Tupelo – Modern Southern

1193 Cambridge St. Cambridge, MA 02139

www.tupelo02139.com (617) 868.0004

*In Inman Sq. in Cambridge at the intersection of Cambridge and Tremont St

Seth & Ren, +3 guests

  • –Drinks–
  • Cote du Rhone
  • Abita Amber
  • Monk’s Blood
  • Ommegang
  • Peak Organic x2
  • Abita Turbodog
  • zombie killer
  • Mulled Red Wine
  • –Plates–
  • Fried Oysters w/ Tabasco aioli and house pickles
  • Pork Belly Corn Dog(!!!) *Night Special*
  • Triple-Fried Chicken wings *Night Special*
  • Deep fried Crispy Grits squares
  • Small Cajun Gumbo w/ pulled chicken, fresh okra and smoked andouille sausage
  • Southern Fried Chicken w/ hominy mashed potatoes, collard greens and pickled red cabbage
  • Crawfish Chowder *Night Special*
  • BBQ Pulled Pork w/ collard greens and hominy mashed potatoes
  • The King’s Favorite Meatloaf w/ jalapeño mac&cheese, collard greens and pan gravy
  • Texas Style Beef Chili w/ cheddar cheese, sour cream and pickled jalapeño peppers
  • –Dessert–
  • Apple-Pear-Cranberry Pie
  • Mississippi Mud Pie
  • $211.86 w/tax ($65 in Drinks)

Average Price/Person: $20-30 w/ Drinks: $30-45

Seth: Back out to Cambridge we went to check out some Southern food this week. Our search had put us to this location as well as a spot on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. We had a reservation and arrived a little late but was promptly sat. Our server was energetic and excited about our dinner. We decided on splitting four appetizers and got our first round of drinks. I had Peaks organic first and was especially excited about the Pork Belly Corn Dog(!!!). When it came it was delicious but the pork wasn’t as tender as I was hoping for. The oysters and wings were really good and I liked the originality of the deep-fried grits squares. For my entrée I decided on the meatloaf. It had good flavor and was tender enough. The accompanying collard greens were perfect and the mac & cheese was good though reminiscent of Velveeta. Bites of the Southern fried chicken highlighted the tasty crust and the Chili was good spicy, nice and hearty and flavorful. Ren’s BBQ pulled pork was cooked well and with one of the pickles proved an enjoyable mouthful. I had a another beer as I finished off my dinner and once again, though quite full, we decided on splitting a couple of desserts. I really liked the pie, which had a fantastic crumble on top. The Mississippi mud pie was decadence and too much for me after a couple small bites. My favorite thing: Either the pulled pork or those fried oysters

Ren: The smell of BBQ and the yearn for grits brought us over to Tupelo in Inman Square. Southern style comfort food is just what we needed to warm our bellies and incite conversation. I started the meal with a delicious Saison. For appetizers we split a pork belly corn dog, deep-fried grits, triple fried wings, and fried oysters. Everything was incredibly delicious, succulent and paired with excellent sauces. For my entrée I chose the bbq pulled pork with collard greens and hominy mashed potatoes paired with a cherry mead. The collard greens were the best I have ever had and the rest was pretty good. Everyone else’s dish was very good especially John’s craw fish chowder with Gruyère biscuits. We ended the meal with a slice of cranberry apple pie and a slice of mud pie. Both were a little sweet for me but definitely tasty so I ordered a glass of mulled wine to finish my meal. Tupelo is definitely worth a visit for anyone looking for delicious southern food. My favorite thing: the wonderful crawfish chowder

Food: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.5 Food Average:  8.5 *Certified Dericious* Delicious appetizers, great concepts of the food, some Southern classics and some modern updates. Execution on a few dishes fell a little short, but awesome overall

Service: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.5 Our server was friendly, original and gave us as much advice and recommendations as we asked for, plus some. The service was timely and he worked with our requests for timing and bill splitting

Decor/Atmosphere: Seth 7.5 Ren 8.5 A cute little place in Inman Sq. Good place for a date. I’m glad they took reservations as the place was pretty filled up. Decor on the walls was well done

Total Average: 8.333 Really good food, fantastic service and another great Date Night spot

One bad thing: A couple of food execution errors. The Southern Fried Chicken was a little over done and the Chowder may not have been seasoned as well as it could have been

Teranga – South End Senegalese

1746 Washington St. Boston, MA 02118

www.terangaboston.com (617) 266.0003

*In the South End, on the corner of Washington St and Massachusetts Ave

Seth & Ren, +4 guests

  • –Drinks–
  • Bouye juice
  • Tusker x4 (Kenyan beer)
  • Grimbergen Double x2 (Belgian beer)
  • Steinlager classic x2 (New Zealand beer)
  • –Plates–
  • Croquettes de poisson (Pan fried fish cake served w/ cilantro and garlic sauce)
  • Nems (Spring rolls stuffed w/ chopped chicken, ground beef, rice vermicelli, grated carrots, scallions, and dried mushrooms served w/ nuoc mam dressing)
  • Brochettes de Crevettes (Marinated grilled shrimp on skewers w/ sriracha sauce!)
  • Michoui (Marinated roasted lamb shank w/ caramelized onion sauce and Moroccan couscous)
  • Coquelet Braisé (Citrus & garlic marinated grilled Cornish hen served w/ vermicelli)
  • Dibi (Grilled marinated lamb shoulder chops w/ a pickled-onion and mustard sauce served with sweet potato fries)
  • Brochettes (Grilled skewered cubes of filet mignon served w/ yucca fries and homemade honey-mustard sauce)
  • Thiébou Yap (Seasoned lamb cubes cooked w/ mixed vegetables and served w/ broken jasmine rice)
  • Yassa Guinaar (Marinated grilled chicken cooked in a lemon and caramelized onion sauce and served w/ jasmine rice)
  • Side of Plantains
  • –Dessert–
  • Beignets Dougoup (Crispy fried millet donut mixed with vanilla bean and orange flower water served w/ crème anglaise sauce)
  • $188.50 w/tax ($47 in Drinks)

Average Price/Person: $20-30 w/ Drinks: $30-45

Seth: Always trying to keep with a rotating variety of cuisines, we made our way to the South End again. This time for something we hadn’t done yet: Senegalese food. I arrived after the rest of our party had already sat; a little late from class. I ordered a drink and dived into the menu. Ren had suggestions on appetizers and I thought they all looked great. With 6 of us there tonight we decided on 3 different ones and each got a small bite. Everything was impressive so far and I was looking forward to my lamb. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m always a little nervous on the lamb because it can so easily be overcooked. I was able to request it medium-rare which I was excited about. My Dibi (see above receipt) arrived cooked perfectly!! So excited. The sweet potato fries that came with were good as was the delicious dipping sauce. I grabbed bites of everyone else’s dishes and wasn’t disappointed anywhere. Mike’s Thiébou Yap had an excellent sauce to it and Makeda’s Cornish Hen was cooked just right. The whole table had that excited vibe to it as we all demolished everything on our plates. I’m pretty sure there was a scrap of food remaining on anyone’s plate. Given it was a late dinner and we were all hungry, but that was a good meal. Nothing of real note on the dessert. My favorite thing: My perfect lamb chop

Ren: A longing for exotic and new tastes brought us to Teranga a traditional Senegalese restaurant owned by a former Chopped contestant. We started the evening off with
croquettes de poisson: fish cakes, Nems: spring rolls, and Brochettes de Crevettes: shrimp skewers. Every single bite delighted my senses and left me wanting for more: a shame I had to share with five other people. I washed the appetizers down with a delightfully refreshing Kenyan beer called a Tusker while I longingly awaited my entrée. After a wait my Michoui and Moroccan couscous arrived. As it was placed on the table my eyes widened and stomach growled. It was one of the most beautiful looking dishes I’ve seen in a while and also one of the tastiest. The lamb literally melted in my mouth and the couscous was perfectly cooked and perfectly paired. I am seriously coming back for seconds of this dish! Everyone else’s dish was also incredibly delightful, rich, and full of flavor. I absolutely loved the array of delicious sauces that came with the meals. I washed dinner down with a refreshing Steinlager beer from New Zealand. We then decided to finish the meal with a variation on the beignets which I’ll have to say while not bad were probably the least exciting part of the night. All in all I would absolutely recommend this place to anyone; in fact I would insist on a visit. My favorite thing: the jaw dropping delicious lamb shank.

Food: Seth 8.5 Ren 9 Food Ave: 8.75 *Certified Dericious* Original, fabulous and delicious African food. You must come and try this place soon.

Decor/Atmosphere: Seth 8 Ren 7.5 A cute little place with a good vibe. We went on a week night and we stayed late, ending up the last ones out of the place by ten

Service: Seth 7 Ren 7 The service started well with good recommendations and attitude. The a few slip ups were noticed with missed orders and such. The end was a little rough with splitting up our order (we did mention this in the beginning of the meal) and paying. My bill was actually switched with Ren’s and we had to work it out on our own

Total Average: 7.833 Excellent food and cute place. A good date spot. Had the service been consistent this would have been a contender for our top 5

One bad thing: Perhaps the few missteps with the service

 

The Elephant Walk – Cambodian Fusion

900 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02215

www.elephantwalk.com (617) 247.1500

*Not too far from Kenmore Square on the corner of Park St and Beacon St.

Seth & Ren, +2 Guests

  • –Drinks–
  • Bottle of Brut D’Argent
  • Spyglass
  • Italian Manhattan x2
  • Wormtown IPA
  • Shots x4
  • –Plates–
  • Avocat Kanthor
  • Rouleaux
  • Leah Chah
  • Watermelon Salad
  • Amok Royal
  • Loclac
  • Khar Saiko Kroeung
  • Duck Wonton
  • –Dessert–
  • La Peche au Chocolate
  • Tarte Chocolate au Caramel
  • Mousse aux Fruits de la Passion
  • $258.35 w/tax ($108.10 in Drinks)

Average Price/Person: $30-40 w/ drinks: $40-60

*Note: Elephant Walk offers a Prefix Menu all year, tonight 2 of us decided to go with the prefix menu.

Makeda:  As Seth is too busy writing a paper this week for grad school, I will be guest writing for this post.  We were in the mood for something different, so why not Cambodian French fusion, a combination I would never think of pairing. I studied the menu heavily and made my selection before I even entered the restaurant.  When we arrived we were greeted and seated quickly, and started with a bottle of wine.  Elephant Walk has an unexpectedly casual atmosphere, which made for an enjoyable dinner.  If I had any question of how I would feel about Cambodian flavors, they were immediately erased with the first bite of my appetizer; perfect chunks of tuna mixed with creamy avocado, chopped peanuts added a necessary crunch.  A sampling of Seth’s watermelon goat cheese Salad also did not disappoint, the sweet crisp melon complemented the creamy goat cheese perfectly.  Keeping the seafood theme, I followed with a traditional Cambodian dish, described as seafood custard.  Wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed in coconut milk, I devoured every bite of the perfectly cooked seafood inside.  The coconut milk added creaminess without being too heavy.  As is custom I had a sampling of everyone’s entrées, tender duck with bites of caramelized pear left quite an impression, as did the braised short-rib. And then dessert, I finished the night off with the chocolate caramel tart, it was perfect.  A close runner-up was the fruit mouse, almost a palate cleanser it was tangy and just enough sweet.  I will definitely be back at Elephant Walk again; there are still so many things on the menu I need to try. My Favorite Thing: The tuna avocado salad!

Ren: A search for a cuisine we hadn’t tried yet led us to Elephant Walk. A Cambodian French fusion restaurant located near Fenway. We were feeling in a particularly celebratory mood so we decided to start the evening off with a bottle of rose Brut. Which was followed by a round of shots and tasty cocktails making for a very excellent evening. For my appetizer I had spring rolls followed by mussels. Both were incredibly tasty and well prepared with a flavorful dipping sauce and a delightful broth with a kick. Makeda  had a tuna avocado salad appetizer salad which was refreshing and surprisingly flavorful which we all loved. For my entrée I had a pepper caramelized steak over lettuce with white rice. The flavor profile was a great idea and tasty but I found the steak to be slightly over cooked. If it had been cooked just a little bit less I think it would have been much better. John’s short ribs were tender as was Seth’s duck; definitely worth a try. I didn’t get a dessert but I tried a bite of everyone else’s which while a bit to sweet for me were all delicious. The caramel tart was definitely the best of the three. All in all it was a really pleasant evening worth a repeat visit. My favorite thing: a tie between the mussels and the spring rolls.

Food: Ren 8 Makeda 9 Food Average: 8.5 *Certified Dericious* Very tasty and original food combinations with an unfortunate misstep on Ren’s steak

Decor/Atmosphere: Ren 7 Makeda 7 An average looking place with an upbeat atmosphere. Nothing terribly memorable

Service: Ren 8.5 Makeda 8 Other than a slip-up with improper glasses for the Brut, the waitress was friendly and fun. She knew the menu and interacted with our table well.

Total Average: 7.917 We’ll be back here again. The food and service stood out enough to warrant another trip sometime soon. Maybe date night.

One bad thing: Ren’s steak was overcooked and a little dry

Union Bar & Grille – South End Eatery

1357 Washington St. Boston, MA 02118

www.unionrestaurant.com (617) 423.0555

*On Washington St in the South End between Union Park and Waltham St

Seth & Ren, +4 guests

  • –Drinks–
  • Kona Firerock
  • Scottish Daisy
  • RW Red Wine
  • Southern Tier Double IPA
  • Verano de Amor x2
  • Ethereal Gin x2
  • American Classic
  • Berkshire Brew
  • RW White wine x2
  • Truffle Martini
  • Bourbon Flip
  • Anchor Steam beer
  • –Plates–
  • PEI Mussels
  • Grilled Flank Steak w/ Salt Baked Fingerlings, Marinated Zucchini Salad x2
  • New England Clam Bake w/ Grilled Corn, Red Bliss Potatoes
  • Tuna Tartare
  • Grilled brandt flank steak w/ chimichurri sauce, hand cut fries, pea shoot salad
  • Crispy calamari w/ “green goddess” aioli, pickled fresno peppers
  • Lobster cavatelli w/ heirloom zucchini, tiny tomatoes, basil & creme fraiche
  • IPA grilled chicken w/ chorizo cornbread, baby carrots, ketuckey bourbon sauce
  • Sweet Corn Fritters w/ Rock Crab Salad, Coriander Aioli x2
  • –Desserts–
  • Toasted S’more x2
  • Chocolate & hazelnut terrine w/ creme fraiche sabayon & salty caramel
  • Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee
  • Tasting of artisan cheeses w/ fresh fruit, toasted baguette
  • $327.00 w/tax ($107.50 in Drinks)

Average Price/Person: $30-45 w/ Drinks: $50-70

*Note: This was a restaurant week stop with 3 of us taking part that brought down the cost by at least $40.*

Seth: Off to the South End for Restaurant Week to a place we’d been before but never got to review on here. My friend Ryan and his girlfriend Jen came to join the normal crowd of the 4 of us. We made a reservation the day before and when we arrived we were sat in a circle high-back booth. We poured over the special menu and  half of us stuck to it while the rest went with the regular one. We all started with a round of drinks before picking out each of our appetizers, main courses and desserts. My tuna tartare was a little under-whelming but tasty; not as much flavor as I was hoping for. I tried a mussel that had a great sauce and the calamari was really tasty with a great dipping sauce. Next came the perfectly cooked flank steak with a chimichurri sauce that was quite tasty. John’s cod was cooked perfectly as well and had great flavor. Desserts were last and my S’more was ok. Not enough graham cracker and the I think it would have been better with the chocolate softened or melted. A pretty good meal, with good company and an all around enjoyable evening. I’d like to get back here again some time. Maybe I’ll take my fiancée here on a date soon. My favorite thing: The bite of calamari I grabbed

Ren: We took a hop, a skip, and a jump right into the chic booths of Union Bar & Grill this week for the ever tempting restaurant week menu. Though only three out of the six of us ordered off the special menu as some were lured by delicious regular menu items. This was my third visit to this dining establishment and I’ll have to say probably my least favorite visit; though it was still quite an excellent experience. I started my evening with a drink called a new American Classic that contained bourbon, bubbles, and bitters (a delightful combination). My first course was corn fritters topped with crab; a decent beginning, though I thought my boyfriends mussels was the tastiest appetizer on the table. My entrée was the steak with fingerling potatoes and zucchini paired with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. The dish was decent, the meat perfectly cooked but a little over salty. I wasn’t wowed by anyone else’s entrée though my boyfriend’s fish was excellently cooked. I topped off my evening with a cheese platter and a bourbon flip both were extremely delightful and made for a perfect end to the evening. My third experience to this restaurant leads me to think fish and cocktails  is definitely what they do well and everything else is fairly average. My favorite thing: The well paired cheese plate

Food: Seth 7 Ren 7.5 Food Average: 7.5 We’ve been here before and it was tastier then. Still good tonight, some unique takes on dishes

Decor/Atmosphere: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.5 Great round booths that fit our party of six. Nice decorations and a vibe that was comfortable and trendy

Service: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.5 Service was attentive. The waiter was on his toes and accommodating as a busy Restaurant Week had a few items out of stock.

Total Average: 8.083 A great place to take a date. Better than average food that may have missed a half-step due to the business of Restaurant Week. Still worth a check

One bad thing: Ren and Makeda’s steak was a bit over salted and the potatoes under-seasoned

Hungry Mother – Southern Comfort

233 Cardinal Medeiros Ave. Cambridge, MA 02141

www.hungrymothercambridge.com (617) 499-0090

*A couple blocks from Hampshire St and Broadway. Near Kendall Sq Cinema

Seth & Ren, +1 guest

  • –Drinks–
  • Stirred cocktail
  • Vieux Carre cocktail
  • Meadowlark IPA x2
  • Old Monk cocktail
  • Gin Mule
  • –Plates–
  • Duck liver pate
  • Bluefish croquettes
  • Stube Ranch Wagyu beef with creamed corn and blackened arrowhead cabbage x2
  • Grilled Striped Bass with fried green tomato and summer squash
  • Bacon and Sweetbread skewers with tomato and chimichurri (free tasting)
  • –Deserts–
  • Chocolate cream pie with whipped cream and caramel sauce
  • $166.39 w/ tax ($50.50 in Drinks)

Average Price/Person: $30-40 w/Drinks: $40-60

Seth: On a rainy Friday afternoon we finally made our way to hungry mother.  Ren and I finally accepted a 45 minute wait and it was worth it.  I arrived first and put in out name, and Ren and john arrived minutes later.  Once we were sat we figured out our cocktails pretty quick and got to ordering.  We started with an appetizer of duck liver pate, which was tasty but perhaps not as rich as I would have liked. The blue fish croquettes on the other hand were absolutely phenomenal.  While were waiting for out  entrées, the chef brought us out a free tasting of sweet bread and bacon skewers with a chimichurri sauce.  I’m pretty sure this is my first experience with sweet bread and paired with the tomato and bacon, I’m now a fan.  Ren and I couldn’t resist ordering the same entrée this week, as one cannot turn down wagyu beef.  I’m glad I went ahead with this as the beef was tender and perfectly cooked.  It came with a nice cream corn and blackened cabbage that added the proper contrast to the dish.  Somewhere in there we ordered a second round of drinks.  I followed up my first cocktail with an IPA.  As is mandatory, we picked out a dessert to share, decided on the chocolate pie with the  caramel sauce.   I was completely full and could only have one bite, but it was sweet and moist and tasty.  Hungry Mother has an ever revolving menu, so I will absolutely be here again.  As a note: be sure to make reservations in advance. My favorite thing: That incredible cut of beef.

Ren: Hungry Mother equals taste bud bliss! Me and Seth have been meaning to go here for quite sometime and a visit with a friend finally prompted a visit. Joined by my boyfriend we set off on a journey of delectable proportions. We commenced with a few tasty beverages from the bar. My Vieux Carré was excellently made as was every concoction we ordered; especially a taste of a Corpse Reviver variation invented by the bartender. The round of sumptuous taste relievers was followed by an appetizer of pâté and shortly after by an appetizer of blue fish croquettes. The pâté was tasteful but not quite as rich as I would have like it to be. The croquettes, however, were incredibly flavorful and well-balanced. The chef  then sent us a taste of sweet bread paired with bacon and tomato to tease our taste buds and prepare us for our entrées that followed which were mind-blowing! My boyfriends striped bass, Seth’s and my Wagyu steak were all cooked to perfection. Everything simply melted in our mouths. My steak was well paired with a creamed corn and a side of cabbage. We topped the evening off with a smooth and tasty chocolate pie with coffee whipped cream and caramel sauce. Two words: go here! We had an amazing experience and I am definitely going back whenever I am in the area. My favorite thing: my out of this world Wagyu steak with the creamed corn.

Food: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.75 Food Average: 8.625 *Certified Dericious* Tasty, well done, intelligent southern inspired comfort food

Decor/Atmosphere: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.5 Cute little place with nice wood tables and a good crowd. Everyone seemed so pleased to be here

Service: Seth 8.5 Ren 9 Excellent service. Napkins folded when you step away. Knowledgeable of the menu and doing their job well.

Total Average: 8.625 A place we’ve been meaning to get to and it was worth the wait. Cute place, well thought out delicious food. Check this place out. *Make reservations a week in advance.*

One bad thing: The pate I guess was a little drier and less rich than I was hoping for. Not bad per say but have to  find something to put here.

Q Restaurant – Mongolian Hot Pot

660 Washington St. Boston, MA 02111

www.thequsa.com (857) 350-3968

*On Washington St, in Chinatown, between Essex and Beach St

Seth & Ren, +2 guests

  • –Drinks– 
  • Sapporo Draft x3
  • Diet Coke
  • BBC Draft x2
  • Tsing Tao
  • –Plates–
  • A split pot of Mongolian broth (spicy) and Mala broth
  • Udon noodles
  • Cellophane noodles
  • Oyster Mushrooms
  • Baby Boc Choy
  • Watercress
  • Fatty Short ribs
  • High choice Lamb
  • Squid
  • Crab Ragoon
  • Crazy sushi roll
  • Caterpillar roll
  • –Dessert–
  • Fried Vanilla ice-cream
  • $120.91 w/ tax ($37.00 in Drinks)

Ave Price/Person: $15-25 w/ Drinks: $20-40

Seth: This was my first whole meal at trying hot-pot and I like it! It’s a great concept and a good idea when you have a group dinner party. Our four people was perfect for this. We picked out two kinds of broth in a split pot and they put it on the conduction heater in the center of the table. We ordered three kinds of veggies, two kinds of noodles and three different meats for us all to share. You drop in different items and let them cook in the different flavorful broths. Then you have a sort of soy sauce that you add all sorts of extras to make your own dipping sauce. Garlic, hots, fish sauce, cilantro, etc. The meats are cut very thin and cook in seconds. The lamb and fatty short ribs were very nice and we got our veggies in nicely. Before the hot-pot we had some nice crispy crab ragoons and two sushi rolls that were traditional but delicious. The broth became more complex and tasty as the different meats and such cooked. I was quite full by the end. If we hadn’t had the sushi and appetizer another couple of meats and a veggie may have been in order. The servings were big and everything fresh. This is a very reasonably priced dinner. We closed it our with a vanilla fried ice-cream that for some reason they split in half before bringing it to the table. Kind of ruined some of the fun I think. My favorite thing: The delicious lamb.

Ren: Three words: Mongolian hot-pot! Where you can find it: The Q restaurant in Chinatown. For this weeks foodie delights we followed our noses to the aromatic smell of sizzling spices and herbs typically found in a traditional Mongolian hot-pot. Each table is fixed with a heated surface to keep the broth boiling(typically one or two choices involving type of meat broth and level of spice).  Before beginning the hot-pot adventure we selected two rolls of sushi (caterpillar and crazy), an order of crab rangoons, and several draft Sapporos to satiate our ravenous  appetites.  All were fresh and well prepared and once consumed I found my stomach much less inclined to complain. Thus we ventured into the world of hot-pot (my first experience) by choosing a mala broth split (one spicy; one regular). For ingredients we settled upon fatty short ribs, lamb, squid, watercress, bok choy, oyster mushrooms, udon noodles, and  cellophane noodles. All ingredients were served uncooked/raw on platters. We then used  chop sticks to dip the meat into the boiling water to cook to desired temp. The result: personalized cooking flavored with delicious spices which is then dipped into a sauce which we concocted to our exact specifications ( choice of garlic, fish paste, pepper sauce, chives, cilantro). It was like rich comfort food and the bonus was feeling incredibly healthy in the process. I probably shouldn’t give in 8.5 because we did most of the cooking but heck it was awesome and I highly recommend the experience I will definitely be returning. However, I advise against dessert as it seems to not be prepared fresh and the tiramisu was frozen. My favorite thing: The fatty short ribs that melted in my mouth; I could have eaten the whole plate to myself!!

Food: Seth 8 Ren 8.5 Food Average: 8.25 The sushi and ragoon’s were good and all the raw meat and veggies were delicious. Not a lot of preparation behind it so I’m remiss to give it a Certified Dericious.

Decor/Atmosphere: Seth 7.5 Ren 8 Nice place. Pretty big. Nothing crazy.

Service: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.5 We had a fabulous server who was funny and involved. Even gave us some basic how-to’s on our first hot-pot experience. Gave good recommendations and cleaned up well as we went along.

Total Average: 8.167 Great first experience. Service was the winner here. Will try this again some time.

One bad thing: We ordered a Tiramisu but it came out frozen. Not really a dessert that should be kept in the freezer. I mentioned it to the server and he offered to take it off the bill, which was nice.

Toro – Spanish Tapas

1704 Washington St. Boston, MA 02118

www.toro-restaurant.com (617) 536-4300

*A block from the intersection of Washington St and Mass. Ave, in the South End

Seth & Ren, +2 guests

  • –Drinks–
  • Papagallo
  • Ward 8
  • Malta
  • Ginger-ale & bitters
  • Tecate
  • Green Flash
  • ‘Gansett Porter
  • –Plates–
  • Máiz Asado (Grilled corn, with alioli, lime, espellette pepper and aged cheese)
  • Costilla de Buey (Kabayaki glazed beef short ribs with chilled farro, cucumbers, radish and hazelnuts)
  • Pato con Membrillo (Smoked duck drumettes with quince glaze)
  • Croquettas de Bacalao (Salt cod fritters with lemon rings and alioli)
  • Panza de Cerdo (Pork Belly with little neck clams and potatoes)
  • Anna’s Empanadas (Chicken and potato empanadas with salsa roja and alioli)
  • Queso de Cabra (Vermont goat cheese with pistachios and tomato honey)
  • Cangrejo (Jonah crab with piquillo peppers and tarragon) 
  • –No Dessert–
  • $137.58 w/ tax ($49 in Drinks)

Ave Price/Person: $20-35 w/ Drinks: $30-50

Editors note: We’re back! Sorry for the extended break. Some vacationing and delays in there. Hope you enjoy and we should be back to our every other week schedule.

Seth: I believe this is my third time back here. But our first time being able to share it one here. The four of us had come back from a day trip up to NH and arrived around 830. We were told 30 minutes and were sat in about 20. I love the feel and atmosphere in this place. It has a lot of character and everyone seems in a good mood. Hard not to be when eating delicious small plates among friends. We mulled over the menu while ordering our first round of drinks. I started with the Ward * which was a nice Rye whiskey based old school cocktail. We decided on 8 different plates to share with the first one arriving in minutes. There was pretty good spacing to start with no more than 2 plates overlapping at once. The Jonah crab arrived first. A pretty small but tasty bite atop a toasted piece of bread. The goats cheese and the empanadas arrived next. The cheese was deliciously rich and tangy and we spread it one some of the bread we gotten. The empanadas came with four which was good; I wouldn’t have wanted to share. The were really nicely done and dipped in that alioli. The short ribs and cod cakes followed. My piece of short rib may have been cooked a touch too much but had great flavor and I saw what their intent was. The cod cakes were awesome and were quickly a front-runner for my favorite thing. We had a bit of a gap after those. Whether the last things took longer to cook or the may have been a slip up with our order. One waitress came and asked us if we were still waiting after 15 minutes or so. It was another 5 or 10 after that before the corn arrived. All three times I’ve been here we’ve ordered these. I think it may be the first thing that people mention when they speak of this place. This grilled corn comes covered in an alioli with pepper, aged cheese and lime. Love these. Should have made it two orders. The pork belly and glazed duck drumettes came last. Any who’ve read this knows I love my pork belly and tonight I wasn’t let down. Cooked right and in a delicious potato based sauce with little neck clams in it. The duck had this quince glaze on it that was sweet and seemed caramelized a bit. They were a perfect last bite to the dinner. The richness was to the end and filled us all up nicely. My favorite thing: This one’s hard but I have to pick the corn.

Ren: A little intermission due to travel and commitments kept us away for a bit but now were back with a review on one of our favorite restaurants: Toro! We have been there two times prior to our review trip and loved it so much we definitely had to return with our significant other and a critiquing eye. Tapas style restaurants are a favorite of mine due to the drawn out dinner and ability to try at least eight dishes without stuffing yourself. We samples quite a variety starting off with crab meat, exquisite fish fritters, empanadas, goat cheese (how can you go wrong) , and finishing off with a crispy delight of pork belly, tender beef ribs, crispy incredible duck legs, and mind-blowing corn on the cob. Yes I did say mind-blowing. The parmesan pepper alioli that tops their corn on the cob in itself makes a trip here worth while…It might just be one of the few foods in this world I would never tire of. To be honest though there wasn’t one disappointing dish at this restaurant and every dish was rich, flavorful, and well prepared. It can be tempting to order everything on the menu but do try to limit it to two or three dishes per person. The food is rich and though the portions seem small it does fill you up especially if you stagger the dished which they usually do a good job at. They also made sure to keep bread on the table for dipping and the crumbs cleaned at the end so we didn’t have to linger with leftovers. There is also a good range of drinks from a basic Tacate to delicious bourbon with peach and lemon Papagallo your alcoholic palate is certain to be satisfied. Not to mention the atmosphere is light and loud with a rowdy selection of music, brick walls, low lights, and bubbling conversation.  There was a bit of a wait in between a few of our dished but for the most part I highly recommend this restaurant as an excellent experience. My favorite thing: the absolutely to die for corn!

Food: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.5 Food Average: 8.5 *Certified Dericious* Tasty, rich and delicious selection of Spanish style small plates. You’ll find things you suddenly never knew you always had to try!

Decor/Atmosphere: Seth 8 Ren 8 Small to average size place. A nice bar and a huge metal sculpted Bull’s head (Hence the name) up on the back wall. A lot of atmosphere with a good lively feel to it. Not the music you would expect but appropriate.

Service: Seth 7.5 Ren 8 Good service throughout the night. Took the dirty plates pretty quickly. The was good spacing of our dishes until after the 5th, then there was 20 minute gap or so before the rest came.

Total Average: 8.083 Not our first, nor our last trip here. Great food and a nice spot to visit

One bad thing: Perhaps the long wait in the middle of the dishes