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Black hoof or Harbord Room?

I'm planning a night out with my wife for a little celebration. I have been hearing good things about these places. They both sound like destinations for really good food with a casual atmosphere.

I guess I'm curious to hear from people who have been to both (or just one) of these places for a compare/contrast.

Also, since both of these places are small or popular, any suggestions on when to go so as to avoid a lineup would be great. I plan on going either a Friday or Saturday. And if that means going at 5pm, so be it. I have a little girl at home who doesn't want to be babysat for too long.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. These are two of my favourite places these days -- you can't go wrong with either.

    Harbord Room takes reservations, except for at the bar, which is first-come first-served. It is quite difficult to get a reservation on the weekend. We called on a Tuesday and were unable to get a reso for the Saturday. It's slightly more upscale than The Black Hoof and the cuisine is a little more refined. Still, it's very casual and comfortable. A great burger.

    The Black Hoof doesn't take reservations. In feel, it's groovier, more casual. The food is excellent and, given that you list Au Pied de Cochon as one of your faves, you might want to give it a try. There are either no veggie options, or there might be one salad. It is all pretty heavy fare, so if you want options for something lighter, this wouldn't be your best choice.

    1 Reply
    1. re: EarlyDrive

      Thanks. Interestingly, he isn't exactly flattering Au PDC on his latest blog posts.

      Anyhow, I think the hoof is my #1 choice right now. Will do Harbord room at a later date.

    2. I quite like both spots as well. As EarlyDrive has said, it might be tough to get a reservation at Harbord Room on short notice but since you're up for an early reservation, you might get lucky. Note that both restaurants open at 6.

      For me, Harbord Room is more of a restaurant for a meal while Black Hoof is more of a spot for drinks and (substantial) snacks. The food is quite rich at Black Hoof so it's hard to fill up on it in the same way as you can at Harbord Room. Both places are casual and have a vibe. At Harbord Room, we quite enjoy sitting at the bar and if you do arrive at 6, you should have no problems at all getting a spot there.

      1. I'd recommend Black Hoof. As other posters have noted they don't take reservations but the word seems to be that if you're in line by 5:45, and it's just the two of you, you're likely to get a table in the first seating (6PM).

        As EarlyDrive says it is along the same lines as PDC (pork and foie everywhere you look) and interestingly the Black Hoof's chef has a post on his blog about PDC. (hhtp://charcuteriesundays.blogspot.com)

        1. I recently went to Black Hoof and loved it (I'm also a huge PDC fan). However, I agree with the recommendations to get there early if you don't want to wait. When we went, it was around 8 on a Friday (prime time, of course) and we had to wait for over an hour and a half at the bar across the street.

          1. My girlfriend and I went to Black Hoof last October when it first opened (I think.) We got there just before it opened and easily got a seat. Now e'ere thinking about a return visit in a month or so with some relatives from out of town. Unfortunately it would be a Saturday though later in the evening, 10-11pm. How is the lineup around that time? Still bad?

            3 Replies
            1. re: lister

              It will be rammed. Standing room only at that time, I should think...

              1. re: redearth

                not really, it was perfect for us after a film around 10 Saturday. Bar is full (which we wanted - more fun for a twosome) but tables were just starting to fill loosen up a bit.