Like any city, Toronto has its restaurants which take generous inspiration from others- one restaurant will put cauliflower on the menu, then in two months, everyone is doing it. But some restaurants set the trends- they are the iconoclasts, inventing new ways of dining in the city. The Black Hoof is one of Toronto’s iconoclasts.
If you’ve read my reviews, you can tell I have a fondness for Jen Agg’s empire of restaurants (Cocktail Bar, Rhum Corner and the Hoof). She reigns supreme over this little stretch of Dundas West, supplying a constantly changing menu of Canadian nose to tail dishes. “Nose to tail” eating involves using parts of the animal that perhaps you might not be used to. But oh, what a revelation it is. Savoury, buttery bone marrow, rich tongue on decadent brioche, and, most amazing and most controversial, horse tartare- raw horse meat in an eggy sauce. Trust me- it’s amazing. Just make sure you haven’t read Black Beauty recently. Cocktails and the wine list are also excellent.
This resto is a must visit for the foodie traveller. It is loved and revered by chefs, food critics, and celebrities alike (it’s Anthony Bourdain’s favourite Toronto spot). But the Hoof’s down to earth staff take it in stride. They treat everyone with the utmost respect. They nurture a crowd that ranges from 20s hipsters to older couples on romantic evenings out- nothing is stuffy here at all. A fun, lively spot with incredible food- not to be missed.