Toro! Spanish Tapas in the South End

We absolutely loved the food and atmosphere at Toro!  Toro is located deep in the South End on Washington Street not too far from Mass Ave.  When we arrived, we immediately had the feeling that this place is something special.This restaurant is the inspiration of much acclaimed Chef/owner Ken Oringer. Ken is also the Chef/owner of Clio (contemporary French -American in the Back Bay), La Verdad (Mexican in the Fenway), KO Prime (modern steakhouse) and most recently, Coppa (Italian in the South End). We are hoping check out at least a couple of these because we liked Toro so much.

Toro is both edgy and authentic and you better get there early or be willing to wait awhile. Between 5:30 and 6:00, this 55 seat restaurant fills to overflowing on a regular basis. They don’t take reservations and the hostess will not seat you until your entire party is there. We put this to the test and she would not budge. The angst over getting a table was annoying, but I still cannot wait  to go back. Check out their photo gallery to get a feeling of what this place is like inside – they have not made their photos available to google images, so I couldn’t post them . The exterior photo does not do it justice.

The Tapas menu had so many delicious things to try. We had 5 people. so we were able to try about 8 different Tapas and also tried the Seafood Paella. The Seafood Paella (they also have meat and vegetarian options) comes is a big pan for either 2-4 or 4-6 people to share and we all loved it- it had lots of shellfish and don’t tell Lauren, but there was also some sausage in there that gave it some extra flavor.

For Tapas, we tried:

The griddled garlic shrimp – everybody loved them.

Croquetas De Bacalao (traditional salt cod fritters)- okay, I thought.

Maiz Asado (grilled corn with alioli, lime, pepper and cheese)- most liked this, but I am not sure I would order again because it its really messy to eat and there are so many other options.

Duck drumsticks- can’t remember how they were described in the menu, but they were given the thumbs up.

Ceviche- scallops that tasted delicious especially with the warm bread that they brought to the table- I think I liked these more than anyone else- I like the fresh taste of a ceviche.

Another shrimp tapas in a sauce that everyone thought was fantastic, in fact possibly the favorite of the table , but I cannot find it on their regular menu-sorry.

For dessert, we tried the Churros Con Chocolate which is an airy, crispy fried pastry infused with chocolate- ymmmm! It is the only dessert they have, so that makes it an easy and good choice!

I just looked at their brunch menu and that looks great too.. Hueros con Salchichon, corned Beef Tongue Hash:( , Cap’n Crunch and Spicy Black Beans among others.

Lauren and I just loved this place- there are about 5 or 6 things I’d like to go back and try and I so much like the idea of being able to try lots of different things. It is really the only way I will try new things, because I’d never commit to a big plate of something I am not sure of.  Next time I am going to try at least one thing that I don’t really think I want to put in my mouth- like sea urchin or beef tongue- right Lauren? Many thanks to our fellow tasters this week- you made it twice as much fun for us and it was great to have everyone’s input. My only real regret about Toro is the no reservation policy, but I guess they probably know more than I about running a very small restaurant in Boston.

iBuen apetito!

Robin and Lauren


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2 responses to “Toro! Spanish Tapas in the South End

  1. leslie burns

    This one sounds right up my ally. We have been doing lunches in Boston and Cambridge periodically with our newly employed college grads, and this sounds like a winner. Hopefully its easier to get a table at the lunch hour… that is if they’re open for lunch:-)

    • Thanks for your comment Leslie and for following us! Yes- I just looked at the lunch menu and it looks really great- also they have an interesting lemonade and ice tea selection at lunch- I’ve never seen that before. Not sure what the wait might be at lunch time- hope you go and enjoy!

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