For the last few months I've been traveling to NYC to eat almost every other weekend. One restaurant that I never get sick of that just exudes the blood called staying power is Toro. Now let's be clear, some down home idiot is probably thinking, "Benn, Toro is in Boston!" Well moron, you are correct. There are two locations, NYC and Boston, both headed by culinary evil genius and hardcore hero Jamie Bissonette along side the OG small plate bad man Ken Oringer. I stopped in to eat while Jamie was foraging through Asia minor and had a nice little late night din din. The following is a nice little passage taken from the "About" section of the Toro website…
The chorizo was excellent, I wanted to try this chorizo because I was very curious to see what chorizo tasted like that was a dollar more than the fois on the menu, it held up to the price point. I could have eaten a few plates of this. The cured meat selection at both Toro's are ever-changing and new, I love and respect that. The blowfish tails were my favorite dish of the night. More than likely seasonal I was happy to have tracked them down. Eating them as you would shrimp or a hotting, this was the perfect little fish lollipop. The empanandas were perfect, a standby on the menu, these are something that I always get when I visit.
The fois was perfect, served with labne which is a middle eastern take on greek yogurt, marcona almonds and a thin slice of seckel pear. At first glance I thought the pear was a pickle, however it was a sweet addition to the predominantly savory plate. The chorizo and chickpea plate was a nice addition to the meal where I actually used my spoon. Different from the sliced and cured chorizo, this was ground and served under the chickpeas, greens and hard cooked egg. Finally the pulpo, now, I've noticed something over the last few months. Some well known, well versed, accomplished chefs just don't know how to cook octopus. I want to bite into the octopus, chew 2-3 times and swallow. Hugo's of Portland, left the damn thing in the napkin on the table. Farmer and Son of Hudson, the part of the arm opposite the tip was so thick it was a wonder it was even cooked at all. David Bazirgan of San Francisco's Dirty Habit knows how to cook pulpo. Nick Moulton of Mezze knows how. Ken and Jamie know how. Tyler Anderson and Ed fucking Bethlum do! WHY IS IT SO HARD! What I'm trying to say is this octopus was good, and If you're serving chewy pulpo, just know I'll find out and put you on blast.
For dessert I didn't want to go crazy because I had a two hour ride home and didn't want to fall asleep and die. I got the churros. These churros are perfectly cooked and not hard or crunchy. Paired with a creamy dulce de leche, this was the perfect topper to my night.
I've eaten at both Toro locations multiple times and I'm a total prick, I would let you know if I ever had something I didn't like. I've NEVER had a bad dish at either location, OR Coppa for that matter. You will never catch these two slipping.
I herby give Toro NYC…
Join me the week after the holiday for a nice year in review and maybe a little something special, NO COAL I SWEAR. From everyone here at the BENN BREAKS BREAD team, we wish you and yours a safe and happy holiday!