Buca…..King St West, Toronto

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This was one of my favourite meals. Initially we made dinner plans at Spice Route but at the last minute they called to say we had to leave by eight o’clock since they had a company function. We had made reservations for 7 a week in advance. I was pretty steamed about this and do not plan on going there any time soon. I’ve already heard horror stories about their service but to be treated so rudely before getting to a restaurant is unbelievable.

We decided to go to Blowfish instead but they were closed for renovations so we walked down the street to Buca. This was an extremely cold day so we were pretty grumpy but upon being ushered into Buca, we were in awe of the high ceilings and brilliant light installation in this hidden Italian restaurant.

It’s easy to miss Buca if you don’t locate the dime sized red sign but definitely worth finding. Although we did not have reservations the host gave us the option of sitting at the chef’s table (an elevated large dining table close to the open kitchen). We were only a party of four so we asked if we could sit somewhere else. He quickly found us a table to our relief and I ordered a drink immediately. The food here was absolutely delicious. For starters we got the bruschetta and nodini, warm bread knot. The cured duck yolk in the bruschetta complimented it beautifully.

As a main I went for the ravioli with braised goose, foie gras, and roasted squash. The presentation was great and the taste sublime. This was my first time having goose and it tasted a lot like char siu (BBQ pork). We also got the Branzino (grilled sea bass) a simple and very well executed dish, Bigoli (duck egg pasta) which had great smoky flavors, and another pasta dish.

The service here was great and I loved the ambience a lot. Make sure to try the tiramisu and if you don’t decide to get dessert you will be glad to know that complimentary coconut macaroons come at the end of the meal.

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Gusto 101…..Portland St, Toronto

Food & Drink

This is probably my favourite restaurant on King St. West. It serves authentic Italian food and has the best ravioli dish I’ve ever tasted. ¬†Sadly, they are not currently offering it anymore on their fall menu but the pumpkin agnolotti is also quite delicious. The octopus salad is a must try!

gusto101_2 Octopus Salad

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Ravioli

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Pumpkin Agnolotti

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Upstairs Patio

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The Old Spaghetti Factory…..The Esplanade, Toronto

Food & Drink

Got the chance to head down to The Esplanade during my lunch hour. It was crazy hot but we decided to sit on the patio anyway because it was such a nice day. My favourite Italian dish is lasagna but I’m also a huge sucker for ravioli so I decided to get the Factory Ravioli with butternut squash, caramelized onion, and brie, along with grape tomatoes and baby spinach with white wine cream sauce.

The food took a while to come (to the point where our waitress apologized twice for the wait), but the staff was friendly and the beer was cold and in the end the food was pretty decent.

The ravioli was a bit on the hard side and I couldn’t really taste the white wine in the sauce, but you can’t really go wrong with butternut squash as a filling. The chicken lasagna was pretty good too. Would definitely come back to try some other items!

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