Cucina Buca is the latest concept from the King Street Food Company that brought you Buca, La Banane, and Jacobs and Co. For more than ten years, the Buca brand has been Toronto’s go-to place for Italian food. Located at 2 St. Clair Avenue West and the corner of Yonge Street, they bring an inventive, modern cuisine made in an Italian tradition.
The first thing you notice is the beautiful contemporary space, designed by Constantino Design Studio. It is a two-story, sophisticated design with a striking curved staircase. Surrounded by windows that bring in a lot of natural light, you will admire the natural oak finishes and touches of greenery.
There were so many tempting items on the menu that it was difficult to decide what to order. A signature dish was the Focaccia di Recco, a dish that took four years to perfect. It had a soft cheese enveloped by two thin, crispy, delicate layers of pastry. The menu is designed for sharing, but that is only a suggestion. The octopus carpaccio was excellent, and we really enjoyed the arugula salad with king oyster mushrooms, truffle oil, pecorino cheese, and pine nuts. We shared two different pasta dishes. The mushroom-ravioli was filled with porcini mushrooms and topped with a taleggio cheese fondue, that was out of this world. The tagliatelle with white ragu Bolognese, Saint Brigid’s butter, and aged balsamic was also a winner. Our table mates raved about their fish and warm garlic bread knots. Our chocolate budino for dessert was also top-notch.
Chef Fabio Citrullo uses locally sourced ingredients and will change the menu seasonally.
The wine menu is Italian-focused. I particularly enjoyed the notable selection of Negroni.
The Buca brand has been Toronto’s go-to place when you are looking for a delicious night out, and their new restaurant, Cucina Buca brings their unique style of hospitality and enjoyable food to Midtown Toronto. It balances old and new world cuisine with a satisfying and comforting result and if you are looking for traditional Italian cuisine with a contemporary touch, then I think you will enjoy dining there.