food, friends, toronto

Am I not cultured enough for The Black Hoof?

Halfway into the meal and still not loving any of the dishes like the other diners at The Black Hoof, I turned to my friend Adrienne and asked, “Are we not cultured enough for this?”  To which she comforted me (possibly both of us, haha) by saying that we’re just well-travelled and have eaten many things, so we aren’t phased by the sort of “interesting” dishes Black Hoof offers. I like to believe that she has a point.

Our first dish was their Charcuterie, a dish of their house-cured meats paired with bread. I was actually really looking forward to this dish, but it was extremely underwhelming. Despite all the fancy names of each cured meat the waitress said to us which I could not recognize (read: hear) or remember for the life of me, they all tasted like something familiar –  ham, spam, salami, pepperoni, and Italian sausage.  Was I wrong to be expecting a more unique taste?

The Bone Marrow was our second dish. I always like to try things as it is in my first bite without any of the condiments given and as I brought my spoon closer to my mouth I smelled something weird. It was mildly pungent yet familiar, but I could not figure out exactly what the scent was until later on.  And what I thought it smelled like was socks. Sorry Black Hoof….but it smelled mildly like socks. Adrienne was really disturbed with the texture and visual appearance, which I was okay with. The taste is not so bad when you add the condiments of sea salt and chimichurri …but the smell, I cannot.

Our third dish was the Horse Tartare.  I liked this dish more than the first 2, but the texture was not something I really enjoyed. To be fair, I’m not a big fan of tartare normally, but I really wanted to try out horsemeat. However, as we both had awesome horse sashimi in Tokyo, this really could not compare.   This was also the moment that I decided to believe Adrienne that we were just well travelled and have eaten many things  : )   I mean, looking at their menu board, their “exotic” dishes weren’t that exotic to us – blood & brain (I wanted to try brain, but Adrienne didn’t), tongue, quail, horse, rabbit, oxtail, scallops…these are things that are readily accessible or even common for us to eat. Minus rabbit though, it is definitely available but I don’t eat it.

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Tongue Brioche.

When our fourth dish Tongue Brioche came, we were already pretty full since many of the dishes contained a bread element.  It’s unfortunate this dish did not come first because hands down it was the best dish of the night.  The slices of tongue were much better tasting than any of the meats in the charcuterie, it was better seasoned/cured and had a nice buttery taste.  The brioche also complimented it well.

We ended up canceling on our last (dessert?) dish of Foie Gras & Cornbread. They no longer had their famous Foie Gras & Nutella dish, only Foie & Cornbread or Foie & Pork Liver Parfait. Already full and not wanting to eat anymore bread, and also fearful for further disappointment, we agreed to cancel on this dish to save our money.

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I don’t think I would revisit for dinner, but maybe for brunch which I THINK will have Foie & Nutella???

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