There are three restaurants under the Buca umbrella; one in Yorkville, and two around King and Portland. Bar Buca operates on a first come first serve basis. Although it may make sense for the restaurant’s business model, however it is not my preference to wait in line for a meal, other than fast food. As such, I am very glad that Buca at least gave its customers a choice, as Buca (King St) offers reservations by call. The restaurant is tucked away inside an alley in a basement. The dining room is rather small, which explains why it’s packed most of the time. In addition, quality Italian restaurants in Toronto do exist, but are by no means plentiful.

**************************************************

In my opinion, Buca’s wine selections were not too outstanding, and on the pricey side. The Aramacia Costa Viola was a blend of red grapes including Prunesta, Malvasia Nera, Nerello and Calabria’s signature grape Gaglioppo. The white wine, which I enjoyed better as a food-friendly wine, was Est! Est!! Est!!! Di Montefiascone from Lazio, a blend of non-aromatic and simple grapes like Trebbiano and Malvasia. The wines were each in the mid $50s range approximately.

As a side note, we were slightly annoyed at the pace our first wine was poured. We had the intention of enjoying our meal leisurely, but somehow felt as though we were rushed into finishing the first bottle so we could order another one. Whether that was the intention or not I cannot comment.

**************************************************

We ordered some appetizers to share, and were impressed by the charcuterie and cheese platter. The price, as I recall, was approximately $40 to $50. Bottom-line, it wasn’t cheap.

When the waiter inquires about ordering some garlic bread with the platter, note that it is not complementary. That being said, the bite-size garlic buns were actually surprisingly delicious. They call it Nodini (warm bread knots, olive oil, rosemary, garlic, sea salt). At $6, it is an item I would recommend.

**************************************************

As certain dishes on their menu come and go, I do not have the price information on every dish. The potato salad came with a runny egg yolk.

**************************************************

Grilled asparagus and egg was nicely presented, with a soft-boil egg hiding in the centre.

**************************************************

$8 Orecchio Di Maiale, crisp pig’s ears, wild fennel, sale di cervia ~ The pig’s ears were deep fried and chewy; strangely addictive, especially with white wine.

**************************************************

$22 Spaghetti Al Nero Di Maiale, hand-cut pork blood pasta, n’duja, rapini, smoked burrata cheese ~ I highly recommend this pasta dish although to some, it may potentially be overly spicy. The server mixed the cheese thoroughly into the pasta for us in order to tone down the spiciness. I was in love with the flavours, and no, one could not really taste blood.

**************************************************

This seafood pasta was a disappointment. I was excited to give the shrimp and crab “sausage” a try, but the flavours were artificial and too salty. The only saving grace was that all of Buca’s pasta were hand-made.

**************************************************

Suggestions for improvements:

1. Please slow down on the pace of wine-pouring service.

 

Click to add a blog post for Buca on Zomato

Advertisements