Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Miami Spice 2015 - Toro Toro

Last night I sprawled across my family room floor with the list of restaurants participating in Miami Spice this year (which is huge) and put an X next to all the ones I want to try. The only disappointment I have is that there aren't more days in the week and that I need to stay in some sort of shape (and I don't mean round) so I have got to put a limit to my gastronomic debauchery. (Either that or double on the workout time.)

But at any rate, I have two months to play (and eat) so I'm making the most of it. As promised, I am sharing my experiences with you and I'm starting with the Miami Spice previews I have attended and loved these past couple of weeks. The first one is Toro Toro Miami, located at the Intercontinental Hotel at 100 Chopin Plaza in Downtown Miami. 

Private Room in Toro Toro Miami, where you can
see the chefs doing their thing in the kitchen
through a big screen.

Their cocktails are notorious and delicious

We had the pleasure of coming in for a preview of some of the dishes Toro Toro Miami will be offering during the Miami Spice promotion, and acclaimed owner/chef Richard Sandoval was at the helm that evening, preparing the dishes and chatting with us about the ingredients and inspiration behind each one. Toro Toro is located right off the lobby of the beautiful Intercontinental Hotel, and a dining experience there is always a memorable one.

With Chef Richard Sandoval

One thing I noticed right away when the parade of plates started coming to the table, was that Toro Toro Miami has pulled all the stops when creating their menus. The options are high quality, varied, and in many instances, part of their signature dishes. The flavors are intense, and after listening to Chef Sandoval describe the preparation that goes into each dish, I was left with no doubt that there was deep thought and passion behind each selection. They obviously take their Miami Spice very seriously.

We sampled a trio of their Miami Spice appetizers

Ceviche Nikkei
Chicharrones de
The first thing we sampled was a trio of their appetizer options from the dinner Miami Spice Menu. They were the Smoked Swordfish Dip, the Chicharron de Camarones and the Ceviche Nikkei. The three offerings were exceptional, and we debated around the table which one was our favorite. Personally, I had a difficult time deciding, but I think if I had to choose one, it would probably be the Chicharron de Camarones; the reason being that sweet and salty combinations tickle my tastebuds just the right way. This appetizer was no exception (especially with the subtle kick it brought at the end). The crispy shrimp, drizzled with the aji amarillo (which I love), and topped with avocado and rocoto mint salsa, was a whirlwind of deliciousness from start to finish. Now, that's not to say the other two choices weren't up there too. The Smoked Swordfish Dip received high accolades from all of us because of its original taste and spicy profile. It was very Miamian yet in typical Richard Sandoval fashion, was infused with cultural highlights. The pickled chiles, aioli, tomato and plantain chips gave the dish a Latin flair. Last but certainly not least of the appetizers we tasted was the Ceviche Nikkei. You know I was in heaven because the light refreshing treat was made with tuna (oh yeah), and avocado, then mixed with ponzu and leche de tigre. I loved that the Chef added a layer of contrasting texture to this fusion of Japanese and Peruvian dish by incorporating quinoa and cucumber to the recipe. Great beginning to the meal

Smoked Swordfish Dip
Next up were the entrees and sides. Toro Toro is known for its twist on the steakhouse concept, offering prime cuts, while artfully blending Pan Latin flavors. This is present throughout their Miami Spice Menu. Not only that, but the ever popular sharing plates will also be featured, giving guests the opportunity to experience a little of all they have to offer. Below you can see exactly what I mean.

Chipotle Miso Sea Bass
Baby carrots, baby bok choy,  kabayaki, togarashi aioli
Incredibly tender, slightly sweet and mild flavors for only a $5 upgrade

Their famous Churrasco Platter
Picanha steak, prime ribeye, lambchop, chorizo sausage, achiote chicken
All these flavorful and quality meats for only a $10 upgrade
We salivated and stared as they cut our meat off the skewer

Isn't the Churrasco Platter a sight for sore and hungry eyes?
Side Dishes offered include the Asparagus and Broccolini
Simply prepared with lemon, garlic and olive oil

The Truffle Fries side dish was a hit
It was topped with parmesan, truffle and smoked ketchup, 

Another side dish we enjoyed were the Mojo Brussel Sprouts
Just imagine these little guys mixed with parmesan, mojo and bacon
La Bomba
Their signature dessert - It's a chocolate shell with dulce de leche moussse,
berries, strawberry ice-cream, cookie crumbles and some other good stuff
I'd tell you how it's set in front of you but I don't want to ruin the surprise.
It's available for only a $5 upgrade

Gone are the days when Miami Spice meant a good deal but at some compromises. At least at Toro Toro Miami, you're getting the very best and it's not making a hole in your pocket. I found their upgrades to be incredibly reasonable and personally, this is a place I will come back to. Before I forget, Toro Toro Miami is also adding some more selections to their steak menu and we sampled some of these coveted specialties as well. Although they're not part of the Miami Spice menu, they are definitely worth a bite or two or three. For more information on Toro Toro Miami and a  view of both their full lunch and dinner Miami Spice Menu, visit their website here.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that looks unbelievable - I love a good steak! Will have to check them out.