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Richard Sandoval’s Toro Toro Opens March 31st, Brunch Coming in April

1300 I Street, NW

From a press release:

“Acclaimed Chef/Owner Richard Sandoval is pleased to announce his newest venue, Toro Toro, will open March 31st at 1300 I Street, NW. The name Toro Toro plays on the Japanese word for tuna and the Spanish word for bull – a Pan Latin steakhouse with a generous selection of small plates.

Sandoval and his partner Ivan Iricanin recently tapped Chef de Cuisine Stephen Hertzel to oversee Toro Toro’s kitchen. He will be preparing a flavorful variety of hot and cold small plates, along with an exceptional selection of steaks. The menu will also note where meat and seasonal ingredients are sourced with an emphasis on supporting local and regional farms. A great spot for “power lunch,” guests can anticipate menu item ranging range from $4 to $16 for small plates, salads and sandwiches and $26 to $45 for steak entrées. Toro Toro will also offer a weekday lunch buffet priced at $25 per person.

Toro Toro will also showcase an innovative beverage program, spearheaded by Sandoval’s National Beverage Director Rob Day. Guests will find handcrafted cocktails made with ultra-premium Latin spirits, including two barrel-aged drinks, the Buena Vida and the Manhattan de Toro, along with a well curated collection of 130 wines from around the world, and 35 wines by the glass.

Newly appointed Stephen Hartzell formerly served as chef de cuisine of Richard Sandoval’s vibrant Taqueria and Tequileria, El Centro D.F. in Washington, DC prior to joining Toro Toro. His culinary career also includes working in important kitchens such as Zengo and Potenza in the nation’s capital, The Tasting Room in Frederick, Maryland, Tersiguel’s in Ellicott City, MD, and Adega Restaurant + Wine Bar in Denver, Colorado.

One can begin their dining experience at Toro Toro with hot and cold small plates that showcase South and Central American ingredients that are priced from $4-$16 each. Standouts include Swordfish Dip, smoked swordfish, aioli, cilantro, pickled chiles and tomato served with corn chips; Seared Seafood Ceviche, prawns, calamari, scallops, milk, ginger, aji Amarillo, leche de tigre and sweet potatoes; Causa Toro Toro, potato “sushi” cake, tuna tartar, rocoto aioli, avocado and sesame, as well as Tiradito of Roasted Beets with pickled onion, orange, pistachios, goat cheese and pomegranate. Hot small plates include Lomo Saltado Empanada, stuffed pastry with beef tenderloin, oyster sauce, tomato, onion and guacamole sauce; Lamb Anticucho Skewers with a garlic-yogurt sauce, mint and pickled cucumbers; Spanish Ham Croquettes with Chinese mustard, chipotle chili aioli and emmental cheese; Short Rib Coca Flatbread, braised short rib with Manchego cheese, horseradish and arugula, as well as Cachapas, duck carnitas with corn pancakes, Oaxaca cheese and tomato jam.

A variety of steaks and Pan Latin specialty dishes will also be available a la carte, and include Elysian Fields Pennsylvania Rack of Lamb; Dry Aged Langenfelder Farms Pork Rib Chop; Marcho Farms Veal Porterhouse; Chilean Sea Bass with shrimp, scallops, calamari, cau cau sauce and mint leaves; Spicy Miso Salmon with aji chiles, red miso, grilled asparagus and pea shoot salad, as well as Arroz con Mariscos a la Norteña, prawns, calamari, scallops, cilantro puree, pumpkin, salsa criolla and aji mirasol. Steak and entrées are priced from $21 to $45. Parties of four or more will also be able to enjoy Toro Toro’s Rodizio Experience, which includes two small plates per person, and free-flowing meats carved tableside in addition to various side dishes for $79 per guest. Unlimited meat options include Brazilian-style Picanha Steak, USDA Prime Rib Eye Steak, Beef Tenderloin, Australian Lamb Chop, Achiote Marinated Chicken Thigh and Prawns.

LW Design Group LLC of Dubai, UAE, is responsible for designing the 12,400 square foot space, which draws inspiration from Japanese and Latin interior design elements. The main dining room is open and organized into distinctive sections, making the space feel intimate and inviting. The high-backed chairs accented with cowhide and wooden family-style dining tables give the rich chocolate colored room a comfortable, homey feel. The dining room is a striking contrast to the sexy lounge space below, which features a steel and wood staircase leading to guests down to the dance floor, which is surrounded with low slung banquettes.

Backlit onyx panels on both the nine-seat bar in the restaurant, and 12-seat bar in the lounge, also bring drama and warmth that echoes throughout the restaurant with various pendant lighting, stage lighting, chandeliers and reflective backsplashes. Other sumptuous design elements include leather tufted couches, velvet upholstery with patterned silk cushions, copper tiles, cowhide accents, marble floors, and the sculptural metal cage staircase. One is also drawn to study the dramatic artwork along with the spiral horn wall accents in Toro Toro’s sophisticated and sultry ambiance.

For private dining and events, Toro Toro offers great options. One can entertain 50 guests privately for dinner upstairs, or hold a cocktail reception with dancing downstairs for 200 people. Toro Toro can also welcome 600 people for a reception with a buy-out of the entire restaurant.

Toro Toro will open with lunch and dinner service, and add bottomless weekend brunch in April. Lunch will be available Monday through Friday, from 11 AM to 3 PM. Dinner will be available Sunday through Thursday, from 5 PM to 11; Friday and Saturday, from 5 PM to 12 Midnight. Late night dancing will also be available in the first floor bar/lounge Sunday through Thursday, from 10 PM to 2 AM, and Friday and Saturday, from 10 PM to 3 AM. Happy Hour will be offered daily, from 4 PM to 7 PM in the upstairs bar, and from 5 PM to 7 PM in the downstairs bar.”

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