Posted by: Erin | May 13, 2009

Restaurant Review: Toro

While I was writing a post over the weekend, I realized I’ve got a bunch languishing in my drafts folder. Over the next week or so, I’m going to try and complete and post them, so my apologies if they’re not quite as detailed as usual, since some are from quite a while back, and my notes aren’t necessarily as good as they should be to write a proper post.

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About two weeks ago, our former student worker came back to visit, so she, some of my coworkers and I headed over to Toro in the South End. I’d never been there, but heard good things, so I was looking forward to it.

We got there before they were even seating for dinner, which was nice – no fighting for seats/a table like usual when we go out after work. If I remember right, after the day I’d had, a cocktail was definitely in order, so I ordered a La Granada, which was very good. According to the menu, it involves Christiania vodka, pomegranate, their housemade grenadine, and rosé cava. I wasn’t expecting it to be fizzy, but it was quite good. I’m curious as to what the cava would taste like on its own. Perhaps an experiment for another time.

We decided to order four different tapas and share, since so much sounded good. We ended up getting the duck (couldn’t find it on the online menu, so not sure what the name is or what the sauce was made of), Maíz Asado con Alioli y Queso Cotija, Annas Empanadas, and the Hamburguesas de Kobe. Someone, thought I can’t remember who, suggested we try the Asado de Huesos, which is roasted bone marrow. Mercifully, it was voted down, though not without a discussion about the texture of bone marrow. It might be good, I don’t know, but the thought of it makes me kinda queasy.

The duck was really good, but one bone barely had any meat on it, so there wasn’t much to share between the four of us. The corn is the house specialty, and we picked it based on one of my coworker’s recommendations, having had it before. Also good, but hard to eat. The cheese makes it messy, so it ranks up there near spaghetti on my list of Foods You Shouldn’t Eat On A Date. Loved the empanadas, and the hamburguesas were good as well, though also a little difficult to eat. The meat, if I remember right, was almost like a meatball instead of a patty, so it was hard to keep the meat and bread together.

So, the drinks were good, and so was the food, but the service left something to be desired. The staff kept trying to take our plates away before we’d finished each dish, which was somewhat annoying, because it made us feel like we were being rushed. In the beginning, the place was nearly empty (all the other patrons were at the bar, not having food), so I thought maybe the staff was just bored and looking for something to do, but because the place wasn’t busy yet, so there was no need to rush us, if that’s what they were doing. They also forgot my drink twice, despite everyone else at our table having their drinks. Originally, I’d assumed it was because my other three coworkers ordered their first drinks at the bar (I was still deciding on what I wanted), but one of them ordered a second drink AFTER I’d ordered mine, and hers came shortly after, with no acknowledgement of my missing drink.

On the whole, I liked Toro, but the food was a bit expensive (the mixed drinks looked to be slightly towards the higher side of average for the Boston area, but not outrageous). It’s probably somewhere I’d go on a date, but I wouldn’t make it our regular after-work bar. (We don’t actually have a regular place, but we tend towards places with decent but relatively cheap food, a good beer list – for the coworkers – and a mixed drink menu for me.) I’m glad we went, though, because I’d heard a lot of good things about it, and wanted to check it out myself.

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