I can’t remember who it was at TCAF that suggested we try the Black Hoof, but whoever it was deserves a giant thank you kiss. I had very spotty internet access on my phone while we were in Toronto, but I managed to find the address and transit directions to this place, and Lucy and Corinne were willing to trust my navigation skills, so our last night there found us riding the streetcar to the Black Hoof.

It’s a dark, cozy little place, with an amazing, innovative menu of small plates to share. Local ingredients, seasonally changing menu, incredible cocktails. Not for the faint of taste buds, and definitely not for vegetarians; but if you’re a little bit adventurous, and you don’t immediately turn up your nose at heart and tongue and sweetbreads, this place is a gem.

We started off with the tuna crudo and the terrine board, which had beef heart, pork liver, head cheese and rabbit on it. Then we got the pork belly and nori, and I was surprised to see the nori was essentially liquefied and painted on the plate. It came with a pile of delicately cooked mushrooms on top of it, and the combination of textures was fantastic. The pork carnitas tacos were delightful, perfect little thoughtfully-composed bites. And then came dessert.

The chalkboard on the wall said “foie gras and nutella” and there was a little chalk cartoon of a piece of foie gras and a jar of nutella holding hands and smiling, saying “best friends forever”. I think we were all a little apprehensive, but it sounded too strange, how could we leave without trying it?

It came out with a thick smear of warm nutella, topped with a slice of dense and sweet banana bread, topped with a piece of seared and caramelized foie gras. The whole thing was sprinkled with crumbled salted hazelnuts. It’s been a few weeks since this meal, and some of my memories have faded, but I still remember the delicate combination of flavors and textures that this dish provided. I can close my eyes and almost taste it again. It was sweet, salty, rich, soft, crunchy, all at the same time. It sounds crazy, but it was absolutely the standout dish that night, and we ate a LOT of standout dishes that night.

Anyway. Sorry for the hiatus! I finished up the last of the Kickstarter rewards two weeks ago, and my brain switched into vacation mode. I spent the last week playing video games. I mean, working too, but not drawing comics the second I leave the office. Fortunately I feel very refreshed now, and ready to get moving on a new project I have planned. More as that develops!