I’m a big fan of tapas. I rarely go to eat with people who won’t share their food so tapas are an ideal way to eat and drink with friends while getting a taste of the variety of dishes a restaurant has to offer. So, based on the recommendation of my friend Donna, one of the first places I visited during my Boston trip was Toro. Before making the trip, I perused Toro’s menu and found at least 12 things I wanted to order.
While we waited for a table (be prepared to wait), I ordered a Caramelized Caipirinha, a tangy mixture of cachaca and caramelized limes — a great, but simple cocktail. My second drink, the La Granada (vodka and pomegranate), wasn’t great. Something about the flavor mixture just didn’t work for me
We started with the Tortilla Espanola (sort of like a potato and onion omelet cake) which had just the right amount of creaminess and seasoning. The egg, onion and potato blended very well, and I figured it was a sign of things to come. I was right. Our second dish of Corazon a la Plancha (Beef Heart) was delicious as well. While I’m a fan of beef tongue, I had never tried beef heart, and I’ll definitely be trying more of it. It was sliced very thin and felt like a heartier (no pun intended) prosciutto.
Next up were the Pimientos de Padron (Green Peppers with Sea Salt). These tiny peppers packed just the right amount of punch which worked great with the salt and butter they were cooked in. Our next plate was a special of the evening, the Razor Clams. While they weren’t terrible, I have to admit they were my least favorite thing of the evening. I just couldn’t get past the brine flavor.
After taking a short break to order some wine, we continued with Atun Crudo (Tuna with Fermented Black Beans). The tuna was a nice change of pace as it seemed to have more Asian elements than Latin ones. It was a perfect course to refresh the palate after the peppers. Following the tuna, we ordered the Brussels Sprout. While they may not be a kid’s favorite veggie, they are definitely a favorite at Toro. Cooked to perfection, the sprouts had the right amount of sear/charring and complemented all the other dishes perfectly. After the Brussels Sprouts we had the Cauliflower (cooked in bacon grease if I remember correctly). The cauliflower was very similar to the Brussels Sprouts so I would recommend only ordering one or the other.
Continuing with the vegetable dishes, our next plate was one of Toro’s specialties — Maiz Asado con Aioli y Queso Blanco (Corn with Aioli and Cheese). It’s no wonder it’s one of Toro’s most popular dishes. I’ve always been a fan of grilled corn and the butter and lime really highlight the sweet flavor of the corn while the searing gives it a nice contrast.
Following the Maiz, we had our last savory tapa plate of the night, the Asado de Huesos (Bone Marrow). Literally served in the bone, let’s just say we devoured in a matter of seconds. Bone marrow has always been one of my favorite dishes due to just how much flavor is packed into it. Putting on top of toast with beef shoulder and accompanying it with radish and citrus salad really sent it over the top. These last two dishes are must orders.
After pigging out on savory tapas, we moved on to Churros with Chocolate Sauce. I’m a huge fan of anything coated in cinnamon and sugar and these churros didn’t disappoint. After the churros, we ordered a cheese plate. While I get what they were going for with the cheese plate, none of the cheeses were really a standout for me. They did pair well with the Maduras however so if you’re looking for an after dinner drink, the cheese plate accompanies Toro’s offerings perfectly.
While this trip is only my second to Boston and Toro is the only place I’ve been for tapas, I can’t imagine there being a better tapas restaurant in town. Aside from the amazing menu, the servers and bartenders are very knowledgeable about what’s on the menu and what pairs with each other. So the order the dishes were served flowed very naturally and was palate-friendly. Overall, if you’re looking for a phenomenal restaurant to order food to share with friends, Toro is your place.
Toro is located at 1704 Washington Street. The hours vary so visit Toro’s website for full details.