2016 JOANNE KATES 100 BEST RESTAURANTS

The Spend A Lot list is Joanne’s sky’s-the-limit guide to dining in the big city.

#2 Buca Yorkville

Buca Yorkville

Buzzy and beautiful and unfussy, the Yorkville Buca is superbly Italian with a focus on fish and a smile on its face. The staff are in big Italian love with the food and wine they’re serving. They permeate dinner with joy. Watch the waiter debone a whole salt-baked orata. It’s expensive, but oh the eros of perfect sweet fish flesh with fabulous fragrant Sicilian olive oil. Or the tableside theatre of turning a whole raw sea bass into superb sashimi with prosecco, olive oil, and grated (!!) sea salt. The Buca habit of curing meats translates here into delectable mortadella of side-striped shrimp with pistachio, scallop and lobster sausage, and complex smoked eel. Their pasta is a dream come true, whether it’s thin capellini with lobster, salty/sweet lobster bottarga and tomato, or gnocco fritto with squid ink dumplings. Add a marvellous radicchio salad, close your eyes, it could be a palazzo in Capri.


  • Buca Yorkville
  • 53 Scollard St., Toronto (map)
  • 416-962-2822
  • www.buca.ca

  • Chef: Rob Gentile
  • Sous Chef: Ryan Campbell
  • Cuisine: Italian,Seafood
  • Cost of dinner for two: $150
  • Hours: Mon. to Wed. 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Thurs. to Fri. 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Sat. 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Sun. 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Reservations: Yes
  • Meals served: Brunch, lunch, dinner
  • Veggie-friendly: Yes
  • Wines available: 250
  • BYOB?: No
  • Patio: No
  • Private party area: Semi-private table available
  • Wheelchair accessible: Yes
  • CC accepted: Yes
  • Parking: Four Seasons valet, street parking and Green P nearby
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