Buca 604 King St. West Toronto, ON 416-865-1600 Perfect For: Date Night, Girls Night Out
Ever since I saw Buca’s “transcendent” eggplant parmigiana recipe in Toronto Life last month, I’ve been itching to try this newly opened Italian resto. As a fan of good melanzane alla parmigiana, I was hoping that reviews weren’t wrong, and I would finally be able to have a piece of deliciousness, instead of the usual oil-drenched, over-fried, over-breaded mess that I usually see in most restaurants that offer this dish on the menu. Well, my fears were completely unfounded, and Buca is just as good as they say!
First thing I asked our very attentive waiter for is…you guessed it – eggplant parmigiana. Layers of thinly sliced, lightly breaded eggplant and ricotta, topped with fresh burratta cheese flown in (weekly) from Italy – scrumptious wouldn’t begin to describe this small, but surprisingly flavourful dish. Begrudgingly, I shared a few bites with le boyfriend, before devouring the rest in a few (large) bites. Yum!
Le boyfriend’s appetizer, unfortunately, was less than impressive. Having never tried fried pig’s ears, he decided to be adventurous…and ended up leaving the entire plate unfinished (which very rarely happens). The ears were too oily, too salty, and too…gristly. If you’re into that sort of thing, then by all means go ahead and order away, but if you’re just trying to be adventurous, there are a lot of other dishes on Buca’s ever-changing menu that, I’m sure, would leave you more satisfied.
On to our pastas, quoting my one and only, his goat meat and bone marrow ravioli were “the best pasta” he’s ever had in his entire life…or something to that extent. Salty, a little sweet and savoury, this pasta had a great combination of flavors and textures – definitely one of those slam-dunk successes, that we’d go back to ask for again and again.
Not to give his pasta all the glory, my duck egg tagliatelle with duck ragu was out of this world. Perfectly al dente pasta, meaty sauce – this was comfort food at its best. Triple yum!
Another reason to visit Buca, apart from its outstanding food, is the delightful service. Our waiter was attentive, knowledgeable and very pleasant. Though the snobby older man at a table next to ours was less than pleasant to our waiter, he still remained friendly and didn’t show any signs of annoyance. Now that’s professionalism!
Our trip to Buca was an absolute delight and I will most definitely be back for more! You should know that the menu changes (and is time-stamped) daily, so some of the dishes might not be available at all times. Book a table in advance, unless you want to wait for a (long) while.