Big Appetite, Small Plates


YesterDAY was not fun. I sat down around noon at Starbucks to try and knock out my case study, and it suddenly dawned on me just how much work I had to do. Then I threw a minor fit when I realized I had forgotten my lactose-free milk and stormed out of the ‘bucks to go home and retrieve it. This stomach stuff really gets to me because I feel so helpless about the whole situation. The good news is that, after five hours of nonstop work, I finished about 75% of the case study and was able to enjoy a little stair climbing at the gym. Once home, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders, and I got in the Saturday night mood. And a fabulous Saturday night it was. Matt and I received a gift-card from Kath‘s mother-in-law (Thanks Karen!) to one of our favorite South End restaurants, and we’ve been saving it for a chilly fall night!

Given that there was a two-hour wait, we headed to the bar of the Gallows restaurant for fancy drinks!


I had the above Roxbury Russet, a cocktail made with apple and brandy, and Matt had the whiskey sour of sorts below.


After round one, we headed to THE dinner spot, Toro, to wait out the next hour (the restaurant is very popular and they don’t take reservations, so there’s always an insane wait). I had a generous pour of a Syrah blend.

And then, we finally got seated at 9:30. Toro is all about creative and authentic Spanish tapas, so there’s always a lot of excitement when you finally sit down and get to read through the menu. Matt and I immediately ordered a pincho to tide us over: blue cheese and almond stuffed serrano-wrapped dates. To.die.for.
We also enjoyed $5 glasses of decent house garnacha.
Our first tapa was chicken and potato empanadas. I loved the filling in these, but the outside wasn’t that flaky crust you usually get with American-ized empanadas (although, I think last night’s shell was actually closer to how they are served in Spain)…not that it wasn’t good, but it wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.
Tapa two was cod fritters, and although these were very basic, they were totally awesome with lots of cod and not too much breading.
Tapa three was the specialty of the house: grilled corn with alioli, lime, espelette pepper and aged cheese. Simply fantastic every time.
The menu at Toro includes a lot of really unique meats, but I’m not that adventuresome, even though I’d like to be. I told Matt I’d try one thing out of the ordinary and we went with a crispy pork belly with sunchoke, escargots, fava beans and smoked maple crumble. I have to admit, this was good, but I thought it tasted like a stomach and I just couldn’t really get past that. I kept imagining the crispy exterior as the lining of my own stomach, so I only had three bites.


Our last course was a fall special: pork loin with pureed squash and maple-apple butter. After the stomach, this tasted like heaven and the subtle sweetness was a nice flavor to end with.


I guess we gravitate towards the same types of foods because I’m noticing now that we ordered two fried ball-like tapas and two types of pork. I’m not really one to order vegetables when I’m doing the tapa-style dinner. Overall, last night was such an amazing evening and it was so fun to hand over a giftcard when the bill arrived!!!!

This week’s going to be a busy one, so I’m off to attempt a baking project before things get crazy. See ya!

  • silvershadow157
    November 14, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Nice work on your case study. I also have one due in the near future and felt much better yesterday when I managed to complete a decent chunk so I know how you feel. Good luck with the rest of it!

  • Kath
    November 14, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    It’s not ACTUALLY the stomach of a pig – just from the underside, which is really fatty. Like bacon in meat form. I used to think it was an organ too so don’t be ashamed 🙂 But next time you can enjoy it more!

    • Laura
      November 14, 2010 at 9:18 pm

      it was still crusty and white and made me think of a stomach…

  • Kat
    November 14, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    What a nice surprise and what a fantastic-looking dinner!

    It’s always hard when your body betrays you – especially over something that would otherwise seem trivial, like eating.

  • Amanda
    November 15, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Pork belly is the same thing as bacon… that’s the part of the pig they cut bacon from. It’s basically just a big hunk of bacon!

    • Laura
      November 15, 2010 at 4:38 pm

      yeah, I guess the crispy part was pretty much the same as bacon, but it was the white shreds that weirded me out…I’m not very adventuresome when it comes to food:)

      • Amanda
        November 15, 2010 at 8:05 pm

        Trust me, I understand! My husband ordered bone marrow the other night. I was a champ and tried it… but never again! It was gelatinous and overall disgusting!

  • Beth
    November 16, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    LOVE Toro! When we lived in Boston we went here many many times. It’s so cozy and that corn is ridiculously good!!! So glad you had a fun night.

  • htremblay
    November 29, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    Reading this seriously after the fact, but I live in Boston as well and absolutely LOVE Toro. The dates are amazing and so is the Garnacha, it’s my favorite date spot with my boyf. Hope you’re enjoying Boston!