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Friday, April 15, 2011

Toro Bravo - Portland - Oregon

While having our third round of cocktails at The Secret Society - Portland, Dylan's phone rang, signaling that our table at Toro Bravo was ready.

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Tapas in Portland! OK, I know I've been away too long, or just left good old PDX way too young because the thought of a yummy tapas bar in Portland was just too exciting.

The restaurant was packed and we were seated at the bar so you'll have to excuse the sometimes fuzzy photos taken with my point-and-shoot since trying to take the big camera in and out was too much work.

Dylan ordered a glass of sangria, $6. After two wine tastings and three cocktail bars, Gourmet Pigs and I were done with alcohol for the day and stuck with water.

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If only I wasn't driving, because the Basque Kiss, Monopolowa vodka, txakolina apricot liqueur, peach bitters, and lemon, $9, sounded pretty tempting.

Since Gourmet Pigs and I were almost full from our happy hour appetizers at Clyde Common, we each picked a dish and Dylan ordered the rest.

I wanted to try the Tortilla Espanola with nettles, $7, on account of my recent experimentation with Nettle Soup. So basically, it was a Tortilla de Patatas (Spanish Potato Omelet) with nettles. Very pretty. As I was telling Dylan about why I wanted to try this dish, the man sitting next to us expressed interest since he remembered a brush with their itchy spikes when he was a kid. So, of course, we shared some of the omelet with him.

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I probably would have bypassed the Radicchio Salad with Green Olive Toast and a Manchego Vinaigrette, $8, in favor of something more adventurous, but Dylan ordered it and this ended up being one of my favorite dishes that night. Slightly bitter and salty, it was such a simple salad, but packed with flavor.

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Salt cod fritters with aioli, $4/$8.

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Fresh Spanish anchovies fried with fennel and lemon, $8. I don't even remember tasting the anchovies that night, but I loved the lightly battered and fried fennel.

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Chicken and clams Cataplana with tomato and jamon, $15. I love clams. I love all bivalves so this was a winner with me.

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Oxtail Croquettes with chili mayonnaise, $14.

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Squid ink pasta with hazelnuts, anchovy syrup, and egg yolk, $12.

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Sooo sooo full. Everything was yummy so I'll spare you the lack of description.

Pretty daffodils on the windowsill in the women's bathroom.

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That's the bar area where we sat to the left, the open kitchen to the back, and the tightly-packed dining area. No wonder there's usually an hour's wait. Well, that, and the food was pretty good too.

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Cute little salt cellar.

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Despite being stuffed, Dylan insisted on ending the dinner with churros and chocolate, $7, and on paying for our dinner. Thanks again so much!

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But, it still wasn't the end of our evening. One more pit stop to go, and no, it finally doesn't involve alcohol.

All Oregon posts can be found with the tag Series: Oregon, but I suggest reading this particular trip in this order:
I'm Coming Home
Bunk Sandwiches - Portland - Oregon
Horsetail Falls (Winter) - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Multnomah Falls (Winter) - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Wahkeena Falls (Winter) - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Bridal Veil Falls (Winter) - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Shepperd's Dell Falls (Winter) - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Latourell Falls (Winter) - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Crown Point Vista House (Winter) - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Stinging Nettle Soup
Stinging Nettle Tea
Nai Xao Xa Cuon Banh Trang (Vietnamese Sauteed Lemongrass Venison Rice Paper Rolls)
Thirsty Lion Pub and Grill - Tigard - Oregon
Reuben Sandwich
Argyle Winery - Dundee - Oregon
Hawks View Cellars - Sherwood - Oregon
Clyde Common - Portland - Oregon
Teardrop Cocktail Lounge - Portland - Oregon
The Secret Society - Portland - Oregon
Toro Bravo - Portland - Oregon
Spanish Radicchio Salad with Manchego Olive Vinaigrette

Toro Bravo
120 NE Russell St.
Portland, OR 97209
Sunday to Thursday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

1 year ago today, grasshoppers and other Oaxacan Mexican food at Guelaguetza Restaurante - Los Angeles.
2 years ago todaySTK - Los Angeles (West Hollywood).
3 years ago today, the first pomegranate blossoms on my tree and cataloging garden updates.
4 years ago today, Gabbi's Mexican Kitchen - Orange.

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