Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Black Hoof Charcuterie

928 Dundas St. W. (at Bellwoods Ave.)
Toronto, ON
(416) 551-8854
Head Chef: Grant van Gameren
Dates visited: Friday April 3, 2009 & Thursday April 16, 2009
Plates $10-35

Obscure-looking, dark hangout in the middle of nowhere. Sparse modern narrow space with a marble bar, handful of wooden tables and chalkboard menus galore. Very cordial service. Ordered the small charcuterie plate: cured horse meat, chicken liver paté, spicy pastrami, rabbit terrine, and more. Great plate for $16.

2nd visit: Splurged on Iberico jamon ($30). Always worried hyped-up food stuffs won't live up but Iberico did. Thin slices of fatty meat with the most deep, rich, complex flavours -- nuttiness, smokiness. Further indulged in the $13 tongue-in-brioche: just incredible! A little spicy, salty but gorgeously tender and swear-to-God can't stop eating it. Brioche perfect toasted, crunchy, buttered complement.

Disappointment: no infamous Delilah cocktail; and my basil one was nothing close to the finer ones I've had at Renaissance Congress 606 in Boston, and Regent Hotel's Table 8 in South Beach, Miami.

Still, food amazing. Told vegetarian at table next to us, if there was ever a time to start eating meat again, The Black Hoof is it. (Why there was a vegetarian at a charcuterie in the first place? Do not ask me!)

Rating (out of five stars): ****

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