#10 Bar Buca

Bar Buca

While the other casual branch-plant restos in T.O. are horribly downscale, Bar Buca stands at the intersection of casual and classy. No reservations, communal high-tops, friendly prices. But oh the delight of the flavours and the grace of the servers. Buca chef Rob Gentile has figured out how to use his main kitchen as foundation for the bar’s taste treats. Bruschetta of duck yolk with beech mushrooms and truffles is rich and deep. Vongole alla carbonara is perfectly cooked clams jazzed with guanciale and knit together with egg-enriched sauce. They skewer ultra fresh balls of mozzarella with lemon leaf and half-dried tomatoes and run them under the salamander so fast that the outside goes golden while the heart melts. Great focaccia sandwich: Lean roast pork with apple mostarda for sweet, mascarpone for creamy and agliata (garlic and vinegar sauce) for punch. Don’t skip dessert, cause their cannoli are creamy crisp erotica.

  • Bar Buca
  • 75 Portland St., Toronto (map)
  • 416-599-2822
  • www.buca.ca

  • Chef: Rob Gentile
  • Sous Chef: Francis Bermejo
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Cost of dinner for two: $45
  • Hours: Mon. to Fri. 7 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sat. to Sun. 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.
  • Reservations: No
  • Meals served: Breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner
  • Veggie-friendly: Yes
  • Wines available: 45+
  • BYOB?: No
  • Patio: No
  • Private party area: No
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • CC accepted: Yes
  • Parking: Green P downstairs, street parking
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