Buca: The Best Italian on King

Buca on King West is the original Buca, with a menu full of delicious Italian food. Although their off shoots do offer similar dishes, you will want to visit the location on King Street because the original is the best! At Buca on King, you will find pizza and pasta dishes using decadent ingredients, like truffles and a variety of meats and cheeses, including a burrata pizza that is made with simple ingredients but rather yummy in its simplicity! My favourite pasta dish is the Bigoli, made with duck offal and mascarpone, making each bite rich and flavourful. Having tried a variety of dishes, it’s hard to go wrong when ordering off the menu!

When it comes to the dessert offerings, I’m less excited. Besides the usual sorbet and ice cream, they offer inventive and pleasing looking desserts but none that have me raving. On my last visit, I tried a pork blood and chocolate torte with vanilla ice cream and liqueur, which was set on fire with a torch. It was a pretty sight! Too bad the alcohol in the liqueur did not burn off enough so the taste was still very strong and bitter. It really enhanced the pork blood flavour in the dessert to the point where you couldn’t taste sweetness or chocolate. The dessert just didn’t work. I know that Buca switches up their desserts so I hope you have better luck than me with their deserts! Ultimately, I’d suggest skipping dessert and saving that extra belly room for an extra appetizer dish!

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Buca is consistently busy. I’ve gone at early dinner time to a later seating and it’s pretty full. The restaurant has a rustic vibe with soft lighting and high ceilings. It’s a great place for a date, although it can be a little loud or a girl’s/guy’s night out. Make a reservation at least 1 week in advance for a good dining time and you’ll be in for an evening of great food and service!

Must eat: There are so many dishes I’d like to recommend! For appetizers, the nodini (warm bread knots), fluffy dough pillows (sorry but I don’t remember the exact name) and Parmigian Di melanzane. It’s crispy egglant with tomato sauce and buffalo riccota. I’m not a fan of eggplant but this was just that good! If you are ordering pizza, get the Pomodoro E Tartufo. It’s meatless but so delicious with tomato sauce, burrata cheese and truffles. And of course, order the Bigoli pasta. You’ll thank me!

What to avoid: I’d skip dessert and focus on the appetizers and entrees!

Best for: It’s a busy place with a rustic ambience that’s great for all occasions, be it a date or hanging out with friends.

For 2 people: ~$140, including 4 dishes, a bottle of wine, no dessert, and before tip.

Bellyminded final thoughts: Buca is one of the best Italian restaurants in Toronto. You can’t go wrong eating here but follow my suggestions and you will have a delicious meal!

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