My Love: Bar Buca
I love this place. Chris loves this place. I’m sure anyone who has ever had the pleasure of dining here loves this place. And I’m willing to say that is a fact.
Located in my fav Toronto nook (King West), Bar Buca is nestled under the many residential condos of Portland Street… a street that I can only dream of living on. FYI, we did some research and condos can be upwards of $1.4 million! Insanity, but a girl can dream!
Breakfast or lunch, Bar Buca is an excellent choice. Though proteins might appear on the smaller side, this doesn't mean the dishes aren't filling. Most dishes are actually luxuriously hearty without weighing you down!
For lazy Sundays, I love nursing a fancy, dancy cup of coffee. The Miele is a perfect choice. A latte with milk, honey, bee pollen and espresso, the warm flavours are sweet and inviting, providing the kindest wakeup call of all. Dreaming, wouldn’t you agree?
Plus, for lactose-free patrons, they also offer oat and soy milk! Which, needless to say, is incredibly exciting.
If you’re feeling peckish, I suggest a cannoli made with fresh whipped ricotta, pistachio & candied orange zest. Excellent with a morning coffee or as an afternoon snack, you can’t go wrong with a cannoli when it’s done right. One of the best that I’ve had in the city, the crispy shell is not at all greasy. Plus, the filling tastes like a classic filling should: cheesy and still gritty, but delicately sweet.
Of course, you can’t go wrong with an egg breakfast but a cornetto is also fantastic if you feel like treating yourself to something rich but aren’t in the mood for a full fork-and-knife meal. Make sure to order the Cornetto Salato with cured meat and your tastebuds will sing. A fried egg with its white edges perfectly crisp resting underneath spicy cured prosciutto on a buttery croissant, the cornetto is bliss.
Stroll out of bed a little too late and miss breakfast? Not a problem! Bar Buca also serves up lunch and dinner specials.
I am also obsessed with the Mortadella Pizza. A Pugliese-style pizza, made with high protein bread flour & Yukon gold baked potato, the dough is unreal and reminds me of the freshly fried zeppole that my Nonna used to make. Spread on top is the creamiest, dreamiest mascarpone that could make your taste buds melt into oblivion. With rosemary sprigs gently tossed over top ribbons of silky mortadella, toasted pistachios and drizzled with a wildflower honey, this pizza is a work of art that you might have to think twice about before eating!
This pizza is the ultimate. Truly. I have never eaten a pizza so perfectly crafted. It miraculously and unknowingly has elements that connected me with my roots through taste, evoking memories and nostalgia through the very flavour of a salty green pistachio that I’d crack open late on Christmas Eve or honey that I’d drizzle on my tongue when no one was looking as a child. Trust me, this isn’t a dish to miss!
It might seem like a no-brainer that pasta at an Italian restaurant is usually the thing to order. But, I’ve been to a few Italian restaurants where this isn’t necessarily the case. Luckily, the pasta at Bar Buca delivers.
The Rigatoni all’Amatriciana is one of my favourites. It’s a salty, smokey and vibrant dish that when covered in snowflakes of pecorino is completely transcendent. Coated in a viscous tomato passata, thick cuts of guanciale and a caramelized onion soffritto creates a dreamy, yet familiar sensation. Cooked to a perfect al dente, you can confidently order a pasta dish that will taste just like how Nonna used to make, while still maintaining a level of elegance that can’t be found in your grandma’s family kitchen.
Surprisingly, not as hefty of a price tag as its mother restaurant Buca (also located on King West), it makes a fabulous upscale dining option, serving up dynamic Italian cuisine that is guaranteed to excite and most importantly, satisfy.
Open from 8am to 10pm weekdays and 9am to 11pm weekends, pop into Bar Buca for breakfast, lunch, dinner or anything in between and be prepared to fall in love. Next on the list is Buca, itself.
Are in love with Bar Buca as much as I am? What’s your go-to order?