No. 7: Buca Osteria & Bar
53 SCOLLARD STREET, TORONTO, ONTARIO
CHEF ROB GENTILE’s idea for this third iteration of Buca Osteria & Bar was to apply his much-admired customary culinary approach (part traditional, part iconoclastic) to the underexplored realm of coastal Italian cooking.
And while the ingredients of choice here are sustainably harvested fish and seafood, Gentile’s well-established enthusiasm for salume and offal remains unchecked. So, expect salume di mare (like tuna soppressata, pistachio-flecked side stripe shrimp mortadella, scallop-and-lobster sausage, etc.) as well as some nifty tricks with piscine offal (they even tap sturgeon spinal fluid to make their own vesiga, a delicacy that did not after all go down with the Titanic).
Meanwhile, under chef de cuisine Kris Lee, the rest of the menu is just as imaginative—and more finessed—than ever. The experience of a menu degustazione at the chef’s counter is one to covet and remember. It might begin with caviar and stracciatella, or a Colville Bay oyster, dressed with 40-year-old balsamic, preserved lemon and the delicate pop of trout roe. Or maybe a tiny cube of focaccia topped with sea urchin and white truffle.
Photos By : Chuck Ortiz