Toro

You know how the old saying goes: “The Spanish invented tapas; Toro perfected them.” Just kidding, we made that up. But truth be told, it’s not too far off the mark. There are plenty of auténtico selections among the 50-plus dishes to choose from at Toro to conjure your study-abroad days: jamón Iberico, Croquettas de Bacalao, Paella Valenciana. But then they whip out the sherry on tap, Maiz Asado, and Uni Bocadillos, and you remember you’re not in Seville anymore.

We Bostonians have enjoyed a bit of a love affair with Toro, which is anchored along Washington Street in the South End, since it was opened by owner-chef duo Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer in 2005. After Matt and Ben, Jamie and Ken may comprise Boston’s most notorious bromance. This is the second of many restaurants they’ve opened together; Coppa, Toro NYC, Toro Bangkok and Little Donkey complete the current set. But as they continue to sprinkle the city with trendy spots, we keep coming back here for más.

That unyielding popularity is why Toro gets real cozy on any given night, the kind of place you should bring someone you’re excited to dine shoulder-to-shoulder with until very European hours. The crowd, the din—like anything that keeps us coming back, it’s those kinks we ultimately find irresistible. Well, that and the roasted bone marrow served Flintstone-style—that’s a cow femur, split with a bandsaw and slow-broiled to yield a silky, spoonable trough of meat butter. If any squeamish dissenters in your party object, send them out to feed the meter when this one hits the table. More for you.

 

Nothing will accelerate your buzz quite like a porron—a traditional Catalan drinking vessel that Wikipedia aptly describes as a cross between a “wine bottle and a watering can.” They aren’t listed on the menu, but your server will be impressed if you ask for one. Be that guy.

Dinner reservations aren’t possible here, but those who don’t feel like waiting can make reservations for lunch. Parties of six or more can also reserve brunch seating.

Waiting it out? Give the hosts your phone number and take a 10-minute stroll up Washington St. to The Gallows for fantastic cocktails.

Must Haves

  • Sweet, salty, and rich, these almond-and-blue-cheese-stuffed dates wrapped in Serrano ham from the Pintxos menu help the cerveza go down.

  • This eat-with-your-hands house specialty—grilled corn with aioli, lime, Espelette peppers, and cheese—is Toro at its sexiest.

  • Ah, roasted bone marrow; see above.

  • Toro’s version of the classic is just as it should be—studded with the bounty of the sea, the land, and crispy bits of Calasparra rice.

Fun Fact

The plancha used for searing in Toro’s kitchen has been rumored to heat up to 900 degrees.

Tastes of Toro

So good we can't stop writing about it. Read more about Toro!

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