Toro Latin Restaurant & Rum Bar at the Fairmont Princess
On a recent lunch date with my friend Kelli, she suggested Toro at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess as one of her favorite spots. She has great taste and I knew if she liked it, I would too. And Toro didn't disappoint. We visited on a rare rainy Arizona day (we'll be back to enjoy the patio and view of the golf course), and the interior was warm and inviting.
Although Toro opened in the fall of 2014 (replacing The Grill at the TPC Clubhouse) this was my first visit to this beautiful spot, a collaboration with celebrity chef, Richard Sandoval, with a menu featuring pan-Latin cuisine and a selection of over 150 rums. Of course, I had to start off with a cocktail - Trader Vic's Mai Tai made with Appleton silver and 12-year rums, orgeat (a floral almond syrup), and fresh lime.
I loved the creative lunch offerings with global influences and can't wait to return for dinner to explore more of the menu. Between the three of us, we shared a selection of appetizers, all of which I would order again: Hamachi tiradito with spicy-tart aguachile; creamy smoked swordfish pate topped with pickled Red Fresno peppers and paired with crunchy plantains; flavorful ground lamb anticuchos seasoned with garlic and mint and served with tzatziki; panko-crusted ham croquettes drizzled with an Asian mustard sauce.
While I could make a meal of just grazing on dishes from the appetizers and "suviche" (ceviche + sushi) bar menus, the Toro Toro burger was another winner - juicy, perfectly medium-rare, and stacked high with Oaxaca cheese, bacon, and chipotle aioli.
Toro is also now home to one of my favorite desserts in North Scottsdale, the amazing avocado panna cotta. Smooth and silky, it was paired with fresh fruit, creamy dark chocolate, crème fraîche ice cream, and almond cookie crumble. What a combination! And my hot buttered rum was so good, that when my friend Kelli tried it, she immediately ordered one for herself. It was the perfect ending for a leisurely lunch on a cool rainy afternoon.