There are plenty of fantastic food options in Oakland, but when it comes to meat, there is no other restaurant that I trust and love more than Clove & Hoof. The food is incredibly satisfying and I just can’t get enough.
Owned and operated by Chef John Blevins and Analiesa Gosnell, this little spot on the corner of Broadway and 40th is an example of nose-to-tail eating at its finest. From beef, pork, lamb, chicken, rabbit and duck, these animals all come from farms that never, ever, use antibiotics or hormones and are raised using responsible and humane methods. The ranches they partner with are hand picked with the highest regard to animal husbandry and quality of taste.
If you love meat as much as I do, you’ll marvel at the butchered meat on display like majestic pieces of art. From an entire pig’s head to blood and tongue sausages and smoked pig tails, every part of the animal is respectfully honored and transformed into something delicious.
I can recall every single dish I’ve had across countless visits. I have many favorites, but here are some of the dishes that really turn me on:
On a recent visit, Chef Blevins surprised me and Christina (east bay dish) with a massive charcuterie board. It was the most beautiful spread of tasty animal parts I’ve ever seen in my life: rabbit pork terrine with hazelnuts and olives, summer sausage, herb lardo, air dried pork loin, spicy coppa, 16 month aged ham, headcheese, pickled quail eggs, foie gras with blueberry kiwi jam, jerked guinea hen with dehydrated pineapples, chicken liver pate with elderberry and St. Germain cherries with pea tendrils, and bright green kool-aid pickles that tasted like tangy sweet magic.
This salad is a must order every time I visit. I’m so obsessed with this salad that even Chef Blevins knows it. The creativity behind each variation blows my mind and I love how each salad is the perfect balance between sweetness and acidity. The most recent salad I had was brilliant- peas, pickled fennel, elder flower marinated cherries, mustard greens, crescenza cheese, and fried bread with a basil-pinot noir vinaigrette.
Smoked Pork Chop
You haven’t had a real pork chop until you try the one at Clove & Hoof. It’s massive in size and simply outstanding with just the perfect amount of fat to meat ratio, smoke and seasoning. The best part of all, it cuts and melts like butter. In case you are debating on what to order on your next visit, get this and thank me later.
This version is served with some bomb ass Anson Mills farro with pea tendrils, spring onion, rhubarb, bacon miso vinaigrette and salsa verde.
Clove & Hoof’s monstrous burgers are top of my list and beats all other burger spots in Oakland, and it’s reasonably priced to boot (and big enough to split between two people with an appetizer or two). The burger is made up of two juicy 4-ounce beef patties with caramelized onion jam, pimento cheese, chopped romaine and pickle mayo on a potato pepper bun.
Fish Sauce Caramel Fried Chicken Sandwich
Don’t let the other places fool you, the best place to get yourself a fried chicken sandwich in Oakland is Clove & Hoof. I know people who would travel for a great fried chicken sandwich and this is the one that I would travel for. The sandwich, like everything else, is huge in size and I love the flavors of the sweet and salty fish sauce caramel that coats the crispy battered chicken. If you’re out of luck and don’t see this specific sandwich on the menu, I would also recommend their hot fried chicken sandwich with Nashville-style with blue cheese mayo. Believe me, you really can’t go wrong with any fried chicken sandwich here.
Beef Tallow Fries with Pickle Mayo
No fry is ever left behind, especially when it’s fried to crispy perfection in beef tallow.
Let’s move on to dessert, which is also really damn good.
This was so good that I wanted to lick the entire jar clean with my tongue. The butterscotch pudding with vanilla wafers, brûlée bananas and candied peanuts is a must order for dessert. It’s what sweet dreams are made of- velvety rich textures with some crunch.
The kiwi sorbet with pink peppercorns and dried coconut was a delightful and refreshing treat with a peppery effect that leaves a pleasant tingle on your tongue.
It’s not only the food that I love, the entire team behind C&H is the best- humble and appreciative, not only of their customers, but of each other and it clearly shows. If you haven’t been yet, you are truly missing out.
Huge thanks to Chef John Blevins, Analiesa Gosnell and the entire Clove & Hoof team for the passion that goes into creating all the fantastic food I’ve experienced since my first visit back in April 10, 2015.