March 3, 2010


So if you're born on a leap year, when do you celebrate your birthday? Would you have celebrated on the 28th or do you celebrate on the 1st? If I were a leap year baby, I would celebrate on the 28th...a day early. Who doesn't like early birthday presents? I sure do! Especially when they come in giant boxes all the way from Vancouver!

I'm not gonna lie...I was kind of bummed that I didn't have any mega-awesome-out-of-this-world birthday plans like last year (it was a two-parter!) but Sunday's plans included birthday brunch at Hoof Cafe (*swoon*) with Sean, which was good enough for me! His parents were going to join us but my birthday was in the middle of lent so they decided to stay away, which meant more food for the two of us!

We managed to get a table for two despite arriving after 10am. Could it be...has the hype died down? Or is it because they've increased the prices?...more on that later.

Sean and I were seated directly under the menu, which was great for Sean--not so great for me. I neglected to take a photo of the outside of the restaurant--again--so just re-read my previous review for the exterior description.

A few changes to the Hoof Cafe...they were advertising the bone marrow beignets (donut holes) as a special and now charging $5 for 6 donut holes. Not terribly cool, though they did taste better than the last time Sean and I enjoyed them. This could possibly be due to the fact that we let them cool down after they were served to us and therefore, the tip of my tongue was not burned. Also, I think we only received 5 beignets in our order, otherwise Sean ate one without me noticing.

After a brief break, our "mains" arrived. I ordered the tongue grilled cheese...
My tongue sandwich was super tender. The cheese was seasoned with something that I can't remember anymore. Sean was asking me about it and I think I said dill. It was a very distinct herb.

Sean ordered the French toast with a slab of foie gras and julienned apple:
Sean prepared the perfect bite of French toast and foie gras for me--along with julienne strips of apple and sugar.
This was my first time eating foie gras. I ate it so I knew what it would taste like, which was buttery and smooth but to be honest, it didn't blow my socks off. Would I order it again? Probably not. Sean and I decided to do "splitsies" so I gave Sean the other half of my sandwich and he gave me the other slice of his French toaste plus half of his foie but I found it to be too sweet. I ended up sprinkling some coarse sea salt onto my bites before consuming.

We also got a bone on the side ($8):
I'm not crazy about the new presentation of the bone marrow. Yes it is easier to eat but I prefer the shorter cuts and cheaper price. This was definitely not worth $8 considering that the entire right side of the marrow was almost as thin as paper. There was hardly any marrow on the bone. We didn't even have enough to cover all four toasts which was really disappointing. (Note: this ended up being gratuit due to "receipt failure" so I can't really complain that much.)

Sean...satiated. Our server with his t-shirt and cardigan in the background. I didn't feel like a re-do.

After our meal we headed to Nadege (which is just about one street south) so that I could pick up a dozen macarons. Whenever we're in the area--which just happens to be whenever we eat at Hoof Cafe--I always ask Sean if we can stop by Nadege.

I always feel a little bit apprehensive because spending $25 and change on a dozen cookies does seem ridiculous but Sean said that he understood why they were so expensive after he spent an afternoon making them with me last summer. I'm not sure if he was taking about the process of making macarons or the process of making them with me specifically but I'll take whatever justifies $25 cookies.

My box 'o precious:
Contents: salted caramel (yellow), olive oil (light green) x 2, mojito (green) x 3, cassis (blackberry, purple), mojito (again!), poppyseed (pink with poppyseeds), blackberry chocolate (light magenta), chocolate (light brown/beige) and salted caramel (again). Sean and I tasted a mojito macaron on the drive home to watch the mens' gold medal hockey game and holy mother f, was it good. A mint macaron--GENIUS!! I'm glad I got four.


Anyway, I felt a little so-so about our second visit to Hoof Cafe. It wasn't nearly as exciting and pleasurable as the first time. I'm not thinking about our meal days later like I was the first time and not anticipating our next visit. I was really excited about the idea of bringing Janice to Hoof Cafe but I think I might let a couple of months pass before I go back there again.

Maybe Sean's right...maybe when something is so good the first time, you should never try to re-create that experience. Maybe it's a good thing I didn't try to re-create my 26th birthday celebration then.

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