Before I start reviewing the highly praised Italian eatery Buca location on King West, Toronto, I believe we went in with high expectations of the restaurants with the accolades that it received from the locals. We were greeted by the front of house manager who led us to our seats.
As you can see, the space is something to be marveled at. Open concept that showcased the restaurant with hangings of cured meats, kitchen tools, and an exposed brick space. We were excited to see what this restaurant had to offer.
We were promptly greeted by the server who asked if we wanted sparkling or flat water. First of all, as much as we like sparkling water, our experience tells us that carbonation makes us more full than we want to be. I understand fully that this is an upsell from a business perspective but I do hope the establishment would understand and respect the customer’s choice.
The waiter returned to feature the wine selection in which we also had no interest in and this is where things got ugly. When we told our Italian accented waiter that we were not interested in wine, he hissed at us with dissatisfaction that we were peasants dining at the very same spot high level Italian royalty and socialites dined at and we were not worthy. Which got me thinking, is it mandatory to order wine or other alcohol?
My goodness Mr. Waiter Sir, look around you…do you think you are at a 3 Michelin Star restaurant with a dress code? You are at a trattoria style restaurant which serves wood oven pizzas. Get off your high Italian stallion and stop offending your customers.
At this point I have already lost my appetite but we must investigate why this is such a popular spot for Torontonians.
SALSICCINE 18: cured spicy sausage, virgin mozzarella, bariole olive, testun di barolo cheese. Thin crusted and served with a pair of scissors. Cut your pizza to your liking.
When the pizza arrived the Italian aristocrat waiter asked us peasants of which ordered the pizza. I asked the Italian to simply put the pizza down right smack in the middle of the table and that we are sharing.
At this particular point he was even more offended like we have just broken every rule in the Roman dining etiquette rulebook. He was bewildered by the fact that my wife and I would like to cross over the imaginary boundaries and taste the food we have selected.
Here is where I might just offend our reader’s a little bit and ask why some of you wouldn’t share food each other have ordered? Apparently this is a new trend in the dining scene with the term “Family Style”. What it really means is putting everything in the middle, and use public utensils to share everything that has been ordered. Us Asians have been doing this for a while, and it wouldn’t hurt anyone if you decided to give it a try. Isn’t that so much better? Paying a price to dine out so you can taste everything?
After finishing everything came the Branzino finally came 30 minutes later.
BRANZINO 36: raw sea bass carved table side, finished with prosecco and lemon marinated whole fish with bariole olivers and olive oil.
Basically, this is the last of the disappointments. I get the concept though, grilled fresh fish, with acid coming from the lemon and olives, and finished off with the best olive oil available. This is something a home cook can do at home as long as he doesn’t cheap out on the ingredients, but $36 dollars is a little too much. There is no technique, no finesse with our main course for the night.
PATATE E ALICI 12: cookstown amarosa potato, white anchovy, duck yolk, black garlic.
Buca Osteria & Enoteca
Mon 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Tue 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm Closed now
Wed 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Thu 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Fri 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Sat 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Sun 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
604 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1M6