it’s pretty much like eating fat. However, this one came with a chimichurri which gave the bone marrow a nice flavour. The chimichurri actually kind of reminded me of tabouli. Although I enjoyed this dish (though it’s definitely not for everyone), I have to admit, I preferred the bone marrow at Campagnolo better… maybe because it had braised oxtail on it.
The last dish we ordered was the Black Hoof’s famous Tongue on Brioche ($14). The sandwich came served sideways with a pick through it to hold it together.This was easily one of my favourite dishes of the evening. The dish came a huge pile of thinly sliced tongue, sandwiched between two delicious pieces of brioche. The tongue was incredibly tender and tasted great on its own. I can see why this is one of their most popular dishes.
The sandwich also came with a small side of pickled celery. Initially I wasn’t quite sure what it was, but after biting into it, there was no doubt it was celery. It was certainly something different, much like most of their menu items.
I often find myself disappointed after leaving a restaurant with so much hype. However, Black Hoof certainly lived up to my expectations. I had a great experience and didn’t leave disappointed! Just remember to get here early or during the week to avoid the long lines.At a glance:
• Rich, earthy, “meat and off-cut centric” menu
• Must-orders: House cured meats & tongue on brioche
• No reservations
• Closed Tues/Wed
• Cash and debit only
Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 4.5 stars
• Service: 4 stars
• Atmosphere: 4.5 stars