Update Spring 2016: Blackfoot is now closed.
Blackfoot was spot-on for a six man Friday evening catch-up a few weeks ago. It was casual, relaxed, modestly priced and pleasingly unpretentious. Service was savvy and we drank well (perhaps too well) from a short and smartly written wine list. Importantly, the food we had was good. Simple, but good.
You may have read already that this is a “pork provoked” restaurant. By my reckoning, the pig is the most versatile of the cooked animals – the biggest surprise is not that the menu feels varied despite being 85% pork, but that Blackfoot is the first place to be so swine focused.
Highlights included a round of British charcuterie and, in particular, whipped lardo on toast – a Gentleman’s Relish for the 21st century. You can never go wrong with gammon, egg and chips. This particular ham is hewn from a Sandy and Black pig that’s run free around Dorset woodland. Happy pig = happy eater. Pork belly looked fine from afar, though I think there are other things on the menu I’d choose before this; not least the porchetta.
All that said, I reckon the One Good Reason to head to Blackfoot, is the spare rib steak – the pork equivalent of beef’s rib-eye steak.
This dish sums up the restaurant, I think. It is not at all flash. No worlds are set on fire – but nor are they intended to be. It’s just a juicy, tender and flavourful piece of pork. They source good meat, char it a little and serve it simply. I recommend choosing the salsa verde and chips as your sides.
Approach Blackfoot with the appropriate expectations. Check out the menu first, understand the pitch: it’s £12.50 for a plate of porchetta with lentils and a sauce; £14 will get you the rib eye, chips and the salsa. To my mind, this makes it a very accessible place for affordable greed. So, quite literally, a piggery.
Blackfoot – 46 Exmouth Market, EC1R4QE – 02078374384
One Good Reason
The spare rib steak, £14 including a side and a sauce.
I interviewed Tom Ward, one of the owners of Blackfoot, for the online food magazine Flavour First. Read more about the restaurant and the provenance of its pigs here.
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