Sunday, December 2, 2012

Toro Bravo - Portland

 Toro Bravo Portland -120 NE Russell Street Portland, OR 97212

 Toro Bravo is located on a quiet street corner. Behind the unassuming entrance is a medium sized restaurant with a lively atmosphere.  We arrived on a Saturday night and the restaurant was 90% full.  After a few minutes we were seated at the bar and offered the menu. After some debate, we decided to go for the $30 tasting menu in order to cover all areas of the tasting menu.

Duck Liver Mousse Terrine with bread and mustard  
 The terrine is a generous portion, and the sides of cucumber and mustard helps to give some texture and kick to the dish. 

Bacon wrapped dates stuffed with almond paste
 The dates stuffed with almond paste was too sweet for my taste, despite the bacon helping to offset the sweetness.  The bacon was a little burnt on one side.

Salt Cod Fritters with aioli
 Unexpectedly pleasing.  I never knew what to expect with regards to salt cod.  The fritters were light and fluffy with a hint of fish flavor. This reminds me of Asian fish balls.

Radicchio Salad with green olive toast & manchego vinaigrette
I love the bitterness of the radicchio and the balance that you get from the cheese vinaigrette.  Less vinaigrette gives you a more bitter salad which I like.  Adding the vinaigrette tones down the bitterness for others.

Bacon wrapped chicken on bed of mixed beans.
I believe it was chicken paste within the bacon.  Most of the bacon grease helped to flavor the bed of mixed beans, which was half fried with a crispy texture.  The bacon roll itself was not very interesting though,  imo the texture was too smooth and needed something to breakup the texture.

Stir fried onions topped with mustard. Root vegetable sauteed in bacon bits

I am not a fan of onion,  but this was cooked through enough that I did like the flavors that the onion absorbed.  My favourite was the root vegetable.  I did not hear what it was although the waitress did tell us when she set it down.  Tasted like a parsnip consistency with a firmer bite to it, topped with bacon bits.
beef and peppers on baked polenta, topped with greens
By the time this dis can around,  we were not stuffed and could not eat much of it.  The green sauteed vegetable on top had a slight bitter texture and was a refreshing palate cleanser.
Roast beef on fingerling tomatoes topped with mustard
Thee roast beef was a generous portion and medium done. Tender and well seasoned.

My favourite was the salt cod fritters and the bacon topped root vegetable. Overall I loved the good food and friendly service,  the bartender was attentive eventhough she was very busy during the whole night.  Food was on the heavy side and included lots of bacon which was not what I am used to, so I did like the vegetable dishes more than some of the meat dishes.  Now that I have experienced it,  I will definitely choose smaller portions the next time around,  fewer plates, and maybe more wine to go with the food.  I would love to come back next time.  Thank you for  a wonerful dinner. 

Toro Bravo on Urbanspoon

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