I managed to snag a meal with a friend from out of town today, and since she hasn’t lived here in years, she let me make the call on the restaurant. I’m a full on food dork, so I have a Google spreadsheet listing spots that I’ve wanted to check out… this made the decision a breeze. Here were my notes on Toro:
10:30-2:30, sunday only
Breakfast Tartine $9: Brioche tartine with fresh goat cheese, apple butter,Acacia honey and walnuts. Bocadillo Desayuno $10: Breakfast sandwich of chorizo, eggs and cheese
I have a column for Suggester, but I discovered this place reading brunch reviews online, thus, “internet.” It makes me feel kind of archaic, really, writing out “internet.” Maybe I should use “web” or “search” or something. I’m plagued by the little things. I should probably clarify that “sunday only” refers to when they serve brunch, as I had this place filed under brunch (I spared you the other columns in the spreadsheet).
Not everybody has the same idea of what makes a great meal, so while I read best of articles, Yelp reviews, etc., I always check out the menu before deciding to go someplace. I’ve found some great restaurants this way, but the downside is that menu reading can lead to getting your heart set on something fabulous… menus change frequently! Alas, the breakfast tartine that I’ve head in my mind (and spreadsheet) for a few months was no more. As it turned out, we opted for tapas rather than brunch fare anyway. Here’s what we ended up with:
Datiles con Jamon $6
Medjool dates filled with Marcona almonds and
Cabrales blue cheese, wrapped in Jamon Serrano
Coctel de Gambas $10
Poached Florida white shrimp with horseradish,
cilantro, tomato and avocado
Atun Crudo $12
Yellowfin tuna with citrus and soy
Maíz Asado con Alioli y Queso Cotija $6
La Especialidad de la Casa. Grilled corn with alioli, lime, espelette pepper and aged cheese
Patatas Bravas $5
Fried potatoes with alioli and spicy tomato sauce
Churros con Chocolate $7
Airy crisp fried pastry with chili infused chocolate
I’m not a big ham person (bacon is a clear exception), so I had a tiny bit of trepidation about the dates. Thankfully, my love of marcona almonds and dates won out – the serrano was crispy, just like delicate bacon! There were only two dates on the plate, but it was definitely worth it. This dish was so good that A admitted to thoughts of thievery when she saw them on another table.
The shrimp was a bit overcooked, but the taste was so good that we didn’t really care. The yellowfin sashimi was good enough for a second order. The churros were… fried. Mmmm. I admit to eating the leftover dipping chocolate with a spoon once the churros were gone.
It feels a bit presumptuous to assume that I have more than a couple of regular readers here, but I know a few of you who know me read from time to time. I’m guessing that you’re looking at that list above, wondering how it’s possible that I ordered anything with aioli. For anybody out there who doesn’t know me, I am a mayo HATER. Seething. Aioli garners special hatred, because let’s face it, it’s just tricky mayo. Let the record show that nobody is pulling the wool over my eyes: I see aioli for what it is. Today, however, I was feeling adventurous, by which I mean, I was ready to eat around the mayo, particularly since the corn dish was the house specialty.
I didn’t love the corn, mostly because there was so much aioli on it that eating around wasn’t an option. I would suggest this dish to a corn and mayo lover, though, as the other seasonings were great. The potatoes didn’t fare so well… they were well cooked, but they were kind of like bland home fries, with three enormous pools of mayo in the dish, and some vaguely spicy sauce underneath. We ate all of the potatoes that weren’t covered in mayo, dipping some in the sauce underneath, and some in the sauce that came with the shrimp. The latter had more flavor.
I realize I just devoted two paragraphs to the part of the meal that I could have done without. It was just to fill you in on my mayo issue, believe! We really enjoyed the meal, and the cocktails. Which brings us to the highlight of Toro, in my opinion: on offer here is Truth and Love for a mere ten dollars:
Verdad y Amor $10
Hibiscus infused Milagro Silver tequila, ginger, lime
This drink was basically made for me. Tequila (duh), faintly spicy, wonderfully refreshing, and come on, truth and love!
The Verdict column in my spreadsheet now says, “awesome! cocktails were great, server was a delight. lots of small plates. didn’t actually try out brunch. outdoor seating. can’t wait to return.” See, no mention of mayo. I’ve vowed to return in September with another friend.
1704 Washington St.
Boston, MA 02118