When we think of Buca, we are immediately drawn to the Yorkville location with its flavourful Meditteranean golden touches. The Gnoccho Frittos made with squid ink are what serious cravings are made of and the pizzas that come with cutting shears are always spectacular. Each Buca location is slightly different (all are outstanding) and when we first heard that Bar Buca, a relaxed and more bistro style sibling, was going to be added to the roster up at Yonge & Eglinton, we took note.
King Street Food Company’s Bar Buca (101 Eglinton Avenue East) has moved into the street level space of a recently built high-rise. The corner location is airy with floor to ceiling glass allowing for curious onlookers to nab an eyeful of deliciousness that is set up daily from early morning to late night. It already “gets” the area’s go-getters and early morning fitness enthusiasts (actually they seem to be hustling all day around here) who know Bar Buca offers yummy pastries alongside their coffee and espresso machines. Lunch time is already popular for their grab-and-go as well as table service and the weekend brunch is something locals are already buzzing about. But what caught our attention recently is their Aperitivo (aka Happy Hour) offering.
Chef Rob Gentile explained that Aperitivo is quite common in Italy as a gathering for friends and coworkers for casual drinks and meetings. “In Italy, it’s huge and in true Italian culture there’s no drinking without food. Everybody has a drink and everybody eats too.”
Aperitivo at Bar Buca (available weekdays between 4pm to 6pm) means with every drink you order gets you a plate of food. Yes! This was a surprise! Order up from their drink menu and you’ll receive a “token” for full access to the antipasti bar full of house made pizzas, flatbreads, marinated veggies, olives, preserves, cured meats and cheeses. Your choice! You can load up the plate with whatever your heart desires from the daily offering. Each drink grants you another token for another plate of food.
The cocktails ranges from $11 to $15. Offerings include traditional Italian cocktails done really well. The Spritz Armonia (apertivi, wine syrup, lemon, soda, mint) is a refreshing drink that’s already won our hearts. But don’t over look the Carota (amaro, Montenegro, spiced carrot, lemon, angostura) sounds a bit healthier and every bit as good. Wine and beer list is extensive including Italian selections and we’re told there is a rotating feature on a local brew. Non-alcoholic drinks also available.
Aperitivo hours at Bar Buca is positively buzzing in the uptown area and we’ve learned the restauranteur has recently introduced the happy hour at the Portland Street location as well.
Secret it is out! See you there.