El Toro Blanco: The Crack Team Behind Soho Favorites Lure and B&B Bring Mexican to the West Village 

SSPNY Tries El Toro Blanco: Elegant & Spanking-New Mexican Restaurant in West Village on Sixth Avenue Between Houston and Bleecker

SSPNY checks out this brand new Mexican restaurant El Toro Blanco by Chefs' John McDonald, Josh Capon, and Scott Linquistin West Village on the side of Sixth Avenue between Houston and Bleecker on the opposite side of Bar Pitti and Da Silvano

It's in kind of a tough location, the elegant, spanking-new West Village Mexican restaurant El Toro Blanco, on the side of Sixth Avenue between Houston and Bleecker that doesn't get a ton of foot traffic, the side opposite the always-packed Bar Pitti (which, by the way, is great), and Da Silvano (which, by the way, is overpriced, and deliberately so, to keep out the riffraff like me). Plus, the neighborhood competition for Mexican is strong, both low-end (the reliable Dos Toros, just up the block) and high (Alex Stupak's excellent Empellon Taqueria, on West 4th). But if anyone can pull it off, it's El Toro Blanco's all-star team of John McDonald and Chef Josh Capon (here with help from Chef Scott Linquist), whose Soho spots Lure Fishbar and Burger and Barrel (home of my personal favorite pre- or post-Angelika meal, the "Bash Style" burger with Tater Tots) are always lively, comfortable, and satisfying.

SSPNY declares El Toro Blanco to be spacious, with great decor and ambiance that gave it a slightly retro and romantically illuminated vibe and 2 small bars, one dedicated to watching the guacamole get made!

Fingers crossed McDonald and Capon can make El Toro Blanco work, because I liked what I saw--and tasted!--when I went the other night to sample the food and check out the scene. El Toro Blanco is a spacious, good-looking restaurant whose decor and ambiance will feel more than a little familiar for fans of Lure and B&B: slightly retro (or, "classic"), romantically illuminated, tastefully appointed (but with a sense of humor... see the bent-nose "stuffed" marlin by the door), with cozy banquets, several distinct seating areas to create intimacy, and two small bars, one of which is dedicated to watching the guacamole get made. There are many occasions for which El Toro Blanco would work: on a date, for a tequila-drenched dinner with some pals, grabbing a bite before a movie at the IFC or the Film Forum. Nice job, design crew!

SSPNY declares El Toro Blanco to be spacious, with great decor and ambiance that gave it a slightly retro and romantically illuminated vibe and 2 small bars, one dedicated to watching the guacamole get made!

As for the food, I tried a few dishes from all over the El Toro Blanco's menu (well, in its lower-priced precincts, anyway; many entrees approach $30 here), and was pleased each time. For my "table snack" I went with Green Chili Queso Fundido, with added Chorizo, of course--note to Capon and Linquist: how about some more more meat for those extra three dollars, please, next time?--which is basically a socially-acceptable excuse to eat a bowl of melty cheese. The heart of the El Toro Blanco menu is devoted to Tacos, with about nine different options, all appealing. I went with, and was rewarded with three fat little beasts overflowing with kicky, chipotle barbecued gulf shrimp, crunchy cumin slaw, roasted tomatoes, and cool avocado. My choice of side was maybe a little disappointing--, the corn nicely sweet and charred but obviously frozen--a more-than-forgivable offense considering our city's recent battle with Sandy. In these weeks and months ahead when all downtown restaurants need your support, El Toro Blanco is worth getting on your list.

SSPNY lastly reviews a slightly disappointing side dish of Elote de Calle, which was a charred and sweetened corn! Still we say it is definitely worth making it on to your list of must try eats in West Village

El Toro Blanco is located on Sixth Avenue between Houston and Bleecker Streets, and is open daily for dinner at 5:30. The full website is still a work in progress, apparently, but you can see the complete El Toro Blanco menu on the Eater post, here.

Aside from the great ambiance at El Toro Blanco, there are also 2 small bars to get drinks from-- one of which is designed mostly for you to watch the guacamole be made at this great little gem on Sixth Avenue between Houston and Bleecker

 

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