120 NE Russell St
Recently, I had the pleasure of spending some quality eating time in Portland. I have been to this city many times before as I have relatives who live there. I often go down to visit, but my eating is usually limited to one or two restaurants. This visit was different…I was on a mission to survey one of the most exciting cities in the continent to eat.
Toro Bravo has been on my list for a long time. It is the kind of restaurant that I wish we had here in Vancouver. It has an farm-to-table ethos that is coupled with approachability and accessibility…a combination that is non-existent here in Vancouver. It was devoid of the typical pretensions and other baggage that I am used to experiencing at similar restaurants in my home city. It really felt like a neighbourhood restaurant – full of families with their children dining on communal tables.
The food was all excellent and well priced. I would classify the food here as Modern Spanish with Basque and North African influences (typical of much of Spanish cuisine, I suppose)…with a decidedly Portland twist. We had a good selection of the menu…rabbit rillette, pork empanadas,a locally sourced cheese and charcuterie board, oxtail croquettes, Moroccan tuna with dried cherry couscous, and some other assorted pinchos. The wines and beer were well priced (not unusual for Portland – the booze here is inexpensive).
If you are ever in Portland, make sure to check this place out.