Two of my favorite restaurants in our old neighborhood are Toro Bravo and Tasty n Sons. Under the same ownership, the menus are sometimes similar in food and always similar in style. We go there often with friends, and order many plates tapas style. The food has always been amazing.
Chef / owner John Gorham gained popularity and developed a following while at Simpatica Dining Hall, another wonderful Portland food experience. He was already known for his Spanish dishes before traveling to Spain, gathering inspiration for Toro Bravo.
A few weeks ago, we went to Toro Bravo for dinner (don’t worry – not during April). For the first time, I attempted to take photos so I could share one of our favorite places we frequent. I didn’t bring my large camera, so my android photos have a Hipstamatic quality.
The boys chose a great wine
and us girls had cocktails. Vodka soda lime for me
and a delicious margarita for K.
We always order the Singing Pig greens with grilled asparagus and hazelnuts:
I love this salad, and could eat the whole thing myself!
Seared cauliflower with olives and salsa verde:
I love the cauliflower – the salty olives are a great addition.
Another must have, the salt cod fritters with aioli:
Crispy golden puffs with flavorful filling – I would order these again. and again.
Grilled asparagus with chiles, olives and preserved lemon:
Asparagus, yes! Another dish I always order, and that I could have all to myself…
Roasted eggplant and sweet pepper with mahon:
We almost never have room for dessert, although we have shared sometimes. My favorite is not on the dessert menu at all – a griddled bacon wrapped date with warm honey.
Writing this now makes me hungry to visit again – a consistently delicious menu that is impressively executed from a small kitchen.
The menu changes daily to reflect seasonal inspiration, and has four main categories – pinchos (snacks), tapas (appetizers / small plates), charcuteria (meats!) and raciones (meaning portion, for a larger tapas). While the categories sound the same, the plates within each are different, and choosing from each category insures you will have a good variety of tasty eats, including many vegetarian options.
If you find yourself in Portland, I highly recommend Toro Bravo. Check in, then head upstairs to The Secret Society. They will call your cell phone when your table is ready, and it is always worth the wait!