Good taste is fundamental to the success of a restaurant. While that my seem obvious, it does have to be said, as there are so many restaurants without it. That, however, is not the case with Toto, which owes its success to details of good taste, good service and very attractive cuisine, the last of which could be defined as Italian-inspired Mediterranean, based on the seasonality of the products. Owner Ronit Stern and Tuscan chef Giacomo see their vision quite clearly – neither sophistication nor extreme traditions, but good cuisine.
Of course that's easy to have as an idea, but there has to be passion and professionalism to get the results this restaurant does, with well-turned-out tables in surroundings with a design as original as it is comfortable for diners, and dishes that satisfy discerning palates. After we were welcomed with some very good pieces of pizzeta, we started off happy with an appetizer of fried chickpeas. The autumn menu is 'very promising', says Stern; at the time we were there there were two dishes we especially want to highlight: the fried gnocchi with prosciutto di San Daniele and rosemary, and the sweet potato gnocchi with wild mushrooms and a touch of truffle – exceptional. The bruschetta is also quite the find, and it's not made with bread but with grilled halloumi (goat's and sheep's milk cheese) with fig chutney and prosciutto.
You can find these delicacies on the midday menu or the extensive tasting menu, where we also want to call out the steak tartare with Jerusalem artichokes and the excellent wild sea bass ceviche with fresh corn, a bit of of baby squid and chili.
You know that if the bread is in line with the high level of quality of the cuisine that the desserts are not going to be lacking either. Stern places a lot of importance on them, and you'll be grateful for it. The apple tatin cake is served with vanilla ice cream, there's a delectable seasonal-fruit pavlova and chantilly, and the Valrhona chocolate cake melts in your mouth and is served with fresh cream. Toto is a real festival in Barcelona's Eixample neighbourhood.
Dreta de l'Eixample
|Opening hours:||Daily 12.30pm-4pm, 7.30pm-midnight|
|Transport:||Passeig de Gràcia (M: L2, L3, L4), Provença (FGC)|