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My Boston Bites: Brunch at Toro

September 30, 2012

We woke up to a beautiful fall morning after the wedding.  Jacket and scarf with a cup of coffee in tow, we took a long walk from the hotel down to the South End.  The streets became more residential and filled with brownstones, with less restaurants along the way.  Forty-five minutes later, we finally reached our destination for brunch, Toro, a Spanish tapas restaurant.

The space was large and bright with high ceilings and tall bar height tables in the center of the room, a bar lining the right and small tables to the left.  The kitchen was partially open and even though it was still early, it was already busy churning out plates.

At Toro, they make a beautiful drink called banana milk.  And yes, it does sound as simple as fresh bananas muddled with milk and slightly sweetened with sugar and spices.  While, I am not a big fan of banana itself, I do love anything banana flavored so this was a must start for my brunch.  MD went with the slightly more grown up version,  spiked with fruit-loop infused vodka.

Since we were at a tapas bar, a few pinchos and tapas were musts.  Of the pinchos, we went with the ventresca, tuna belly with tomato tapenade and celery leaves and smoked buffalo heart, no reason other than because where else have we seen buffalo heart on the menu?  While the tuna was simple and clean, the buffalo heart was more interesting.  Thinly sliced, the meat was perfectly tender with only a hint of smokiness.

And whenever I see bone marrow on the menu, I do not hesitate to order.  The roasted bone marrow at Toro was split length wise to make it easy to scoop and served with two pieces of already piled high with oxtail marmalade.  The combination of the rich marrow and the deep beefy oxtail was such a classic combination that worked so well.

Good thing we kept the tapas order to three because our entrees were quite filling.  Huevos rancheros for MD and pork hash for me.  The pork hash was made with potatoes and shredded pork, mashed and pan fried until crispy.  Served with an egg over easy, this was not a light meal.

Although both of the traditional brunch dishes were delicious, they weren’t quite as exciting as we had hoped for given Toro’s popularity.  However, seeing how much we both enjoyed the tapas we ordered, I can see why Toro is known for quite a crowd during dinner.  Despite this, the laid back attitude of the staff and the airy spacious restaurant made for a great neighborhood spot for brunch, whether it’s for two at the bar or a bigger group.

Toro | 1704 Washington Street  Boston, MA 02118 | http://toro-restaurant.com/

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