#3 Buca Osteria & Bar

Buca Osteria & Bar

A tall elegant room done in light tones of wood and stone, with the same charming waitstaff as Buca King Street. The food is similarly spectacularly Italian, but with the emphasis on seafood. Cold-smoked tuna, salami of octopus, garlic, lemon and parsley. But the funnest thing here is their revival of tableside theatre. The price is steep but for $42 we watch the waiter surgically attack a whole raw sea bass, filet it and slice the flesh into thin coins like petals on the plate, which he then sprinkles with prosecco, snazzy olive oil, and grated (!!) sea salt. To eat this sashimi is to know joy. But one cannot visit a Buca without eating pasta. Fat noodles come with perfect little BC clams, nuggets of house-smoked eel and sea beans. Big shells are stuffed with dreamy puree of scallops with ricotta and sauced with tomatoes from Naples, so sweet and strong they might make me eschew our tasteless tomatoes for life.

  • Buca Osteria & Bar
  • 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 10 p.m.; Thurs. to Fri. 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sun. 10 a.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
  • Wheelchair accessible: Yes
  • CC accepted: Yes
  • Parking: Four Seasons valet or street parking
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