#1 Buca


It’s almost too easy to fall in love with Buca. From the moment you make your entrance down the stairs into the tall nouvelle industrial room, waitstaff do backflips to make your evening special. A free cocktail here, a friendly conversation there, maybe a dessert or three, it’s all part of the fun. The food is the best Italian in town. It starts with nodini — little knots of bread served warm in hot oil with sea salt and rosemary, kissin’ cousin to heaven. House-cured salume are fabulous — The 21-month cured prosciutto is pig heaven, with marinated leeks; goose breast prosciutto even sexier. Raw Spanish mackerel receives the benediction of designer EVOO with cooked yogurt, baby basil and dots of Meyer lemon gels. Nobody does better pasta, most of which is house-made. Bigoli, the perennial best seller, is toothsome duck egg noodles with breathtaking duck ragu. Innards of foie gras and wild Quebec hare give game to agnolotti. Then house-made white chocolate ice cream, clementine and blueberry sorbets. Or the fried lemon pastry cream with crème anglaise. Love is sweet.

  • Buca
  • 604 King St. W., Toronto (map)
  • 416-865-1600
  • www.buca.ca

  • Chef: Rob Gentile
  • Sous Chef: Andrew Halitski
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Cost of dinner for two: $125
  • Hours: Sun. to Wed. 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Thurs. to Sat. 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Reservations: Yes
  • Meals served: Lunch, dinner
  • Veggie-friendly: Yes
  • Wines available: 100+
  • BYOB?: No
  • Patio: Yes
  • Private party area: Yes
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • CC accepted: Yes
  • Parking: Street parking, parking lots nearby
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