Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Toro

For my birthday with a group of friends, I decided to do tapas. It's easier to share and I get to try a bunch of different dishes. While I was trying to pick a place to try, I read a lot of Toro. This Boston restaurant got rave reviews and had opened a location in Manhattan. I jumped on the opportunity since it was a larger space and allowed for bigger groups to dine together.

When we arrived, the hostess graciously informed us that a larger table and cancelled last minute. That group had booked the special chef's table but we were allowed to sit there and order from the regular menu per our original reservation. We jumped at this opportunity because we got to sit closer to the kitchen and away from the crowd of the people waiting. It worked out wonderfully.

We looked over the menu and ordered a variety of things from each section.  So please enjoy the wonderful pictures of the delicious things we ate that night.

Chorizo Iberico de Fermin: Spanish sausage ($15), Paleta Serrano de Fermin: Spanish ham ($17), Jamon de pato: aged duck ham ($15).
Delicious Spanish meats but skimpy of the serving size based on the price.

Bocadillo de Erizos (Pressed sea urchin sandwich with miso butter and pickled mustard seeds - $13)
This was really good! The rich, fatty foie melting into the bread with umami laden creamy butter adding more fat to the already unctuous sandwich. Eat quickly though. This sandwich comes warm to the table.

Foie gras y Piquillo: seared foie gras with piquillo peppers, cider vinegar gastrique, and candied walnuts ($14)
Seared tender pieces of foie. Who knew foie on a stick would work and here it is in all its glory.

Datiles con jamon: medjool dates filled with marcona almonds, cabrales blue cheese wrapped in jamon serrano ($8)
Stuffed dates are one of my favorite dishes to order at tapas restaurants. The sweet salty combination really does it for me. These were no exception to the delicious rule.

Coles: brussels sprouts with olive oil and maldon salt ($9)
These were just okay because of the lack of char and sweetness.

Pulpo: galician octopus with potatoes and charred onions ($16)
A modern rendition of what is normally found in Spain but consisting of a tender piece of octopus tentacle with nicely cooked potatoes.

Panza de cerdo: crispy pork belly with apples, squash, rutabagas, and berbere ($15)
That was one well cooked pork belly with a super thin and crispy skin. But for $15, I would have liked just a little bit more pork to share.

Asado de huesos: roasted bone marrow with raddish cirtus salad and beef cheek marmalade ($16)
Bone marrow is a great dish to share. Each person digs into the fatty, rich marrow and slathers it onto a piece of toast. If that's not enough, well they also have rich beef cheeks as a chaser. Arteries be damned!

Zanahorias: heirloom carrots, buttermilk, dill, and harissa ($12)
What's up with carrots and harissa these days? Whatever, I like them anyway. Sweet tender carrots with a dash of spice, tangy buttermilk, and herbaceous dill.

Morcilla y callos: tripe and marfaix bean stew with blood sausage ($14)
This dish fell flat for us. We couldn't distinguish what was tripe or what was beans. It just all muddled together. I'm not sure if that was on purpose but I didn't enjoy it like the other dishes. And the blood sausage was just okay as well.

Gambas al ajillo: griddled garlic shrimp with cascabel chilis ($16)
A classic dish with a modern twist. The shrimp usually comes in a vat of garlic oil bubbling away but the sauce of these was thick. Perfectly cooked with a creamier sauce. I enjoyed these.

Navajas: razor clams with piquillo peppers, garlic, lemon ($16)
This was one of my more favorite dishes of the night due to the simple preparation of the razor clams leaving them sweet with the slightest hint of oceany flavor. The lemon, peppers, and garlic enhanced the clam without hiding behind bold flavors.

Sepia con su tinta: cuttlefish in its own ink ($14)
Another ho hum dish. The squid didn't have a lot of flavor even though it was covered in its own ink. It just didn't match up to the other dishes this night.

Croquettas de bacalao: salt cod fritters with tempura lemon rings and aioli ($12)
I really like bacalao and this version was not too bad. Crunchy fried breading with a creamy fish based filling. The fried lemons were a really interesting touch.

Patatas Bravas: fried potatoes with aioli and spicy tomato sauce ($9)
These potatoes could have been fried more as they weren't very crispy. And I wish the aioli was more spread out with the tomato sauce.

Paella Valenciana: shrimp, mussels, clams, chorizo, chicken, calasparra rice ($76)
There was hardly any crispy rice (socarrat) to this paella but the flavor was very good. The price was a bit too much though.

And to finish, churros con chocolate.
The chocolate need to be looser. I think they just gave us melted chocolate from how viscous this was. But I still enjoyed the sweet fried churros and chocolate combination.

Toro
85 10th Avenue
New York, NY 10011
(212) 691-2360
toro-nyc.com

1 comment:

  1. Sounds super expensive for some very stellar dishes and some very mediocre dishes. Maybe a pass. Love the pics though!

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