Welcome to TOFoodReviews! Today is June 30, 2015


Posted on December 4, 2010 by in Kensington Market

4 stars

- I am not one who is opposed to going out and dining alone, but this is one place where you definitely want to bring a friend along. Offering a tapas-style menu full of Spanish dishes, with a hint of Latin American flare, Torito (Spanish for “little bull”) gives you the opportunity to sample a variety of dishes and flavours, and provides a great atmosphere for sharing with friends.

Torito’s dining room is quite small, but has a great look and feel. Spanish pop culture images tastefully adorn the back wall and it has an intimate atmosphere and décor modeled after a traditional Barcelona Tapas bar – having never been, I will have to take their word on that.

At first glance, two things stood out about the menu; they had so many options for beverages that the wine and drinks section made up for half of their selection (no complaints here), and I did not know what most of the items were – Patatas Whatas?. Thankfully, the knowledgeable staff were more than happy to explain the menu to me.

Always an advocate for ordering the specials, I began with the Picos and Jamon, thin prosciutto-like ham wrapped around crispy breadsticks, and the Huevos Escoceses, boiled quail eggs battered and fried – quite good!  Following that were the Crab Croquettes and, with the server’s recommendation, the Patatas Bravas and Chorizo, or potatoes and spicy sausage.  The Crab Croquettes were perhaps a bit soft for my liking as I do enjoy a bit of crunch, but they were seasoned and plated nicely.  The Patatas Bravas were my kind of “meat n’ potatoes” – simply delicious!

The food is flavourful, fresh and clean, and is not hidden behind a barrage of spices and sauces.  Most importantly, it is served in a timely manner.  Torito offers hot and cold tapas, and instead of everything coming out at once to litter the table, it is brought out in a staggered sequence; the cold remain cold, and hot remain hot.

On my next visit–and I will make my way back–I am definitely ordering the Ceviche.  When it arrived to my neighbouring table, it looked fantastic!  If I can recommend something I did not actually taste, it would be that.  If you have tried it, please comment and let me know the verdict!

A few cautionary items to draw your attention to: the restaurant is open only from 5:00p.m. – 11:00p.m., so it is not a late-night-bite place; there is an 18% gratuity (before tax) applied to parties of six or more (not unusual, but watch out for it); and Torito’s spread is not for bargain eaters.  For my party of two, with only one single-serving alcoholic drink each, and a dinner of 4 appetizer-sized plates, it was just over $65 before tip.  That said, there is a difference between dining and eating; and Torito is a dining experience that I am happy I had.

Torito is a “little bull” of a restaurant that packs a punch!

– Nicole

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