Executive chef and co-owner Hunter Toth riffs on classic dishes such as stuffed shells.
Hunter Toth is messing with our memories. And we’re eating it up. As executive chef and co-owner of the stylish-but-approachable Hook & Hoof New American Kitchen and Cocktail, Toth wanted to riff on classic dishes for a bit of old-meets-new. Here shrimp cocktail ($13) comes with smoked tomato cocktail sauce and the pork chop ($27) is brined in sweet tea. “It goes back to a time where food was very familiar to you,” Toth says. “Where you really enjoyed eating with your family.” Even the short rib stuffed shells ($23) are a savory, chewy flavor blast from Toth’s past. To put a spin on a dish from his childhood, he fills al dente shells with braised beef that’s been gently mixed with mascarpone and boursin cheeses for a toothsome bite. “Everything else about the dish is soft, texture-wise,” Toth says. “So I wanted a little bit of pull with the shell.” 4125 Erie St., Willoughby, 440-571-5312, hookandhoofdtw.com