Monday, February 20, 2012

Enoteca Tasting at Buca

I was completely and utterly blown away by Buca's (@bucatoronto) Enoteca Tasting this past Saturday evening. My friend and I both agree that the Enoteca Tasting at Buca (which came into existence less than a month ago) is easily one of the best tasting menu that we've had in the city recently; it was such an memorable experience for me and I truly have nothing but praises for it. 

What made it so great was not only the food, which was phenomenal, but also our server / bartender, Thomas...he was fantastic! He did an excellent job in describing all the dishes and interacting with everyone at the bar; he was friendly, attentive, and it was evident that he was passionate about what he was doing...and I love that~

The Enoteca Tasting is exclusively offered at this eight-seat bar beside Buca's main dining room.  

Our bartender, Thomas. He took care of us the entire night.

We left it up all up to Executive Chef Rob Gentile (@ChefBuca) to bring us out various small plates and appetizers. I remember Thomas asking us at the very beginning whether we were hungry; my answer was "YES" (when am I ever not hungry?!) Sooooo get ready guys because we ate a LOT! By the way, very important, there were different wine pairings through out the night as well but I didn't get a chance to take pictures of the wines =(

Crudo - Smoked raw rainbow trout fillet with artichoke, juniper caper and liquorice bruton syrup ($18)

Terre Di San Mauro (Calabria) - Sweet calabrese olive oil, raw b.c. spot prawns and sorrel ($10)

Poggio Antico (Toscana) - Peppery tuscan oil, albacore tuna "sott'olio" and house brined raw olives ($10)

House made bread to soak up all that delicious olive oil~

Panella - Crisp chickpea polenta with proscuitto, tuscan pistachio and quebec empire apple "mosto cotto" ($8)

Coniglio - Crisp rabbit legs finished with colonata salt and lemon ($14)

Boulate - Sicilian rolled dumplings with porcini mushrooms, pecorino and pregiato truffle

Nodini Ripieni - Buca's crisp nodini filled with stracciatella cheese, mortadella and pesto genovese ($8)

Salumi - Special selection of 3 types of house cured meats exclusive to buca enoteca served with preserves ($18)

Thomas hand-stretching mozzarella ^_^ Like pulling bread dough, the point of this process is to manipulate the mozzarella just enough to improve elasticity but not so much as to toughen it.

The mozzarella was soaked in water for four minutes. 

Mozzarella - Fresh stretched to order mozzarella with condiments ($26)

Left to right: Sicilian olive oil (from calabria), pesto, in-house salted anchovies, honey (from gaspe, quebec)

Vongole - Shucked nova scotia clams alla carbonara ($14)

Burro E Uova - Il forteto butter, cured duck yolk and pregiato truffles ($14)

L'ottobratica (Calabria) - Sharp calabrese olive oil, 76% raw chocolate and clay pepper ($7)

Uva E Ricotta - Fresh ricotta di bufala, warm grapes, meyer lemon, cured fennel and saba ($9)

Castagnole - Warm bite sized italian doughnuts filled with dulce de leche ($12)


I really enjoyed everything that night...everything! All the plates we had were simple yet extremely delicious. However, having said that, I did have a few favourites...

 Smoked raw rainbow trout: the artichoke and juniper capers brought out the smokiness of the was a burst of flavours in one bite!
 Raw B.C. spot prawn: loved the texture of the prawn and the "fruity" tasting olive oil that came with it.
 Sicilian rolled dumplings with porcini mushrooms: mini cinnamon bun lookalikes but instead of cinnamon, think super fragrant mushrooms.
 Mozzarella: hand-stretched mozzarella done right in front of you? Can't beat that! Being able to try the different condiments with the mozzarella was really fun and interesting (I really loved the maldon salt mix on the mozzarella).
 Cured duck yolk with truffles: Ehhh....egg and truffles...'nuff said.
 Doughnuts filled with dulce de leche: refer to last picture =D

Thank you Chef Rob, Thomas, and the Buca staff for taking such good care of us. Bravo!!!

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