Thursday, June 3, 2010

No Horsing Around

A couple of weeks ago, on the Friday of the May 2-4 long weekend, I got some good news followed by an invitation for my child to spend the night with a friend (more good news), so Scott and I decided to go out.

The decision about where was so intriguing as to border on onerous.

We started at Sotto Voce (before they opened, technically) for watery, unenthusiastic drinks. By 5:50 p.m. we were ready for dinner (yes, I know it's sad) and we decided to head over to the Black Hoof - one of Toronto's most popular spots. It has the dubious honour, amongst other things, of being the place where Measha Brueggergosman experienced the beginnings of her near fatal aortic dissection. (Note: She had not yet ordered...)

Now despite your assumptions that it's lame to eat dinner at 5:50 p.m. (I'm inferring), I'll have you know that there was a line down the block when we arrived. Charcuterie-crazed Torontonians observantly queued around the block - as only Torontonians can do, waiting politely, if impatiently, for the doors to open. Yes, a restaurant-worth of people were single-stacked, wilting in the drizzle, to get into a hole in the wall before it even opened at an embarrassing hour on a Friday evening.

Oh, who are we kidding, it was still afternoon.

And we were two of them.

All was uncomfortably well until I caught a glimpse of the menu-board in the front window. OK, peeps, amongst the charc and the sweetbreads and other braised organs, I was shocked to discover that horse heart was on the bill.

Horse. Heart.

I realize I don't have a leg to stand on (as does anything else in the place!), but I was so repelled. I eat all kinds of dead animal. Hell, I wear fur. I know it's stupid to distinguish between the creatures you're willing to kill cuz you like them and those you won't touch because they are cute, but I was creeped and freaked and grossed out and amazed that a bunch of hipsters were waiting, vaguely like cows to the slaughter, to eat freakin' horse hearts.

We ended up at Libretto for pizza. On which we put lots of meat.


  1. Funny. I've eaten beef heart many times - it's the national dish of Peru, where my dad served in the peace corps - but I'm not sure I could do horse heart either.

    Also HM and I regularly dine at 5:30. We love it.

  2. We're heading to Paris in a few weeks, where not only does horsemeat show up on menus and in some butcher shops (there's a neon horse-head sign advertising its availability that we often walk past to get to our hotel!), but we get exposed as lacking sophistication every time we try to eat before 8 p.m.!!
    Both are difficult challenges (the late meals and the horsemeat signs), but I can tolerate much in the city of macarons and Louboutins!
    My husband has a tough time eating at 5:30 but it works for me, especially since a number of very decent restaurants have early-bird tasting menus at reduced prices.

  3. I don't think I would eat horse heart -- but who knows, if you get me drunk enough I'll eat anything.

  4. It sounds too disgusting for words. Yech.

  5. Hope I am never hip enough to eat HH.

  6. I think you should feel comfortable on a mid-marriage date. There is no reason to do anything but relax. It reinforces trust.

  7. Well, I know the French eat horse, and I have eaten organ meats of all varieties, but I think that sign would give me pause as well. It sounds like it ended well though, better to be happy and comfortable with pizza.

  8. Sal: It's crazy but the horsie is my friend.

    Mater: I want to go to Paris!! Though I'm sure they give you mega-attitude when you eat before 8 :-)

    Wendy: Fair statement.

    Enc: Visceral bad reaction.

    Miss C: Tell me about it!

    D.: Wise words...

    Mardel: It's sounds so boring, but it was fun!