Hoof & Fin
Just had a great dinner here. Highlights were the empanadas, ricotta gnocchi, skate wing, sangria-braised shortrib, skirt steak, and tres leches cake.
The tuna ceviche was decent (it had an odd flavor combination that I couldn't quite figure out), and the arugula salad was over-salted. The banana bread pudding was dry.
The patio space is beautiful. Service was on the overzealous side, but nothing that was a problem.
Overall, this is a great place, and we'll definitely be back. Despite the name, there were a ton of vegetarian options. The total ran to about $40/person (it's BYO).
I tried it last night, it was just OK. I'm not sorry I went, but I won't be going back.
First thing, their air conditioning is totally anemic, or they just like it hot in there. Part of the reason we went out last night was to get out of the heat, and the interior of the restaurant was only a few degrees cooler than outside. I don't know if they had the door to the patio open or what, but they need to fix that if they expect people to eat there when it gets really hot this summer. Gayle had a vestibule outside that helped, Hoof and Fin has curtains inside the doorway but they were open the whole time, maybe the cool air just spilled out every time the door opened?
Service was friendly, but very slow and infrequent: we spent about 2 hours there and were often waiting a while for one thing or another (to order, for food, for wine). I had the asado prix-fixe, which comes with a dessert. The dessert was dropped off at our table with no visit from the server after our entrees were cleared: we were never asked if we wanted coffee, or maybe a second dessert. The asado itself was dropped off with no explanation of what the various meats were until I asked for one. By the end of the meal we really, really wanted to get out of there.
The food ranged from one very good dish (the beef tataki), to good but poorly executed (the corn empanada, which had a really good pastry shell, was cold in the middle), to just bad (the crepe dessert, which claimed a dulce de leche filling but had little flavor of dulce de leche, just sweet on top of sweet). The asado had its highs and lows, I liked both beef cuts on the plate (short rib and skirt steak) and the chorizo, but the pork was overcooked and the sweetbreads were very plain. Also, the asado prix-fixe (which included the aforementioned cold-centered empanada and the bad crepe) was $39, which is way too much in my opinion for what you get.
I agree that the name is unfortunate... I think it's some kind of reference to surf and turf? ... but I enjoyed a meal there a few weeks ago. They have great outdoor seating in the back, and I thought the food was very good, if not all that earth-shattering. The meats were cooked well, and we had a sweetbread ravioli that was delicious, even if I couldn't really taste the sweetbreads.
I'll definitely go back, especially because it's in my neighborhood. Not sure I'd make a special trip to get there though...
I went to Hoof + Fin last weekend and had a great dinner. They were offering an asada (asado? I can never get that right), which was a platter of meats -- grilled steak, sweetbreads, short ribs, pork, and chorizo -- with some thick-cut fries topped with an over-easy egg, and a salad. It was really good. All the meats were cooked to medium-rare (which I love), and everything was perfectly seasoned. My friend had the tuna ceviche, which she really loved, an empanada, and the skate wing. I like the dining room a lot, and we want to go back so we can sit outside (the patio out back was jam-packed the night we were there). Service was pretty good, too.
I highly recommend this restaurant, especially if you live in the city. We thought we'd have trouble parking, but there were plenty of spaces on the block. It was a really nice night.
Some of my favorite lines:
"Hoof & Fin is now open. It sounds like a disease." Yum!
"My insatiable curiosity was tweaked." PIQUED! PIQUED!
"Sweetbreads ($12) have been popping up on restaurant menus since last fall." I've heard of this newfangled dish!
"The sauce was an absolute culinary bliss."
I like the looks of the brunch menu especially.