HUNGRY POSTED: RESTAURANT RECOMMENDATION
Address:1825 Griffin Rd, Dania Beach, FL 33004, United States
Tequila Lover’s Dream
Photos by: Toro and La Biblioteca
By: Destiny Beck
Toro and La Biblioteca is one of 40+ restaurants worldwide by Richard Sandoval, aka the “Father of Modern Mexican Cuisine.”
WHAT TO EXPECT
Don’t judge a restaurant by its location because Chef Richard Sandoval’s new Pan Latin concept in Dania Beach serves up a bold blend of South American, Japanese, and Chinese-influenced cuisine with superior hospitality. And another good thing about leaving Miami, plenty of free parking.
The vibe is laidback, but the service is super attentive. At Toro’s adjourning bar, La Biblioteca, tequila savant Sean Zekhtser will guide you through their weighty Tequila Bible with more than 300 varieties of Mexico’s finest export. Select a tequila tasting and get ready for a fun, fact-filled education that runs the gamut of history and science to distillery legends.
Hungries, we could have hung at La Biblioteca all night, and we are getting a room at Le Méridien in the future to do so. There is. So. Much. More. Tequila. To. Drink.
WHAT TO WEAR
Toro is a hotel restaurant, so there’s a mix of “looks’ – yeah, we’re talking to you lady in the bathing suit and flops – so dress up or dress down, but we suggest helping level-up the style.
Sandoval is from Mexico, but he’s traveled the world, which is evident in Toro’s cuisine. Peruvian Lomo Saltado, Colombian Pan de Queso, Spanish-style Octopus, and Nikkei Ceviches– it’s a global tour of flavors or as our dining companion kept referring to it, “a mouth party.”
WHAT TO ORDER
They have a great happy hour menu at La Biblioteca, so we nibbled on their Sweet Corn Empanadas while being educated on añejo with one of their tequila flights. I mean, is there ever a time that we don’t order the empanadas? The flaky housemade pastry was loaded with three cheeses and ají amarillo. We’re still salivating thinking about them.
After they pried us out of La Biblioteca, we took our seats in Toro and were greeted by their GM, who helped guide us towards his favorite cocktails. The smokey and showy. We also vibed with the presentation of the Gooseberry Daily with rum, lime, hibiscus tea, gooseberries, and Angostura bitters served in a rose gold pineapple.
We had difficulty selecting one of the four ceviches, so Chef de Cuisine James Rodgers solved our dilemma by sending out a mini tasting of each. If you can only pick one, go with the “Chifa” Tiradito with hamachi, tuna, salmon, gooseberry (yes, more gooseberry), pickled chili, and herbs nouc cham yuzu dressing.
For entrees, we split our choices between Mexico and Peru. The Lomo Saltado wasn’t a traditional prep but it’s an excellent idea to diverge. The wok-seared soy-ginger tenderloin with crispy potato strings would even impress your stubborn tia.
A dish we were less familiar with is the Zarandeado, a red adobo-marinated local red snapper with a touch of smoked aioli, and tempura avocado. Zarandeado is a 500-year-old method for grilling fish, originated in Nayarit, a Mexican state on the western coast with a reputation for rich, diverse cuisine. The fish is split in half from head to tail before it’s grilled in Toro’s wood-fired oven.
Dessert offers choices from a Pisco Natilla Latin custard made with a Peruvian amber brandy to a Chocolate Tres Leches. Still, we opted for the Churros with cinnamon sugar vanilla bean ice cream.
COVID-19 SAFETY MEASURES
Masks are optional, but for now, it feels like part of the social contract to wear one when coming and going from your table.
HOW TO SCORE A TABLE
Click HERE to book your table.