Toro Kitchen and Bar. opened by Gerardo DeAnda at the start of 2017, has introduced a Spanish menu filled with tapas and paella to the 1604 Loop. With a solid cocktail menu that includes a variety of delicious gin based drinks a great happy hour and brunch served on weekends, this bar and kitchen is sure to be a hit in the community.
Toro, which is the Spanish word for “Bull” is named after an encounter Gerardo had with a bull in Spain. The new joint has a great menu filled with hits like the Tortilla Espanola and the Calamari. The can-not-miss item though is the Paella. Toro’s Paella was the People’s Choice recipient at the Paella Challenge hosted in March, and it’s not hard to see why. The paella is seasoned to perfection and is nicely balanced with a generous portion of scallops, chorizo, and mussels. It’s no wonder that they won the people’s choice, and it’s an absolute must when visiting the eatery.
While the food is great, keep in mind that with great dining, comes great drinks! The extensive drink menu at Toro does not disappoint. The menu includes a vast selection of Spanish and local wine to choose from to pair with your tacos, paella, or cured meat board. With such a wide selection, and the popularity on wine in Spain, Toro offers copious amounts of wine based cocktails. The Tinto de Verano and the Calimocho, are both popular drinks in Spain and include mixing wine with soda. The Tinto, adds a splash of lemon lime to your beverage, while the Calimocho is mixed with an American staple, Coke. Gin cocktails, a popular fad in Spain, are another specialty of Toro’s. They offer five gin cocktails that are featured on the Happy Hour menu. The cocktails include your choice of gin mixed with tonic and infused simple syrup to help enhance that flavors that are present in your chosen spirit.
The cocktails don’t stop with wine or gin; the mixologists at Toro make a mean Manhattan that is topped with walnut bitters, and have a unique twist on an Old Fashioned. Dali’s Old Fashioned starts with Chivas muddled with orange and bitters, and then harvests its sweetness from a piece of cured ham that is set a flame over the drink. It’s an interesting twist to a drink that I haven’t seen at any of the bars here in San Antonio. The Carajilllo, an increasingly popular drink, is another show stopper that graces the after-dinner-drink menu at Toro. It includes Licor 43, a high proof butterscotch liquor, that is lit a flame and slowly poured over espresso and ice.
The drinks alone are sure to impress anyone that ventures to the little tucked away bar. The food menu is enough to keep a guest staying well past just one drink. The kitchen does offer a happy hour Tuesday-Friday from 4pm to 7pm that features discounts on food, gin cocktails and wine. They also have lunch specials and a special half off cocktails ordered before 5. You can also check them out at Taste of the Northside on April 25th.