gracecheung604 | write on time: Black Hoof - we tried almost everything!

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Black Hoof - we tried almost everything!

While in Toronto in April, I decided to check out The Black Hoof. I had meant to check it out last year on my annual visit to the city, but alas, I ran out of time. But whenever I ask ex-416-ers where I should go, the answer is always the same, The Black Hoof. The only downside? No reservations!
We went fairly early on a Thursday night and lucked out with a table right in the back. Starting off the night, we ordered some cocktails...the one on the left is the Lavender Pisco Sour, made the traditional way with egg white and all. Love the little lavender on top. On the right is the Blood & Sand, a concoction of scotch, cherry liqueur, antica (a type of sambuca), pink grapefruit. Not a regular choice for me, but I really wanted to try something different.
IMG-20120412-00763 Here is the menu - lots of things on this ever changing board. Take a peek below to see what we tried. 
IMG-20120412-00764 So the first thing we tried was their House Cured Meats. Before us were suckling pig, beef heart, sopressata, summer sausage, spicy pork heart, capicola, chorizo and mortadella. What an assortment and such a great variety. I think my favourite was the pork heart, I know I love the Chinese style of braised chicken hearts, but the pork being sliced so thinly is another way to appreciate the organ. 
IMG-20120412-00766 Here is another shot of the platter, without the flash. I cannot decide which was a better photo, so you get to decide for yourself.
IMG-20120412-00765 The next platter to arrive was the Terrine. The three you see here are Horse liver, Headcheese and Beef Cheek. Served with delicious cornichons, this was really good. My favourite was the horse liver, something about the texture really worked, creamy but not mushy, this was well executed. 
IMG-20120412-00767 And again, due to my miserable camera, you can decide between the first (with flash) shot and the second. Leave your preferences in the comments and I will delete the least liked image. 
To pair with the cured meats and the terrines, we got a large order of their bread. Hearty, nutty and dense, this was a perfect foil for all the meats. 
IMG-20120412-00769 Because a chef friend in town asked me to say "hi" to Brandon, the head chef, he graciously gifted us the Blood Custard. Our group had debated on ordering this dish, so it's arrival was a blessing in disguise. The pudding was sweet and creamy with shaved fennel on top. This went well with the bread too. 
marrow There isn't a "flash" version of this photo, but the next this is the amazing Bone Marrow. I am a sucker for this dish and will order it whenever it is on the menu. Served with Maldon sea salt and a very delightful chimichurri. I love the little spoons they supply to scoop up the rich and butter marrow. 
IMG-20120412-00772 This is their Smoked Sweet Breads. The sweet breads are lightly batter and then deep fried, and served with some greens and deep fried shallots. No bread needed here, and we loved the crunchiness of this dish after all the cured meats, creamy pudding and marrow we had so far. 
IMG-20120412-00773 The Pork Carnitas Tacos were great and there was lots of pork on the tacos. The little bit of guacamole and the lime wedge served to lighten up the dish quite a bit. What really made me fall in love with this dish was the crackling. And yes, it was fatty and crunchy, just as crackling should be. 
IMG-20120412-00777 So here we are coming to the end of the meal, what you see here is their Duck and Black Bean. It sounds so simple, but the duck was amazing. Crispy skin and meaty, the four of us had fun divvying this up. The cabbage on top was a little odd, but did help to cut the black bean sauce a bit. 
IMG-20120412-00780 The final savory dish we ordered is the Horse Tartare. With some hollandaise dollops and hickory sticks, this dish made up in texture for what it lacked in flavour. I think our plate was under seasoned but otherwise solid in terms of texture. 
IMG-20120412-00781 Somehow, when it's done up in chalk, it seems like a good idea. I really had to sell this to my friends, but in the end, they agreed to try this. 
Foie & Nutella Truth be told, I have never spent more on dessert than an entree, but we did here. This dessert was $25! I am hesitant to order foie gras but I had to give it a shot. The richness of the seared foie gras does work with the nutella, both are creamy and in a way, sweet. I loved this and I think most of the others did too. I mean, how often can you say you had foie for dessert! 
IMG-20120412-00785 To toast a great meal, we finished off with Negroni shots. First and last time I will eat an orange peel.
I now can see why people rave about this place. We spent about 3 hours here and our bill was over $300, but we left full, satiated and had some foods that we would never have tried otherwise. 
Black Hoof on Urbanspoon

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