first things first: the black hoof review. we loved it. it's a teeny, tiny, little room and we had to wait almost 45 minutes for a table and the poor chef/owner (the dude i worked with at canoe) has to cook on an electric (home) stove. it's crazy! i thought we got great value for the dollar and i was totally impressed. we started with some shared platters:
this is the large charcuterie platter. i can't remember all the stuff that was on it...it was arranged from mild (to the left of the picture) to strong/spicy. there was jamon iberico (iberico ham, fed exclusively on acorns), a pheasant and cherry terrine, beef and dill, bison in puff pastry, venison, salami sec, the little ramekin had a chicken mousse, there was salami from salumi artisan cured meats (mario batali's dad's place in seattle), and chorizo. i could eat piles and piles of everything...each flavour was better than the last...although the jamon iberico will always have a place in my heart...it's so sweet and porcine and fresh and light tasting, without any of the salty grease of proscuitto. dear lord.
the cheese platter (small) was a little more boring (to me), only because i have the (possibly irrational) expectation to have cheeses i've never had before. from the top, there was brillat savarin (a triple cream) with some kind of berry compote, then we had a 4 year old manchego with a quince accompaniment, and finally morbier with a hazelnut butter (some kind of nut butter, maybe A or C can correct me if they remember). it's clear from the cheese platter that the chef's strengths are in charcuterie...to me, that's not a particularly well designed platter, but it's people-friendly and accessible.
the dotytron had (top dish) the pastrami cured pork belly which came with a cole slaw type dressing and two slices of bread with tomato and emmental. the pork belly was REVOLUTIONARY. crusted over with a pastrami cure that gives way to the sweetest, softest, melting pork fat shot through with flaking ribbons of meat. it was phenomenal. i could eat pounds and pounds of that ish.
we also split the cabbage soup with bone marrow. i love me some bone marrow...my only complaint is that there wasn't enough in the bone (but that's something you leave to fate and ruminant genetics, i guess). the cabbage soup coaxed an improbable amount of flavour out of a humble vegetable...it was creamy and rich and intensely delicious.
i ordered the duck confit sandwich - shreds of tender duck confit pressed in a toasted, buttered, crusty white roll. it was delicious. the soup was $8, and most of the "entree" type plates were about $13. what a deal!
A & C had the foie gras and brioche and the pork merguez sausage. the foie was super-generously portioned at $20 and the merguez sausage was porkly delicious with the traditional merguez spicing and slim, snappy form. dinner for 4, with 3 beers (while we waited) and a bottle of wine, came to $200 including tax and tip, which i thought was a fantastic price for what we got. keep in mind, charcuterie is something that takes a LONG time to make, and has to sit and age. it's a transformative process, with a lot of volume and raw material loss during the aging, so your yield isn't much. i think the black hoof is a great place and i'd highly recommend it.
yesterday i woke up with the dotytron, saw him off to work, banged out the beginnings of 2 rosemary olive oil loaves using my sourdough starter and nancy silverton as my inspiration, 2 trays of cheesecake brownies, 1 batch of chocolate crackle cookie dough, and 1 tray of raspberry jam bars. then S came over and gave me the BEST haircut of life...i'll try to get the dotytron to take a picture of it later...i chopped off a good 5" and S did an amazing job of straightening it...the goal was too look more professional instead of rocking my bushy, flowing, wavy locks of gibraltar. apparently i look more sleek, but also younger. oops! i love it though...i never want to wash it because my hair is NEVER this straight.
then i met up with dr. rei to do some shopping and xmas prep and gabbing. she wanted to show me some head pieces that are kind of in line with what i want for the performance. i'm thinking very retro-y, cocktail hat, fascinator, or some kind of hairpiece with a birdcage veil. we found one feathered piece that was really dramatic and cute...but i didn't get it. we'll see. this is kind of what i'm looking for:
i think i definitely want something dramatic and modern and abstract like the first, second, and third ones - more feathers than floral. and i don't want a faceful of veil like the fourth one...the style of veil for the third is more me. i just want a bit of veil kind of coquettishly over one eye or rakishly tilted off to the side. and DEFINITELY not white. first of all, white symbolizes death in chinese culture, and even if i wasn't going to get all juju superstitious about it, i look gash in white and it's not my thing.
anyway, then i came home after first stopping off at work to pick up containers for my baked goods that T was loaning to me to transport stuff into work for the holiday open house (yes, i'm baking for the open house) and then came home. i was exhausted after walking around in the cold all day, but somehow, i mustered up the reserves of energy enough to resist the urge to spend money and buy take out and instead, make dinner. we had fried rice with chinese sausage, egg, napa cabbage and peas, and those fried eggplant sandwich things i make (thinly sliced eggplant, sandwiching a ginger pork mixture, dredged in batter, deep fried, and eaten with sweet chili dipping sauce - it's awesome):
then, we somehow, miraculously got up the nerve and energy to brave THE BITTER COLD OF OUTSIDE to actually ATTEND my boyfriend's 30th birthday party at his place. it was fun, but we were twerps and totally showed up at like, 9:30pm with the express intention of being home in bed by 11pm!!! lol!!!! they had a keg and the dotytron got to play this videogame called "left 4 dead 4" on their super ginormous flat screen tv (seriously, the thing is HUGE) and then we gracefully said our goodbye's and wandered out into THE BITTER COLD OF OUTSIDE to try to find the concord cafe where c64 was playing at the "breakcore elimination challenge." i didn't find out the address though so we half walked over one big city block and realized that we left the car behind, so we wanted to go get the car and drive closer to where we were supposed to be (wherever that was) but then when we actually got INTO the car, the logical thing was to drive our little butts back home as fast as we could so we could climb into our flannel pjs and flannel-sheeted bed and eat cheesecake brownie edges and watch "the wire" season 5 in bed. LOGIC!
today i made a pineapple upside down cake (again) and a sweet potato pecan pie and baked off my loaves of bread (i'll post pics later). i'm going to do some knitting, then meet up with dr. rei for some vintage shopping/trying on headbands again and then play dodgeball and then go to C & C music factory's place for dinner and then come home and then finish watching "the wire" season 5 and go to sleep and start a week of work all over again.