Monday, July 17, 2017

Tapas Tasting at Toro, a Boston Mainstay

I have long wanted to try Toro. This tapas bar from duo Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette has been around for many years (since 2005), but there's still always a long wait every night since they don't take reservations, even after they've opened other locations in New York and Bangkok. I finally went to try it when I saw a Gilt City voucher for it. The voucher for a tasting menu wasn't cheap at $100 but it was 8 courses including wine pairing, but the best part is that it allows you to make a reservation! If you've never used Gilt City, you can save $25 off your first order with my invite link.

The tapas tasting started with a Tortilla Espanola (egg, onion, potato, nettle, aioli). A nice rendition of the traditional Spanish dish. The ratio between egg and potato is just right.
Uni Bocadillo (pressed uni sandwich, miso butter, pickled mustard seeds)
This is similar to the uni sandwich at Coppa. Of course, I'm always happy to get uni on a tasting menu.

Since my friend is kosher, we got different third courses - I wanted at least one porky dish. I got the Jamon Blanco (Toast with lardo, marinated Jonah crab, black garlic, crispy shallots and avocado)
While this wasn't what I had in mind when I wanted a "pork" dish, I enjoyed the toast regardless.

My friend got some sort of tuna carpaccio, which she enjoyed.
Empanada de pollo y patatas (chicken and potato empanada). The filling had just the right amount of spice and the texture of the deep fried empanada was nice without being too oily.

Our next dish is simple, but is actually the most popular dish at Toro. It is the MaĆ­z Asado con Alioli y Queso Cotija (Grilled corn with aioli, lime, espelette pepper and aged cheese)
I think these days you see different versions of elote at various restaurants, but Ken Oringer had this on the menu since Toro opened in 2005, and it's been wildly popular ever since. I definitely enjoyed it as well.
Wine pairing: Asnella vinho verde
Gambas al Ajillo (Griddled garlic shrimp with cascabel chilies, parsley and lemon)
Filete a la Plancha (Spice rubbed Creekstone hanger steak with red onion marmalade and valdeon butter)
The steak was nicely cooked and had nice bold flavors - this is another that I would recommend getting if you go to Toro.

Pato con Membrillo (Smoked duck drumettes with quince glaze). I love the texture and flavor of the smoked duck.
While I didn't take quite so detailed notes of the wine pairings that night, they definitely had some nice wines and paired the dishes well. This Vina Alberi Reserva 2010 Rioja was one of our favorites of the night.
We ended with quite the rich and decadent dish: Asado de Huesos (Roasted bone marrow with radish citrus salad and oxtail marmalade)
For dessert: churros with chocolate sauce
A glass of sherry to pair with the churros.

The Gilt City tasting menu was a pretty good deal, I think. At $100 per person we got quite a bit of food and a lot of wine, plus not having to wait for a table added a big value to it for me. As for Toro, I'm glad I finally got to try it. I can see why it remains so popular even after 12 years, the food speaks for itself and the prices have remained reasonable.. While there are now other tapas bars in Boston, Toro was the one that set the standard.

1704 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 536-4300
Toro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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