Toro Toro is an Exquisite Experience
You only get one chance to make a first impression andÂ Toro ToroÂ at theÂ Intercontinental HotelÂ floored us in all respects.Â We were joined byÂ Maria the FoodaholicÂ for a remarkable dining experience at this stunning locale. She co-authored this review with us.
From the moment we stepped into the lobby, we were taken aback by the gorgeous beige marble dÃ©cor 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 dÃ©cor.
It didnâ€™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 â€“ 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.
But why not show you what weâ€™re talking about by describing a handful of our favorites?Â We started with theÂ Hamachi, a symphonic mix of yellowtail sashimi flown in from Japan with soy sauce, apples, tajin spice, avocado and sweet potato, which we couldnâ€™t keep our forks away from. The result was a light dish that packed an intensely unique flavor.
TheÂ Ceviche NikkeiÂ had some â€œfresh-as-fruitâ€Â ahi tuna mixed with sweet potato, cucumber and avocado. It was a delightfully refreshing dish that was as smooth as an albino ass. (Not that weâ€™ve ever tasted one).
TheÂ Beef EmpanadasÂ had a stellar soft crust that practically melted in our mouths.Â 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.
TheÂ Chipotle Miso Chilean Sea BassÂ was unbelievably supple and orgasmic. Maria was literally moaning in delight at the table. We noticed more than one person subtly glance our way with a hint of a knowing smile on their face. 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.Â 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 meatâ€¦theÂ Churrasco SkewerÂ for two was sublime. We highly recommend it.Â 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 sayÂ fenomenal?Â The Achiote Chicken and the Lamb Chop were stellar as well.
The cocktail menu selections seemed to have come from a mixologistâ€™s wet dream. Our favorites were the celestialÂ Toro RollÂ (Hendrick’s Gin / Sake / cucumber / ginger / lime /wasabi salt) andÂ Sange MojitoÂ (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.Â The thin, luxurious wine glasses enhanced our experience of both the wine and our meal as we reveled in each sip.Â The dessert was also theÂ BOMBÂ (literally)Â but we do not want to ruin the surprise. Â Just order theÂ La BombaÂ and enjoy.
If you havenâ€™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, orÂ hellÂ why not go on your own. You will end up going back again and again.