Jan 11, 2017
Since opening in 2009, Buca has shifted local parameters of Italian dining. Salume is now something made lovingly in house—and it’s no longer all about pork, but includes goat and lamb and sometimes even a local spin that extends to bison. The in-house prosciutto might be a culatello or even a foreleg, rather than the hind. But Buca is about much more than charcuterie. Rob Gentile’s kitchen has somehow got an offal-wary city hooked on crispy pigs’ ear with fennel salt, lamb brain saltimbocca, duck egg bigoli with duck offal ragù, and pork blood pasta with n’duja. While the kitchen favours big, robust flavours, it also boasts a convincing light touch (try summer’s linguine with sweet prawn broth and zucchini flowers). The restaurant is boisterous and invariably crowded. The high ceiling of the main dining (an old boiler room) and the hard exposed surfaces ensure the decibels soar as high as the flavour profile. Service is highly capable, and never fussy. The wine list is sizeable, and heavy on private imports—but reliable help with negotiating the unfamiliar is always close at hand. The restaurant is in Toronto’s club district, but if you eat properly here, you will more likely end your evening with a satisfied rest than with dancing.
604 KING STREET WEST,