Buca looks good: an exposed brick basement with high ceilings and low lighting provided by bulbs hanging from meat hooks provide the back drop to one of the coolest Italian restaurants in Toronto.
The culinary talent is overwhelming, from the simple baked breadknots to delicate pizzas, the squash blossoms with duck egg, zabaglione and truffles to creamy milk and honey gelato. And it’s a crowd-pleaser: it’s packed. But there is something else. Maybe it’s the family vinegar, started by grandma but added to for the past 30 years; or the aging room on display, with naturally-salted and home-cured meats; or indeed the extensive wine list, simply catalogued by structure?
With many Toronto restaurateurs citing Buca as the one to watch, it’s caused a sensation. Thanks, no doubt, to the passion and professionalism of young chef Rob Gentile.