Jumping the boat, but not their boat-shaped restaurant, the folks behind Lure Fishbar and Burger & Barrel have caught on to the Mexican trend that has swept the city. Enter El Toro Blanco, which opened yesterday in the West Village.
The soft orange light, concrete floors, warm wood furniture, cool tiled walls, and deep, half moon-shaped booths give the new joint a sleek, Mad Men-meets-Spanish-lunchroom vibe. However, the sliver of a shiny, black-topped bar in one corner brings the décor to the modern world, and the list of over 75 tequilas and mezcals puts it right on par with other Mexican bars around like Mayahuel, Viktor & Spoils, and Empellon Cocina.
Of course, El Toro Blanco doesn’t stop at drinks. They offer an array of pan-Mexican dishes executed by head chef Josh Capon and consulting chef Scott Lindquist, including Lobster Puerto Nuevo, tuna tartare tacos, Salmon Parillada, and their Sonoran Cheese Crisp, which is made with Mexican cheese, poblano rajas, roasted tomato, and epazote. They also have a guacamole bar and are cooking up a whole roasted goat wrapped in banana leaf that gets slow roasted for six hours and that, according to their website, may become the Sunday special.
Based on chef Josh Capon’s track record, the success of Lure Fishbar, and the photos they have posted of the dishes, all of El Toro Blanco looks pretty special, Sunday or no.