On the last day of 2015, I took my best friend to Yorkville for brunch. Right in the heart of downtown Toronto, Yorkville is home to designer boutiques, high-end hotel chains and chic restaurants. My best friend's birthday is on New Year's and I thought it will be nice if we can spend some time together before the city shuts down the next day.
I made reservations for brunch at Buca, an Italian restaurant annexed by the glamorous Four Seasons Hotel. I heard great things about the restaurant and how it is arguably the best Italian in Toronto. Getting to the restaurant might be a challenge for first-timers as the address is on Scollard Street. The best way is to go through Four Seasons Hotel at Yorkville Avenue and spot their iconic burgundy fountain. Behind the fountain to the right is the famed restaurant.
The interior did not impress me as they opted for a simple and casual ambiance. I did like the dark brown leather place mats and thought it would be a great idea to incorporate at my future home's dining table - functional and refined. Our waiter came with the menu and offered a brief explanation of the dishes as well as the perennial favorites! Here's a quick peek of their sample brunch and dinner menu.
What Buca lack in their Spartan decor they definitely made up for with their food! And the best part was it didn't take them forever to serve our order.
First, we ordered a little something to whet our appetites. We had olive ascolane or olives stuffed with pork sausage. I didn't really taste nor felt the sausage, but the breaded and crispy exterior of the olives provided an interesting texture.
Next, I chose the funghi pizze bianche. We thoroughly enjoyed the thin-crust pizza and savored the contrasting flavors of the mascarpone and gorgonzola cheeses. My friend even exclaimed it's the best pizza he's ever had! As an adamant carnivore, I found myself pleasantly surprised that I can actually enjoy a vegetarian pizza.
For our main dishes, we ordered two of the most popular pasta - the Pomodoro and Bigoli. I was very interested with the latter as I've never had duck egg pasta. Since my friend ordered it, I chose the safer and more boring option. But both dishes were exquisite! Amazingly al dente pasta coupled with fresh ingredients. My friend shared his Bigoli and the flavors and textures meshed perfectly with just the perfect creaminess from the mascarpone. The tomatoes used in the Pomodoro were also imported from Calabria, giving it a distinct saltiness.
Overall, the gastronomic experience and staff service at Buca is spectacular! However, we refrained from ordering alcohol or desserts as the bill already rang us at $96.00 for just three small dishes, appetizer, soda and orange juice!