Buca Restaurant has topped many of Toronto’s ‘Best Lists’ for years, even being acknowledged by some of the highest influencers in the culinary world, like Jamie Oliver, who during his visit to the restaurant in 2011 called it his ‘favourite meal of the year’.
With all the buzz surrounding Buca, I felt that it was a hot spot which I need to check off my foodie bucket list and it most definitely did not disappoint.
The meal, and experience as a whole quite frankly blew me away. Despite the restaurant’s high accreditation, its location is quite inconspicuous, nestled in an alleyway off King St.
Once I reached the actual restaurant space I felt like I had been transported out from the busy streets of downtown Toronto to a serene street in Italy where I proceeded to enjoy ( big statement coming up here)… one of my favourite meals of all time.
The experience began with a deeply thorough explanation from our waiters ( yes, we indeed had two waiters taking care of us) about each aspect of the authentically Italian menu. They elaborated on their recommendations and the reasoning and processes behind several dishes on the menu.
Several questions later, we finally selected our choices for the night.
I started off with one of their signature cocktails, which combined flavours of blackberry, lavender and clove. Refreshing an delicious on a hot summer night.
Moving onto appetizers we selected the Prosciutto di Bisonte – hand-cut leg of bison, aged for 31 months (in their in-house curing room… yup that’s right they cure their own meats. Can’t really get more authentic than that!)
And for our ‘Fromaggio’ , the Taleggio, a cow’s milk cheese with a semi-soft texture that had a mild sharpness.
We also got the ‘Nodini’, which were warm bread knots with olive oil, rosemary and salt. As an obsessive bread lover, these were little bites of bread heaven.
This was no standard potato filled dumpling. The fresh cut pasta had a hand-rolled saffron, fava and ricotta filling and was topped with fermented butter, green almonds, and the star of the dish, fresh Nova Scotia lobster.
Needless to say, this dish was pretty much life changing.
Miles away from my go to versions of pizza, this ‘Bianca’, or white, pizza was topped with grilled green asparagus, seasonal, mushrooms, pecorino brillo, and whipped goat cheese.
These seemingly simple ingredients combined to create a distinctly intricate and mouth watering bite… Pizza will never be the same for me after this experience.