The Black Hoof is a foodie’s adventure come true. The shareable dishes, mostly of meat, are very distinctive and uniquely assembled for ideally two people to share. On this promising night, five friends and I gathered to dine at this much-talked about restaurant. I was super excited to say the least. This excitement is hard to describe through words, but having placed this restaurant on my to-eat list for at least three months, I really wanted to rush there in a split second’s time and ravage everything on the menu. Unfortunately, technology has not yet built such a teleportation machine so I had to resort to the old-fashioned way of waiting until such similarly-taste-budded friends were available to visit this restaurant with me. But enough chatting about future amazing technology, let’s get into this food review!
The Black Hoof doesn’t take reservations so we planned to arrive at 6 p.m. when they open to avoid any possible line-ups. Luckily, even though it was a Friday night, we secured a table rather quickly. The six of us tilted our heads to study the blackboard above our table which contained the sole menu. Our server informed us that the dishes on the left-hand side were all shareable tapas while the ones on the right side were more of a one or two person kind of dish. I knew I wanted to order the famed bone marrow dish for sure and there were also the pork tacos and the charcuterie platter that I wanted to try (come on, you know if I had multiple stomachs, I would actually eat EVERYTHING on the list). We chatted very excitedly about the items that enticed us on the menu — including the “ants on foie”… what is that exactly? — that we happily decided to order a series of dishes and share them together. Yay! I was very happy about that and was so looked forward to the collection of dishes that would arrive on our table.
I ordered a drink off another blackboard menu that showed different cocktails, beers, and wines. I find it funny how guests have to walk to the middle of the restaurant where the bar is and look above at the board to see what drinks to order. I like how this eliminates the use of creating a physical menu for each table and the restaurant can change their menu as they please. Mother Nature smiles because of this. The Brooklyn Lager tasted good; it was a clean beer taste which I enjoyed.
The first tapa that arrived was the Horse Tartare. It is a dish of finely chopped raw horse meat molded into the shape of a patty. I actually don’t think I’ve had horse meat before… this was a first! There were several seasoned clams that accompanied the dish as well as a few green sprigs. We all dug into the dish and although it was very delicious, I did find the meat to be very, very raw; a lot rawer than I anticipated it to be. My friends at the table will recall me repeating several times, “This is SO raw!” in shock. It literally tasted like someone had killed a horse and served us its flesh immediately. I liked the texture of it though. It was definitely unique, that’s for sure.
The charcuterie platter arrived to reveal a fine selection of cured meats. The server did a great job at pointing out and informing us of what exact meats were on the platter. However, I fail to hold an excellent auditory memory while someone is naming off 7-8 different meats so I unfortunately can’t even tell you exactly what we ate that night. Sorry. I liked this dish as well though. The cured meats were very fine tasting and high in quality. Bravo.
Next, the long-desired Bone Marrow arrived! We ordered two for our table to share so that we could take in as much of the fatty goodness as possible. I’m not even exaggerating — this bone marrow definitely was fatty; this is what bone marrow really is! Two long bones arrived on a dish with sea salt and some kind of veggie condiment with bread on the side. We were each provided with spoons. I scooped the bone marrow onto my bread and scattered the condiments on it before taking a bite. It was delicious! It was very fatty but paired well with the bread. Alone, the bone marrow tasted like a mouthful of oil. It was also a very delicious dish. However, some of us found that after a few bites, we were left feeling very full.
The Pork Carnitas Tacos are one of my favourites from the night. The mountain of shredded pork was piled high on a thin and uber soft tortilla with gooey guacamole and a crunchy piece of fried pork skin. I added drizzles of hot sauce and lime juice onto mine before taking a huge bite. It was SO good! The pork was soft and seasoned just right. I couldn’t get enough and finished the taco in three bites. Delicious!!
The Fried Chicken and Jellyfish was not something that I expected to be out of this world, but I truly enjoyed it! The fried chicken was so crispy and arrived steaming hot. I loved the sauce that came with it. Every bite of the chicken was tender even though lots of fat cushioned most of the bite-sized piece. They do chicken right here! Almost everyone agreed that the seasoned jellyfish was way too salty, but I liked its smooth and firm texture. Mmm, so yummy! This is definitely something I would order to enjoy alone.
Before we decided on dessert, we had our last item from our original order: Ants on a Foie. When we ordered it, we were thinking, “What the heck is that? What are the ants? Are they real ants? Are you going to eat them if they’re real ants?” (My answer: Heck yes!). It arrived on a plate and was gorgeously put together. It looked like a platter of artwork. There were stalks of celery covered with nuts and peanut butter sauce over a cookie with hot foie gras on it. I loved how it tasted. I loved the foie, the smooth and creamy peanut butter sauce on the “ants” (they were the nuts), and the celery refreshed the palate. What an incredibly unique dish! It resembled dessert since the peanut butter sauce was sweet yet the foie was definitely savory. Yummyyyy!
Lastly, the final course of the night was the actual dessert from the restaurant. This isn’t listed on their menu, so I assume that they change up their dessert every so often. On this night, we enjoyed the “Apple Skillet With Cheddar Ice Cream” with pistachios on it. It was so delicious! I absolutely adored the cheddar ice cream! As a major cheese lover, this is such an incredible invention. I’ve never tasted anything like it before. I now wish they sell cheddar ice cream in every ice cream store… even though I know that would definitely diminish the appeal of it. The apple skillet was hot and crispy and everyone at the table complimented it immensely.
What an incredible night of eating and enjoying wonderful company! I think our party of six people was exceptionally perfect. We were able to order a great range of dishes and share them. In this way, we were able to try nearly all the top picks at The Black Hoof. What more could I ask for? Service here was very good as well since they came around often to refill water glasses and replaced our plates with clean ones whenever we had a new course coming up. It was great! I loved that we didn’t have wait for a table considering this is such a popular restaurant to dine in. Also, it’s not every day that you can say that you enjoyed every single dish on the table. Five stars! Good job, Black Hoof!
Here is my friend Holly’s review of the restaurant.