In November of 2013, Torc took over the address formerly inhabited by Ubuntu. And as much as we miss the late shrine to vegetarianism, Torc's food is every bit as destination worthy. Here are some of our favorites from chef Sean O'Toole (Cotogna, Quince).
Dish Standouts: The concept of Louisiana Gulf shrimp "cocktail" ($15), essentially a cool, creamy horseradish panna cotta doused in spicy tomato sauce and topped with shrimp, is a creative twist on a classic. Although the flavor felt a bit muted in the cold preparation, it was still refreshingly unique. Plump Louisiana white shrimp shine in lush grits ($19) graced with green garlic, piquillo peppers and Southern tasso ham.
Dessert Wows: We tried three desserts and loved all of them, which doesn't often happen. For starters, we could swim in house brown butter ice cream ($7). The most layered dessert was a nectarine praline tart ($9), drizzled in praline spread with a mound of smoked lemon cream on top and olive oil cake inside — unusual, nuanced and delicious. Same goes for the lively strawberry parfait ($9; pictured at top), partnered with strawberry ice cream and dotted with rhubarb jam. The highlight on the plate is a sour-tart greek yogurt "roll" easily sopped up with vibrantly purple hibiscus angel food cake.