Thursday, September 6, 2012

Toro

We finally made it to ToroFinally. The dark wood clad meets weathered brick walled South End taverna was reminiscent of ones we visited in Spain. It was actually this time last year we were traveling to MadridBarcelona and San Sebastian, and with the nostalgia achingly present, the experience at Toro was soul soothing. 
We settled into our cozy window side table right away with a pitcher of Sangria ($25) - (significantly more than any Spaniard will charge you!) and perused the Restaurant Week menu. The benefit of visiting Toro during restaurant week is the ability to make a reservation, otherwise they don't take them and from what I have heard, the wait can get brutally long. Their tapas prices seem reasonable and the standard $33.12 per person is comparable to what you might spend regardless. 

We started with a pintxo each, the Datiles con Jamon are a fairly standard choice on my part - Medjool dates filled with Cabrales blue cheese wrapped in Jamon Serrano (though missing the crunch of a marcona almond as advertised) and the Corazon is an adventurous choice on Adam's - smoked buffalo hearts with romesco. Both are fantastic. 

We select five tapas for the main course beginning with Gambas al Ajillo. These griddled garlic shrimp are wonderfully plump and the casacabel chile sauce is thick, creamy and super flavorful. The platter of bread you are served at the beginning of the meal comes in handy here. 

The gambas are a must order in my book, along with the Maíz Asado con Alioli y Queso Cotija, labled La Especialidad de la Casa for good reason, and arguably one of the most well known dishes in Boston. The grilled corn is fiercely smothered in aioli, espelette pepper and aged cheese, so prepare to drench it with a lime wedge and get messy. Remarkably sweet and charred, the corn itself is fall off the cob tender, if there can be such a thing. It surpassed any expectations and puts other dishes of its kind to shame. 

We didn't hesitate to order two tapas featuring pork, first, the Panza de Cerdo offers a substantial and perfectly crispy pork belly paired with briny littleneck clams, smoked potatoes, and celery oyster crackers that reminded me of tater tots. We realized this is Toro's interpretation of clam chowder, and it is exquisite. 

On the other hand, Asado de Cerdo presents crispy, spicy pork with a lovely coliflor puree, roasted bone marrow and juicy sauteed green grapes. I could hardly pick a favorite between the two and was elated at our decision to double down on the cerdo. 

There was no way we could pass up a bowl of crispy fried Patatas Bravas with thick aioli and spicy tomato sauce (on the bottom, be sure to stir them up). This classic dish takes me right back to Madrid, though, the bravas sauce was always drizzled on top so initially I thought it was missing. 
For dessert, a few bites each of Manchego con Membrillo and Churros con Chocolate were shared. For lack of an extra churro (two would have been ideal) I was eating the rich, bitter hot chocolate by the spoonful. Overall our tapas were exceptional and filling, so I really can't complain. 

Bottom line, you've got to visit Toro. The atmosphere exudes that of a traditional tapas bar, like many we visited in Spain it feels rustic and trendy all at once. It's comfortable and it's lively. And the food is just that good. 
Toro on Urbanspoon

25 comments:

In and Around Town said...

Great photos! Totally agree with everything you said - it really is a must visit! LOVE Toro!

Shannon said...

LOVE toro!! they have a killer burger, as well :)

Jaime @ La vie...J'aime said...

i went a couple years ago and need to get back !

Reuben Varzea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Reuben Varzea said...

One of the best spots in Boston. Amazing staff. Had the chance to sit in with kitchen staff a couple months back. Mike, the exec chef, is a beast (they all are really).

Tracey said...

I love Toro and am so glad you liked it, even more so as it was restaurant week. The corn on the cob is absolutely my favorite! You should also try their white sangria.

Amber said...

the food looks hella good but the atmosphere is what I am swooning over. I love places like this that try to transport you to another place. very cool

Melissa said...

Mmm, I'm so glad you ordered the corn. I need to get back to Toro soon!

Emily @ A Cambridge Story said...

Such a good call to go to Toro during restaurant week and making a reservation!! We waited there once for 3 hrs (which resulted in way too many pre-dinner drinks!) but it was worth it. Glad this visit brought back so many good memories of Spain :)

Shannon said...

So excited to see this review of Toro. I've been trying to decide where to take my boyfriend for his birthday dinner and I've been going back and forth between Toro and Coppa. Your pictures are gorgeous!

ba san said...

French fashion brand Lanvin has been giving a language is not surprising until they were feeling, not because he is an exaggerated and extreme brand, he always just your eyeballs will be fiercely to attract and make you very memorable. This lanvin handbag series, with a retro feeling and a rare feeling. And the lanvin bag is relatively large weight design used costume is a good choice for single clothing or one piece. Can be connected www.lanvinhandbagstore.com to enjoy them.

ba san said...


Jimmy choo 2012 autumn and winter handbags series, highlighted by simple lines personalized details change, jimmy choo handbag more refined taste, leopard fur with a solid color leather stitching, simple yet stylish taste, worthy of a star international big royal favorite! Welcome to jimmy choo outlet let us look at Jimmy choo new jimmy choo bag. Link: www.jimmychoobagssales.com

Meghan said...

Mmmm I haven't been to Toro in ages. Everything there is so amazing.

Lin @ BeantownEats said...

Great tip on the RW reservations thing. Loved your comparisons between Toro and Spain trip, and lovely photos as always :)

Taryn said...

Toro is fantastic. Smart move going during restaurant week! Last time I went we waited for about an hour at the bar, and were lucky enough to snag a seat eventually. Even on the busiest nights, it's worth the wait! So so good.

kcomekarolina said...

cool!



xoxo from rome
K.
kcomekarolina.com

Sacha said...

"Fiercely smothered" is a great way of describing that corn--it is messily delicious! The wait at Toro *is* ridiculous (rightfully so), which is why I haven't been in ages. This reminded how much I'm craving some of those dishes.

Jen said...

I'm pretty sure that's the loaf of bread of my dreams. It looks amazing! Can I just have a meal of bread and churros?

Ameena said...

Now you have me wishing I was back in Spain...love the menu at Toro. It looks delicious. And the potatoes? My favorite dish in Spain, hands down.

Megan said...

So glad you finally made it to Toro. It's definitely worth waiting in line for. The only thing I've had that I didn't like was actually the corn. It was really mushy. But everyone else loves it, so I'll have to give it another shot at some point. The churros are an awesome ending to the meal!

meesh said...

you got all the stuff i would recommend! LOVE toro. isn't the corn insane?

Emily@SimplyGourmetinSouthie said...

wow. everything here looks amazing!! i had no idea they took reservations during restaurant week - so good to know :)

Elizabeth said...

I ate a Toro once pre-blog and it was fantastic. I remember the corn fondly

Ché @ Knight at the Restaurant said...

1) I can never get over how stunning your pictures are, and 2) Toro is my unicorn. I can't get there to save my life, even though it's always at the top of the list. Glad to know it CAN happen! And happy to hear it was such a great experience.

Nicole @ The Girl Who Ate Boston said...

I just moved to the city and I am psyched to be within walking distance of Toro. I've heard such fantastic things about it. Very glad you had such an awesome time — hope I do, too!