El Toro Blanco

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77 Solid

This Mexican restaurant has a lively scene, and the food is surprisingly light.

257 Sixth Ave., New York, NY, 10014



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Known For

The lowdown

The food at this Mexican restaurant from the owners of Lure Fish Bar and Burger & Barrel is solid, but better to come for the scene. Maybe it’s the two dozen types of margaritas (including a standout Jicama Fig variety), but a notable amount of laughs and smiles are exchanged inside this hip, retro space, which is outfitted with Mexican posters and leather half-moon banquettes. The food is good, but unfortunately the tacos are some of the weaker items on the menu. The octopus option has a measly piece of fish smothered in jalapeño aïoli, and the barbecued Gulf shrimp almost breaks the flour tortilla. Among the brighter spots: the elote verde tamales, stuffed with fresh corn, roasted poblano chile, queso fresco, and green chile salsa, is a starter that you won’t want to share — it’s rich and cheesy, but doesn’t weigh you down. Other light, satisfying dishes like the tuna ceviche and the pescados entrées round out the menu, and the tres leches cake for dessert is a fantastic play on a classic.

What you need to know

Recommended DishesElote verde.

DrinksFull Bar

Noise LevelCivilized