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Buca Italian Restaurant - Toronto, ON

One word - Disappointing


Restaurant Category : Italian

Buca Italian Restaurant – Toronto, ON : Buca is an Italian Restaurant located at King West village in Toronto. Buca Italian Restaurant is a new venture from the same group that operated the famous steakhouse, Jacobs and Co. and bistro house, Brassaii. (Click here to read our Toronto restaurant review of Brassaii.)

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Knowing that getting a table at Buca is difficult, some even say reservations are a must, I called a few times to book a table, but no one ever answered. I even left a message but no one ever called me back. So my partner and I just took a chance and walked in instead. We got in, but our seat next to the pizza oven was a disaster.

The whole place of Buca Italian Restaurant has a rather casual feel, and the place got really loud as more and more people filled the tables. Located in an old renovated building, Buca has tall ceiling with lots of exposed brick. The restaurant has two dining rooms, one of which was open to the kitchen, the other locate on the other side of the restaurant is much smaller and quieter. To me, this is the nicer of the two. I don’t recommend sitting near the kitchen because the smell coming from the pizza oven was uncontrollable.

The menu of Buca Italian Restaurant is updated every day. Their wine selection is mostly Italian. Their meat dishes which were very limited included a 32oz Porterhouse costing $95. Unlike most high class Italian restaurants, there were no complimentary breads; instead we had to pay for it.

For our starter, we had Bigoli – a hand cranked dug egg pasta with duck ragu, mascarpone, and basil. We were worried that the duck might be gamey but it wasn’t; it actually tasted wonderful.

For our main dish, I ordered Animelle – prosciutto wrapped crisp sweetbreads, pantelleria lentils with guanciale (unsmoked Italian bacon) and poached duck egg, finished with margoram agliata and bufala sour cream. The dish wasn’t that great and I didn’t even close to finishing it.

My partner had Polenta with braised beef short ribs with tomato, lamb neck, and pork sausage. The dish was also served over soft spelt, corn polenta, and granna cheese. This dish was surprisingly superb.

For dessert, we tried the most interesting dishes from their menu. We ordered Torta Sanguinaccio – a chocolate tart and pork blood with espresso poached figs, finished with creama di bufala and macerated almonds. I only had two bites of the dessert; the second bite was to make sure that it was bad as I thought it was. It just wasn’t my type of dessert at all. We also ordered Buca’s house made chocolate and hazelnut panetonne served with preserved Clementine, candied rind, and vin santo frosting. This dessert, on the other hand, tasted okay, but it too failed to impress.

Generally, the service of Buca Italian Restaurant was fair although our waiter was aggressive and lazy at the same time. I know Buca is a known Italian restaurant in Toronto with many great recommendations, but it’s not a place I highly recommend to my friends and certainly not a place I would go back to. We give Buck a rating of Almost Bombastic.

What I liked: Polenta and braised beef short ribs

What I didn’t like: Service, our seats next to the pizza oven, service, my sweatbreads, service and it just too loud

Rating: Almost Bombastic.

Address and Telephone Number:
Buca Italian Restaurant
602 King Street W
Toronto, ON
(416) 865 1600

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