Toro Bravo0

Portland, Oregon

I’m a big fan of Secret Society but after going there for a year I’ve finally paid a visit to Toro Bravo right downstairs. I’ve been hearing good things about them for a while, and after Mindy sat on our discussion panel at CocktailCamp, I knew I had no excuse for not seeing what they have to offer.

The day we finally visited, Sarai and I actually almost went to Secret Society but immediately after saying their name, remembered about Toro Bravo. It was just what we were after — 5:30pm on a busy Thursday, the perfect time for a cocktail and happy hour tapas. We stopped in and grabbed a couple seats at the bar just moments before the restaurant really started filling up for the evening.

First up for me was a Botellazo — Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, Grand Marinier, Fernet Branca, and lemon — while Sarai tried To Your Health, made with Pimm’s and cider, a cold version of a similar hot cider-based drink we had in London this past fall. The Botellazo was excellent as well. At first glance it seems to be all over the map — just look at those ingredients — but it worked exceptionally well, and also went great with the food we ordered. Definitely recommended.

As far as the food goes, we only had two dishes, as we were there for a snack, not dinner, but both were very good. The menu is fairly meat-heavy, as you might expect, but they have a decent number of vegetarian items as well.

We only stayed for one round and a bite to eat, but did take the time to try out their house-made limoncello before leaving. Limoncello is not for everyone, and it’s not for every occasion, but based on my somewhat limited experience with it, the one we tried here was pretty good. I’m not a big limoncello drinker in general but I’ve had it here and there and this one stands up to the others I’ve tried.

I love cocktails, I love tapas, I love having the both of them together… So what was the hold up in coming here? I honestly don’t know, but now that I’ve finally gone, I know I’ll be back.