Toro-the place for tapas in Boston

Braised short ribs at Toro

Braised short ribs at Toro

If you haven’t been to Toro yet, it’s about time to make your way over to the South End Boston for some of the most amazing tapas I’ve seen…and tasted. Thanks to Chef Owner Ken Oringer, Chef Partner Jamie Bissonnette, and Sous Chef Mike Smith, every bite of these Spanish-inspired tasting treats leaves you hungering for more and more.

Tapas, otherwise known as appetizers, snacks, finger foods…you get the idea…are a meal unto themselves. When you go out for tapas, real tapas, that’s all you eat. It is not served before a main dish, or on a large platter in place of a main dish. Tapas are served one small dish after another, along with your beverage of choice, and great conversation with good friends.

So, let’s get to it. During this visit to Toro, my friends and I decided to seek the advice of our server. After all, she’s serving and tasting tapas all day long so she should know. And, wow! Did she know what to suggest. I can’t name all that we had but here’s a sampling.

First, the wine. Toro has an extensive, all-Spanish wine list featuring wineries that use sustainable farming or biodynamic farming practices. Against the backdrop of natural, aged brick, the wine is stacked and displayed as fine art. Two of us chose a 2007 Creta Roble Tino Fino by the glass that was deep red and smooth on the palette. The other sampled a Mojito lovingly made by the talented bartender on staff.

Hamachi at Toro

Now for the tapas. From dates to duck, beef to brussel sprouts, we sampled an eclectic mix that we didn’t want to end.  The dates, filled with almonds and blue cheese and wrapped in Serano ham, were sweet but subtle at the same time; the “pan con tomate” was simple but flavorful with lots of garlic. The fish, both tuna and hamachi, were extremely fresh and melted in your mouth. Onto the beef, the braised short ribs and hangar steak both were tender and cooked to perfection. The house special, grilled corn with alioli, lime, espelette pepper and aged cheese, was a favorite of all (on the menu as “maiz asado con alioli y queso cotija”). However, the “hamachi crudo” is still with me, in a good way. I can recall its delicate flavor now as I write. Guess I’ll be heading back soon for a quick tapas fix. Gu

The award-winning Toro Restaurant is located at 1704 Washington Street in Boston’s South End.

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