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

#4 Buca


From nodini (little knots of bread served warm in hot oil with sea salt and rosemary, kissin’ cousin to heaven) to boutique grappa, Buca is an Italian delight. The tall nouvelle industrial room is gorgeous and glamorous, the servers super affable, and the food splendid. Big flavours, Italian exuberance. 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. 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

  • 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: 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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