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Aug 23, 2009 06:06 PM

Torito - Still in business and still good!

After finding out the reason behind Torito's telephone disconnect was due to a change of number from 647 to 416 (961-7373 ) and not closing down. Our party of five headed downtown yesterday for a late night dinner. The place was packed and extremely noisy!

We had a bottle of very interesting Spanish Muscat/Gerwurtz., white and the following entree dishes:
- Piquillo peppers stuffed with salted cod and tapenade.
- Pan fried sardines with Romano beans, fennel, mint parsley salad.
- Merguez, crispy polenta and tomatoes.
- Crab croquettes with parsley aioli
- Roasted quail, pomegranate glaze squash
- Braise beef tongue and cheek
- Lamb loaf with currants and dried apricots in almond-saffron sauce
- Chilean tripe stew
- Roasted rack of lamb
For dessert, we all went for the Flan de chocolate.

Surprisingly and extremely rare, every one of the afore mentioned dishes was tasty and we did not have a single disappointment! Three 'consensus stand outs' were the Piquillo peppers , the tripe stew and the ever amazing tongue and cheek! This latter dish must have been on their menu 'forever'! We were not surprised because the aroma was simply mesmerizing, the meat folk tender and the sauce was so delicious, we have to order a plate of bread to mop it up. If ever they decide to remove it from their menu, it will surely be Toronto's loss!

Finally, an honorary mention to the Chocolate flan. A 'chocolate creme caramel' , this dessert was damnnnnnn good!!!

BTW, the original chef, Chef Carlos has left for Latin America. The kitchen is now run by the ex-sous, Chef Luis, who, IMO is doing a fine job, if not better than before!

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  1. I LOVE those peppers. Mmmm... Haven't been in a while, but your post reminds me of how much I enjoy it. They also usually have a good cheese offering for dessert.

    1. Thanks for the review Charles. I have always loved the Tripe Stew and the Beef Tongue and Cheek dishes. And the chocolate flan has always been very good as well. Lovely to know that Chef Luis has done a great job in taking over the kitchen. I am definitely due for a visit-Torito has been a favorite of mine since moving to Toronto. I love the atmosphere, its great for a group.


      1. Thanks for the review Charles. Sounds like a great place.

        4 Replies
        1. re: BokChoi

          I was hoping to see some new dishes. I've been many times in the past and really enjoyed it every time but stopped going because, essentially, the menu never changes.

          1. re: EarlyDrive

            They do have two specials of the day every day.

            1. re: Charles Yu

              Sure -- but the remainder of the dishes have been the same for years now. It's the kind of place that we like to go with a few friends, so if you are getting 8 or 10 dishes for a small group (as you did), 6-8 of them are the same as the time before.

              1. re: EarlyDrive

                You definitely have a good point EarlyDrive. However, its comforting to me that they can consistently execute these dishes, and sometimes I don't feel like taking a gamble on someone trying too hard in the kitchen with failed results. Sometimes I do-and that's when you can really find out who's on top of their game in this city. But for those other nights, I know my dollars won't be wasted. The service has always been fantastic as well.


        2. So glad you gave it a go Charles. I also went again last week, after you started the "number changing" thread - and once again, it was fantastic. I've been twice since Carlos left and I would say that the food has gotten even better with Chef Luis. He is energetic, passionate and has enthusiasm to try new things. That said, as others have noted, the main menu is more or less the same as it's always been (there have been a few changes, like the merguez dish), though the daily specials seem to be a bit more abundant.

          You missed a few of my favourites, Charles - the shrimp (OMG, I could happily immerse myself in the accompanying sauce), patatas bravas and the steak with egg and chips - put them on your list for next time. I also like the spinach with chick peas.

          Lovely service, fun energy, great food, warm hospitality and good value - for me, Torito nails it every time.

          4 Replies
          1. re: peppermint pate

            Yes! I do agree with you that the shrimp and patatas bravas were very good, the last time we tried them. However, I found the flat iron steak a bit bland. BTW, there was a reason why we skipped the shrimp. After eaten live west coast spotted prawns from O 'Mei and 'wild' Texas/Gulf of Mexico shrimps from George not too long ago, our palette for prawns was kind of spoiled and discriminating?! Sorry!!

            1. re: Charles Yu

              Ha - I can hardly fault you for being "shrimped out" after those experiences. For some reason, I thought this was your first visit to Torito. Anyway, when you go back again, please try the steak - in my view, it is the dish that has been the most highly elevated in flavour and texture in the hands of the new chef. It was s-t-u-n-n-i-n-g last week.

              1. re: peppermint pate

                Recommendation from you?! Will definitely try it out!!!! Many Thanks!

                1. re: Charles Yu

                  I'm searching for one of those little smiley faces with the flushed cheeks...

                  Thanks Charles. I look forward to hearing back once you've tried it.

          2. I'm glad you mentioned Torito because I was just there last night and the food was amazing.

            We had:
            -serrano ham
            -bread, cheese and olives
            -fish ceviche
            - Piquillo peppers stuffed with salted cod and tapenade.
            - potatoes bravas with chorizo
            - Roasted quail, pomegranate glaze squash
            - Braised beef tongue and cheek
            -chickpea and spinach stew
            -almond cake
            -cheese plate

            We thoroughly enjoyed every last dish. Unfortunately they were out of the tripe stew but the silver lining in that is that we'll just have to come again soon to give it a try.