Torito - anyone been?
- Liz Jun 2, 2006 05:15 PM
Anyone been to Torito, and was their tapas good? Have been searching for great tapas since moving to Toronto 4 years ago and haven't found the holy grail yet.
And is it a good place for a special date?
I was there about two months ago .. the chorizo soup, the ceviche, lamb loaf, and apple banana gratin were all good .. it was pretty packed by 7pm on a saturday evening, with line-ups out the door ..
there are apparently some popular quail & other meat dishes that we didn't try ..
unfortunately, i have no barometer to gauge the authenticity, but i do plan to go back .. the prices are ~7-14 per dish, so a dinner with 6 dishes quickly runs up to 70-80 easy, after tax/tips ..
and yes, i would suggest it for a date, albeit the atmosphere is very casual .. no dress code, almost a neighbourhood resto -- though nobody came in with shorts & sandals ..
went last sat. night....fabulous!...waited in line for an hour, would have waited an hour more.....i wouldn't necessarily suggest it for a date because you can't make a reservation and the bar is too busy with diners to sit and have a drink, it's definitly loud and lacks intimacy.....it is casual and inexpensive though....may be shorter lines during the week.....
had the ceviche, quail, crab cakes, grilled king fish, lentil soup with serrano ham.....everything was excellent. can't wait to go back.
i was there a little over a month ago and my general opinion: not the holy grail but still good and probably not for a special date, although it would depend on the person.
the space is small and maximized to fit in people, so it can get loud rather easily. i found this funny, but maybe it's actually effective... they have this 2 stage waiting process for when you arrive and the place is busy (you can't make reservations, the main reason i wouldn't use it as a special date place). you first wait by the door and when the there are only two tables ahead of you, they move you near the bar. it works well if you're a drinker.
in terms of food, i found the lime in the ceviche to be overpowering and i could barely taste the fish. however the roasted corn provided a really nice texture contrast. the andalusian (sp?) chickepeas were fantastic. quail was a little dry but the sweet sauce was nice. crab croquettes were pretty good with nice amounts of seafood. lambloaf with eggplant was very moist. flatiron steak was a touch tough but buttery in flavour. the surprise winner of the desserts was the chocolate flan, nearly wished i ordered that only for myself.
the service was speedy and nice. we had a conversation with one of the owners after admiring all the lighting and handiwork... turns out that the entire place was built with their own hands. one of the owners is a woodworker and the other a black smith. if you think your chair/table is wobbly, you know who to blame ;)
I love Torito, and have never had a bad, or even a mediocre, dish there. It seems more authentic to me than any of the other tapas places I've tried in Toornto so far. Certainly much more reliable than Cava.
My only regret is that they don't take reservations, but I cope with that by arriving early or late, and also by phoning ahead to see how busy they are.