Monday, January 6, 2014

Touro Churrascaria: Brazilian Steakhouse & Wine Bar

Touro Brazilian Steakhouse & Wine Bar (Twitter: @tourosteakhouse, Facebook: Touro Steakhouse) off of Hwy 7 and 404 in Richmond Hill is currently York Region's only Brazilian Steakhouse. Touro offers the traditional Brazilian Steakhouse "Rodizio" service where guests get served an unlimited supply of beef, pork, poultry, lamb and seafood at table side. Each guest is given a medallion (shown on left); flipping it to the green side signals servers to come over to your table and carve you meat, and flipping it to red means you're currently experiencing "meat sweats" and want a break.

I have never been to a Brazilian steakhouse before my visit to Touro. I've certainly heard a lot about them through my guy friends whose eyes would literally light up once they start talking about all-you-can-eat meat. "It's a glorious thing," they would tell me. I believe them. 

Anyway, to give you a better idea of the vibe and atmosphere at Touro I've included a 90-second View the Vibe video of the Brazilian steakhouse. It's definitely worth a peek!

As mentioned in the View the Vibe video, Touro also serves an a la carte menu. Available at the bar and lounge areas, their a la carte menu offers barbecued meats as well as vegetarian options.

Touro boasts a self-serve Enomatic wine lounge - the first of its kind in Ontario.

Touro's Italian Enotmatic wine dispensers enable guests to load a pre-paid card and serve themselves from 24 bottles, in 1, 3, or 6 ounce pours. The dispensers also significantly increase the lifetime of bottles, allowing the steakhouse to offer the top wines in their cellar to guests without having them purchase an entire bottle.

Touro's main dining room can cater up to 100 guests. The restaurant also has a semi private dining area which seats up to 60 guests and a private dining room - The Cava Room - which seats up to 20 guests. When summer rolls around Touro will be able to accommodate an additional 150 people on their 3,000 sq ft patio. Equipped with three waterfalls, an a la carte dining area for 32, a lounge area with a natural gas fire pit, a private VIP cabana and a full bar with 12 drafts on tap, it's an extravagant space to say the least.

Touro's Salad and Appetizer Island 

There are over 40 dishes at the Salad and Appetizer island including baked breads, cured meats, imported cheeses, greens, pasta and potato salads, soups, rice, baked salmon, etc. 

I started the evening off with this veggie plate. I ended up having two plates like this by the end of the night.

Touro's signature Caipirinha. The Caipirinha is Brazil's national cocktail made with cachaça (sugar cane hard liquor), sugar and lime.

Cheese bread, fried yucca, and fried banana for the table.

All of Touro's Rodizio meats are slow-cooked over an open flame charcoal "Churrasqueira" (Brazilian rotisserie style grill):

CHICKEN LEGS - Marinated with beer, herbs and spices
TOP SIRLOIN - The king of steaks, incorporating 3 cuts into 1
LEG OF LAMB - Tender New Zealand lamb brined in wine, herbs and spices
PICANHA - The heart of the Brazilian Steakhouse. Cut from the top sirloin 
CHICKEN WINGS - Grain fed chicken marinated for a min. of 24 hours in white wine blend
PORK RIBS - Marinated then slow cooked
BEEF RIBS - Slow cooked with Touro's signature house blend seasoning salt
PORK SAUSAGE - Made in house with special seasoning imported from Brazil
GARLIC STEAK - A noble cut from the Picanha, marinated in Touro's house made garlic seasoning
BOTTOM SIRLOIN - Cut from the beef flank and cooked to medium rare
BACON WRAPPED CHICKEN - Chicken breast marinated in beer, wrapped in bacon
TURKEY SAUSAGE - Made in house using specialty seasoning imported from Brazil
BONELESS PRIME RIB - Prime cut with unique marbling
MEAT BALL - Hand made by Executive Chef Stadler
GRILLED PINEAPPLE - Rubbed in cinnamon and brown sugar then slow roasted

This was one of my two meat plates. I gotta admit after awhile I had a hard time differentiating what meat was what (except the meat ball, obviously). All the meats were generally very tasty but if I had to pick a favourite it would have to be the tender and juicy garlic steak. The grilled pineapple was also delicious. Roasted with a brown sugar and cinnamon coating, the slightly caramelized warm pineapple was sweet and very "cinnamon-y". A must-try.

Once my first stomach was filled up, my second stomach said "Bring on the DESSERTS!" and voila! I was really impressed with the quality of Touro's house-made desserts:

TASTING PLATTER - House made gourmet desserts ($20 or $6 each)
 Vanilla cheesecake topped with pineapple jelly
Warm apple crumble with caramel sauce
Chocolate cake with dark chocolate ganache and raspberry sauce
Coconut tart with fresh banana brûlée

MINI CUPCAKES ($10 for 5 or $2.5 each)
Banana-cake with soft caramel and caramelized pecans
Blueberry-cake with lime mascarpone icing
Chocolate-cake with chocolate butter cream icing
Coconut-cake with vanilla chantilly topped with caramelized pineapple
Apple-cake with cinnamon white chocolate ganache and caramelized apple slices

HOUSE-MADE CAKE POPS ($10 for 5 or $2.5 each)
Blueberry, Banana, Chocolate, Coconut, and Apple

I'm looking forward to visiting Touro again. I thought all the food, including the ones from the appetizer and salad bar to the variety of different meats, were all really good. It exceeded my expectations. The next time I go I will certainly take full advantage of their Enomatic wine lounge - I was slightly overwhelmed by all the food last time that I forgot about the wine. And as a FYI: After this dinner I recommended Touro to a good friend of mine who was looking for a venue to host his birthday party. With around 15 to 20 friends, I thought Touro was a great option since most of them live in uptown anyway. My friend took my advice and later told me how pleased he was with Touro and that his friends had a blast as well!

Below is Touro's special promotions during the week as well as their prices. All this can also be found on Touro's website.

- Seafood nights every Thursday starting at 4:30 pm (Grilled Swordfish Kebab, Grilled Jumbo Shrimp, Bacon Wrapped Scallop, Grilled Salmon with Passion Fruit Sauce)
- Brunch every Sunday from 11:00 am to 2:30 pm (select cuts of Rodizio meats, omlette station & 20+ side dishes from appetizer island)
- Wine Tasting Nights, two Tuesdays per month from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
- Game Meat Extravaganza every last Monday of the month starting at 4:30 pm (Venison, Bison, Rabbit, Pheasant)

Dinner – Adult
Mon-Wed: includes 14 cuts of Meat + Grilled Pineapple = $39.75
Thu-Sun: includes 14 cuts + 1 Specialty Cut of Meat + Grilled Pineapple = 44.75
(Note: Holiday Mondays are on the weekend rate, $44.75)

Dinner – Vegetarian
Mon-Sun: includes 40+ assorted hot & cold dishes from our Appetizer Island = $24.75

Dinner – Kids 11 and under
Mon-Wed: includes 14 cuts of Meat + Grilled Pineapple = $19.75
Thu-Sat:  includes 14 cuts + 1 Specialty Cut of Meat + Grilled Pineapple = $22.75
Sun: includes 14 cuts + 1 Specialty Cut of Meat + Grilled Pineapple = $19.75 … Special for Touro’s Family Sunday!
(Note: Holiday Mondays are on the weekend rate, $22.75)

Dinner – Infants 3 and under
Mon-Sun: includes all that is available on our Appetizer Island plus our Trio Fries = On Us

Lunch – Adult
Mon-Fri: includes 8 cuts of Meat + Grilled Pineapple = $24.75

Lunch – Vegetarian
Mon-Sun: includes 40+ assorted hot & cold dishes from our Appetizer Island = $19.75

Lunch – Kids 11 and under
Mon-Fri: includes 8 cuts of Meat + Grilled Pineapple = $12.75

Lunch – Infants 3 and under
Mon-Fri: includes all that is available on our Appetizer Island plus our Trio Fries = On Us

*This meal was complimentary. The opinions and views expressed on this post are my own*

Touro Churrascaria on Urbanspoon