850 N 4th St.
Columbus, OH 43215
1. Kimchi Panzanella
2. Roller Blabe DIPA
4. Musk of the Minotaur IPA
5. Are We Having Fun Yet? Pale Ale
What do you get when you mix great craft beer, innovative cuisine, and a dash of humor? The new Hoof Hearted Brewery & Kitchen, of course! I’ve long been a fan of Hoof Hearted’s beer offerings (thanks to The Daily Growler) but I was totally blown away by the food at the brewpub. A great addition to Italian Village, Hoof Hearted’s restaurant is airy and colorful. Brew tanks encased in glass are the joint’s focal point, and they have an excellent assortment of logo-laden swag on display for purchase as well.
Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty though. Hoof Hearted shines the most when it comes to IPA’s; which is just dandy for this hophead. The Musk of the Minotaur IPA is a great mix of citrus and hop bitterness, and I love Roller Blabe, the fruity and smooth Double India Pale Ale. The “party pale” ale, Are We Having Fun Yet?, is a beer that is just drinkable enough for summer patio-sipping. A gose, a coffee ale, and other solid picks are also available.
Sometimes breweries that serve food get stuck in the same old rut, dishing up pretzels and greasy fries. Not so for the Hoof Hearted menu, since the creators of Crest Gastropub are at the helm. I am desperate for the recipe to recreate the Kimchi Panzanella, one of my favorite bites of 2016 so far. This shareable plate takes chunks of bread, Brussels Sprouts, and tangy kimchi, then slathers it all in an out-of-this-world red pepper sauce. So original, so savory, and surprisingly vegan-friendly! We also sampled the oxtail toast and the poutine. The poutine was a table favorite, with large potato wedges topped with jalapenos, daikon, pork cheek, onion rings, brown gravy, and a gloriously runny egg. The cheese plate looked killer, as did the fried chicken and the taco quartet – I must return soon for these items. Desserts consist of apple pie dolloped with sage whipped cream and a pistachio-crusted fig tart.
Culinary Clue: Don’t forget about Hoof Hearted’s Marengo taproom either. At this original location, you can score cans of your favorite brews on select weekends, and drink their selections on draft as well. Be sure to get there early – these can release parties can get crowded.