Thursday, March 10, 2016

Buca Yorkville: The Astoundingly Good, Exclusive Tasting Menu.

I just published a blog about my experience at Buca Yorkville with a great Italian guest chef who worked with resident chef Rob Gentile and his talented staff. But, now I MUST publish this blog about the great experience I just enjoyed, spearheaded by chef Rob Gentile, who deserves accolades for his own wonderful talents. 

I think that for one of the very few times in Canada, I have now experienced a meal that would prompt Guide Michelin to grade a restaurant 2**! 

Of course Buca yorkville is a wonderful eating experience of rustic seafood, pasta and pizza with an Italian flare, but the tasting counter, with it's unique tasting menu (menu degustazione), is a highly sophisticated, world class experience.

The menu degustazione at Buca Yorkville, is only available at the limited seating counter that looks into the kitchen. 

An up-front noise caution: Buca yorkville is particularly noisy and it is indeed difficult to properly hear conversation. So, for anyone with hearing issues, and I suggest that may be true for anyone over 60, please take note, I love the food in this resto, but I am hesitant to book at times because of the very high noise factor. Both of my table mates were concerned/disturbed by the noise as well and one guest was relatively young. The safest table, if ambient sound is of concern, is to request a table immediately beside the south facing window, right by the entrance, where the ambient noise is quite tolerable. There one can enjoy the regular menu.


Mollica fritta, sea urchin bottarga with senape yogurt, on toast.

Pizzetta with taleggio cheese topped with sliced black truffles from Molise.

Gnocco fritto, crisp squid ink dumpling served with ahi tuna n'duja salumi.


Presentation of raw branzino (crudo).

The ingotto, dried sturgeon caviar.

The bronzino, raw Cypriot sea bass with prosecco, unfiltered olive oil, all topped with shaved ingotto.

Raw rainbow trout topped with leek ash and buttermilk crema.


Baby squid filled with ricotta di pecora, parsley olive oil, squid ink and taggiasche olive.

Salume di mare, cured fish and shellfish with seasonal preserves: 
left to right: lobster and scallop sausage (lemon above); cured sword fish; smoked albacore tuna; shrimp and pistachio mortadella  (pickled red onions); cured trout, smoked eel; hot smoked herring preserved in oil; octopus soppressata (seabuckthorn above). This dish in itself was a remarkable gustatory experience.

Focciacia with Sardella kneeded into it (fermented whitebait with lots of chili traditionally calabrese), a terrific accompaniment (served with) for the salumi di mare.


Raviolo: this dish was indeed a culinary masterpiece: scallop, lobster, saffron, fermented butter and trout roe.....but there was no pasta. The shell for the filling was made of sheets of scallop. The lobster filling was finished with fermented butter, trout roe and parsley olive oil. 

Another incredible dish of agnolotti stuffed with black trumpet mushrooms, finished with sun choke puree and accompanied by taggiasca olives, chicken tails and sunflower. 

Intermezzo:  suco di fruitta consisting of pureed grilled abate pear and mint.

B.C. octopus, ragu bianco and smoked rosemary, grilled over a flame at the table.

The octopus.

B.C. clams being added at the table to a heated seafood stock (brodo di mare) and pork n'duja.

The seafood stock being heated with the clams.

Preparation until clams begin to open.

More ingredients added.

The finish!!! Wonderful, truly fresh, plump clams in the rich, complex seafood broth, a huge flavour hit.

Torta caprese: hazelnut, lingonberries and maple.

Granita with fernet menta and buffalo yogurt.

The Espresso maple zabaglione being finished at table with grated maple sugar brick.

Presentation: Espresso maple zabaglione. A sensational finish!

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