I’m a complete creature of habit. I have my favorite restaurants, favorite dishes and favorite adult beverages. I tend to order my usual dish at my regular spot. Boring. I know! But lucky for me, a close group of my girlfriends started a dinner club to spice things up and try new restaurants. It has been nothing short of a genius idea. Last month, we tried Toro Bravo in Northeast Portland. Now, what I’m about to say might shock you…but this was my first time. I am a frequent diner at its sister restaurant, Tasty N Sons but I was a TB virgin. Shocking, right? It is a Portland staple and now I understand why. Everything from the decor to the food was impeccable.
This quaint restaurant with its warm lighting and open kitchen made me feel like we were dining at a long-time friend’s house on a Friday evening. The place was buzzing but didn’t feel too loud or overcrowded. We dined on a Tuesday night and the wait was still a good hour. Everyone in your party must be present before they will seat you so plan accordingly. We did not and I was famished. All the delicious aromas did not help. At all. Luckily I had great (and strong!) cocktails to subside the pangs of hunger attacks in my belly.
TB is famous for their tapas (small plates) so a few of us ordered a bunch of tapas while others stuck with a traditional entrée. Everything was divine, albeit slow to serve up. A few of our favorites included: bacon wrapped dates ( I would’ve made this my entire meal), sautéed brussel sprouts with bacon sherry cream, roasted eggplant and lamb ragu, and grilled asparagus with fried jamon, olives and preserved lemon. If you are dining with close friends, I would definitely suggest ordering a bunch of tapas and sharing it family style. Or, if you are ever there with a small party, I suggest trying the Chef’s Choice. It is a sampling of the menu at the chef’s choosing and I’ve heard it is something not to miss. I plan to go back soon and try it immediately!
TB is definitely worth its hype although I suggest going on an evening when you have the luxury to take your time. It is really not a meal to be rushed through or go into aggravated by the long wait time. I will most definitely be going back!
TB is open daily for dinner only from 5-10 Sunday through Thursday and until 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Reservations are available for parties of 7 or more Sunday – Thursday. Call 503.281.4464 to make a reservation.