Toro Toro is an Exquisite Experience
You only get one chance to make a first impression and Toro Toro at the Intercontinental Hotel floored us in all respects. We were joined by Maria the Foodaholic for a remarkable dining experience at this stunning locale.
From the moment we stepped into the lobby, we were taken aback by the gorgeous beige marble décor lining the walls, and the captivating neon lights around vivid color changing screens. The gargantuan marble sculpture in the middle of the lobby conveyed a sense of historic grandeur balanced against the modern Miami flashing neon screens connecting the second and third floors. It was truly a seductive entryway to an amazing, yet under-the-radar restaurant.
The resplendent allure continued with dark brick wooden tables inside Toro Toro and the beautiful supple oak colored leather booths. Rustic lanterns hung from the ceiling contrasting majestically against the red candles on the table. An artistic tree branch hung from the ceiling, seemingly crowning the robust red and white flowers below, adding vibrancy to the unique décor.
It didn’t take long to realize that Toro Toro is an enticingly refined restaurant with a new-age slant on Latin Cuisine. It is housed in the lobby of the Downtown Intercontinental Hotel (you know – the one with the neon sexy dancer gyrating on it). Even while we sat waiting for our food, we were seduced by a plethora of mind-blowing scents circulating around our table. More than once, we felt a bit of drool beginning to surface.
Working with family owned ranches, Chef Sandoval carefully selects only the best cattle raised in small farms in the heartland of America, to ensure guests savor only the highest quality meat. In addition to the careful preparation of the food, the staff works hard to deliver an unforgettable experience. Rodrigo, our server, provided diligent and flawless service throughout the evening, just as you would expect from the Intercontinental Hotel. He made exquisite recommendations, and was not only polite but incredibly funny. Carlos, the exuberant manager, kept coming over to our table to check on us and make sure we were saving room for their famous dessert. (Man, were we glad we did!) And Carlos, you are coming with us to the next party because you will be the life of it.
We started with the Hamachi, a symphonic mix of yellowtail sashimi flown in from Japan with soy sauce, apples, tajin spice, avocado and sweet potato, which we couldn’t keep our forks away from. The result was a light dish that packed an intensely unique flavor.
The Ceviche Nikkei had some “fresh-as-fruit” ahi tuna mixed with sweet potato, cucumber and avocado. It was a delightfully refreshing dish that was seductively smooth.
The Beef Empanadas had a stellar soft crust that practically melted in our mouths. We noticed they were not oily or heavy as some of these other deep fried pastries tend to be. A tame, yet rich chimichurri sauce complemented the flavorful meat perfectly.
The Chipotle Miso Chilean Sea Bass was unbelievably supple and orgasmic. Maria was literally moaning in delight at the table. We noticed more than one person glancing over at our table. The fish was so soft that we could have cut it with our tongues. Executive Chef Do explained that it is cured overnight in miso sauce that transforms it into the most tender fish ever. It was profoundly juicy and felt like it was wrapped in silk as it slid across our taste buds. Despite being hard core foodies and having tasted some of the best food around the world, the three of us unanimously agreed that this was the finest sea bass we have ever had.
On to the meat…the Churrasco Skewer for two was sublime. We highly recommend it. The incredible Brazilian Picanha steak took center stage. To prepare it, they cut a bit of the fat off leaving only a thin layer, then fold it in like a sandwich, allowing the juices to saturate the meat while cooking it over the wood burning grill. Can you all say fenomenal? The Achiote Chicken and the Lamb Chop were stellar as well.
The cocktail menu selections seemed to have come from a mixologist’s wet dream. Our favorites were the celestial Toro Roll (Hendrick’s Gin / Sake / cucumber / ginger / lime /wasabi salt) and Sange Mojito (Solerno Blood Orange / lime / blood orange puree / mint). Our very charming waiter suggested we pair the rest of our meal with the Honig Cabernet from the Napa Valley. The thin, luxurious wine glasses enhanced our experience of both the wine and our meal as we reveled in each sip. The dessert was also the BOMB (literally) but we do not want to ruin the surprise. Just order the La Bomba and enjoy.
If you haven’t indulged in a gastronomic visit to Toro Toro at the Intercontinental Hotel, then you are depriving yourself of an unforgettable experience. Go with friends, with family, with a hot date, or hell why not go on your own. You will end up going back again and again.