Dining

Run with the Bull

Boston's Toro blasts into New York

"Screw it. Let's just see what happens."

That's what chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette of Chelsea's brand new Barcelona-style tapas bar Toro--an offshoot of their Boston restaurant of the same name--said to each other when they momentarily considered paring down their opening menu, which stands at 60-odd items.

The chefs, Jamie Bissonnette (left) and Ken Oringer

Take the same tack when dining there: Instead of attempting to edit down your order, embrace a full table.

Bread with tomatoes becomes greater than the sum of its parts when slabs of Bien Cuit ciabatta are rubbed with garlic, soaked with olive oil and spread ever so thinly with grated tomatoes in a stellar pan con tomate ($6).

Sardine tapas

Dip bites of the egg-and-potato tortilla española ($5) into the house-made aioli--of which the kitchen goes through three gallons a night.

The menu also gives a chance to try ingredients rarely highlighted on this side of the Atlantic, such as Catalan sea cucumbers, espardenas ($27) and morcilla y callos ($14), a tomato-based stew studded with charred blood sausage.

Hanging on display at Toro--Jamón ibérico and a bull's head

The vitality of the little bites of food matches a space that oozes "architectural sex appeal," says Oringer. Formerly the lobby for Nabisco Headquarters, it hops with 20-foot ceilings and 18-foot windows.

"We love challenging ourselves," says Oringer.

Given the size of the restaurant--and its menu--we'd say: Mission accomplished.

Toro 85 10th Ave. New York NY 10001 212-691-2360

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