The much-anticipated Bar Buca (@barbucatoronto) has finally opened! Brought to you by King Street Food Company (owners of Buca, Jacobs & Co. Steakhouse, The Saint Tavern), this 38-seat café / bar at 75 Portland St. opened less than a month ago on January 30th. Serving diners 7 days a week from 7am - 2am, the Italian eatery caters to just about everybody. Go for a cup of coffee in the morning, a quick lunch, a few drinks after work, even a casual dinner Bar Buca's got you covered. And because Torontonians can't get enough of brunch Bar Buca also serves weekend brunch. There's something here for everybody and at any time of day.
Situated right at the entrance is Bar Buca's coffee bar. Ultimate convenience for grabbing a quick coffee before work.
Lunch for us started off with these specialty coffees:
CAFFE CON ZENZERO (left) - Espresso, ginger syrup, cinnamon ($3)
CAFFE BOMBON (right) - Espresso, dolce de leche ($3)
Executive Chef Rob Gentile (@Robb_Gentile) created a shareable menu consisting of cicchetti (small bites), fritti (fried), piatti freddi (cold plates), schiacciata (stuffed focaccia), hot plates (spuntini) and spiedini (skewers).
Pork cheek, chili, lemon
Young smelts, fennel salt
BURRATA DI BUCA ($8)
Pesto stuffed mozzarella, gremolata, alici
Rock shrimp, n'duja, rosemary ash
Roman dandelion, caesar, blood orange
NERO DI SEPPIA ($9)
Cuttlefish, ink, king mushroom, gremolata, arugula
CAPPUCCINO ($3) with BUFFALO MILK ($3)
Clockwise from top left: CANNOLO ($1.75), SFOGLIATELLE ($2.25), PIZZELLE ($1.75)
TORTA NONNA ($2.25)
What I had for lunch was just the tip of the iceberg - there are so many more plates I want to try at Bar Buca. What stood out the most for me that day were the pork cheek bites, the burrata and the cuttlefish. Those savoury, crispy bites of pork were phenomenal - once you bite into them fatty juices literally squirt out! Definitely not for the health-conscious but live a little and try the pork cheeks...I guarantee you won't regret it. The soft buttery texture of the pesto stuffed burrata was terrific; the anchovy added nice acidity to the plate. Cuttlefish and king mushrooms proved to be a delightful combo for me and I especially enjoyed the crisp gremolata on top. What was equally wonderful were Bar Buca's specialty coffees and cappuccino, specifically the cappuccino with buffalo milk. Try it for yourself - super creamy, smooth and rich - you'll never look at cappuccino the same way again. Lastly, the pastry plate. My favourites from the four were the cannoli, with its thin, crispy shell and light yet creamy filling, and the delicious pizzelle with a sweet, hazelnut filling .