I don’t live in a very big city. It’s not tiny by any means, but it’s small enough that I’ve been getting pretty bored during these past 2.5 months that I’ve been living back at home. So when I have the chance on my days off, I love to hop in the car and drive 45 minutes to Toronto, where I seriously never get bored.I was there last week with my sister, but that didn’t stop us from making another trip on Monday, this time my mom along with us. The day started out almost identical to last week’s visit: shopping, lunch at Zoe’s Bakery Cafe, and fro yo all made another appearance!
After we were all shopped out at 7 pm, we realized we were hungry and had no dinner plans! And to make matters worse, none of us have smart phones, so we had no way of looking up restaurants. We were starting to get cranky, when one of us suggested a restaurant we had passed on King St. West called Buca. I vaguely recalled reading somewhere that Jamie Oliver had eaten at Buca and given it a good review – so obviously we had to go!
Buca is located down a little alleyway, away from the hustle and bustle of the streets of Toronto. I liked that its patio was more private! We ate outside, but I peeked inside too and it had just as nice of a decor indoors.
I’m not going to lie, upon first glancing at Buca’s menu I was a bit worried – ingredients such as “veal heart tartare”, “raw prawn”, and “poached rolled pig’s head” initially turned me off. Not to mention the items were all titled in Italian, which made it a bit hard to read. But when I delved deeper into the menu and gave it a proper read over, I got excited. This wasn’t just any good Italian restaurant – this was the real deal.
We started off with a cheese plate composed of 3 cheeses of your choice with 3 accompanying preserves. We chose the buffalo milk reggiano, sheep’s milk piacere rubbed with olive oil and rosemary, and the cow’s milk taleggio. The soft taleggio (similar to brie) was my favourite, but the other two were amazing as well.
We also ordered a basket of house baked bread to eat with the cheeses. They were so fresh from the oven that they were too hot to touch at first!
And to round off our appetizer we ordered some warm marinated olives as well. These seriously put grocery store olives to shame. They were so plump and flavourful!
For my entree I chose the Burrata e tartufo pizza, which was topped with preserved tomatoes, basil, and truffled burrata cheese with fresh scorzone truffles. Yum, right? We thought so too. I ate about 3/4 of it, and my mom and sister helped me finish it off.
I also snapped a picture of my mom’s entree, which was the Ravioli alla norma. It was an eggplant filled pasta with fresh tomato, fresh ricotta cheese, and an herb salsa. Of course I tried a bite, and I almost regretted not ordering this ravioli. I’ve never tasted a fresher pasta!
I tried to get a picture of my sister’s duck egg pasta with duck ragu, but she refused to put down her fork to let me get a picture. I guess that means it was good!
We left Buca still gushing about the food – actually, I’m still gushing about it four days later. I loved that it was so authentic, and it has made me even more excited for my trip to Italy next spring!
Do you like cheese? What’s your favourite kind?
Do you prefer pasta or pizza at Italian restaurants?