Inside Bar Buca's sleek new Toronto outpost
There's Pugliese-style pizza aplenty at this Yonge and Eglinton restaurant
Two poached eggs lay atop stewed tomatoes in the pappa al pomodoro ($14) (IMAGE: Darcy Streitenfeld)
Bar Buca has arrived in the heart of midtown, boasting everything from breakfast and coffee to dinner and cocktails. Famed Toronto restaurant group The King Street Food Company opened its fourth establishment branding the Buca name just east of Yonge Street at 101 Eglinton Ave. E. on Nov. 5.
The menu of fresh Italian-inspired eats from executive chef Rob Gentile features some of Buca’s most-loved dishes from the Portland Street and Yorkville location, with a few brand new items for good measure.
The new space has got a minimalist vibe
Inside is a modern interior that's filled with light thanks to the building’s floor-to-ceiling windows. The space, designed by Guido Costantino Projects, features 20-foot ceilings, polished concrete and brick herringbone floors and white oak wall panels that hint at an art deco influence. The spacious 54-seat room is sophisticated and carefully curated. Every detail seems purposeful, down to the chocolate brown leather that is used on both the stools and the staff’s aprons. Yet, amid all this delightful design symmetry, there is an air of familiarity here; Bar Buca feels right at home in the Yonge and Eglinton community.
Tasty pastries for the gourmand on the go
“We are so excited to bring a Bar Buca location to Yonge and Eglinton,” says chef Rob Gentile, director of King Street Food Company. “This energetic neighbourhood is so lively, making it the perfect place to create an exciting culinary gathering spot for guests working and living in the community.”
Chef Rob Gentile (IMAGE: Lauren Miller)
Gentile has been gaining customer and critic acclaim with King Street Food Company for the better part of a decade. Having begun his love for Italian cooking as a child in his grandmother’s kitchen, Gentile got his first restaurant job at the tender age of 13. His visionary approach to Italian food is demonstrated through his attention to detail and determination to source unique, local ingredients.
Burrata stuffed with pregiato truffle ($29)
The menu for the new Bar Buca offers something for everyone. For the very first time, Buca is offering a grab-and-go counter, where patrons can choose from an assortment of delectable pastries, croissants and sandwiches. Lunch options are served from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., breakfast is available from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on weekdays and brunch is on from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Try the pappa al pomodoro ($14); two perfectly poached eggs perched atop stewed tomatoes with grilled housemade bread for dipping.
The day menu includes a dizzying array of pizzas, small plates and main dishes that will satisfy any craving. The tigella with ciociare sausage, scamorza and rosemary mayo ($9) is deliciously cheesy and a must-try.
The Bar Buca take on a saucy tigella ($9)
New to this location is the Pugliese-style pizza, a personal-sized pizza with a thick, airy crust perfectly topped with seasonal Italian ingredients. The burrata al tartufo ($19) is especially decadent with its tower of creamy burrata and shaved pregiato truffle.
"I love the pizzas, I think they’re really special. It took us a year to develop the recipe for our pizza Pugliese and we nailed it right before opening so we’re really proud of it," says Gentile. "Our version of the Pugliese, a traditional pan pizza, is made with high protein bread flour and fresh riced baked potato. We ferment the dough for 24 hours and then bake it to order."
Tartufo pizza with tomato, stracciatella and pregiato truffle ($19)
As for beverages, Bar Buca’s cup runneth over. The wine list is extensive and almost entirely Italian, however they do offer two local Niagara wines on tap. Aperitivo (basically, the Italian equivalent of happy hour) can be enjoyed Monday to Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Patrons are invited to relax with handcrafted cocktails and complimentary Italian-inspired snacks and antipasti. Look out for the licensed patio, planned for the summer of 2019.
The garibaldi cocktail ($12) is part Campari and part orange juice
Bar Buca is open weeknights until midnight and weekends until 2 a.m. This exciting new venture is sure to become a fast favourite and staple in the rapidly expanding Yonge and Eglinton neighbourhood.
Bar Buca, 101 Eglinton Ave E #5, 416-599-2822.