Posts Tagged ‘Amy Pataki’


After reading a review of Bar Buca by Amy Pataki in the Toronto Star, I knew that I wanted to visit this restaurant STAT. She gave it 3.5 stars out of 4, so I put Bar Buca on my radar and off I went for lunch. I was a bit nervous that it  was going to be busy so I was cautious and arrived at 11:30 am. It was a good move.

The space has a few shared tables and a bar as well.(capacity 38).  I like watching the ‘action” so I plunked myself onto one of those high backed chairs!

barbuca - bar

The menu is divided into small bites, cold plates, hot plates, fried, stuffed focaccia and skewers. Love it. It’s perfect for sharing ….and priced between $3 and $14.


So what did I order? Let’s put it to you this way – TASTY STUFF.

Specifically: POLIPO – baby octopus, soppressata, crema de palate. What you really need to know is that it was perfectly prepared.

carbon - octopus

We also ordered: CARCIOFI CRUDI – raw artichokes, buffalo yogurt, bottarga, senape. In other words: More Perfection

carbon - artichokes

Based on a few reviews, I knew I would be ordering the PORCHETTA SANDWICH (roast tuscan pork, mascarapone, apple mostarda, agliata). What you really need to know about this sandwich is that it is MASSIVE. So glad we split it!

carbon - sandwich

Last but not least – we ordered the BRUSCHETTA which is described as: duck yolk, beech mushroom and truffle. Again – DELICIOUS.

carbon - appetizerConclusion: This restaurant offers some well executed dishes in a cool atmosphere with some decent service. Not to mention that the menu appeals to me as it’s certainly not an ordinary menu. Not even close.  I know I will be returning one morning with my macbook… to try their coffee and pastries. I have no doubt that I’m going to be impressed. Most likely I will be making it for dinner one day too. Clearly I’ve become a quick fan of Rob Gentiles’ style. (who is the Executive Chef).

For more information:

Bar Buca 75 Portland St. Toronto 416 599 2822

Hours: Monday to Friday 7 am to 1 am, Saturday and Sunday 8 am to 2 am.

Twitter; @barbucatoronto

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Fact: I subscribe to the Toronto Star only so I can read the food section. Therefore, Wednesday is my favorite day to receive the Toronto Star. I read a variety of articless and recipes from Jennifer Bain, Josh Rubin, Amy Pataki on a regular basis.  I am truly interested to know what they are eating, cooking, buying, etc. I know I could look it up online but that’s a whole other discussion!!

The “Star Tested” recipes are always reliable and I have clipped out many of them over the years. Infact I am still clipping them out (so old fashioned – can you believe?)

Last week there was an article that caught my attention, which was written by food editor Jennifer Bain and food writer Eric Vellend.

Seeing as it was the holidays and I had some spare time on my hand – I decided to to try this simple soup which comes from the chef/owner of Martin Kouprie from Pangaea and is in his new cookbook: Pangaea. Why It Tastes So Good.

Parsnip and Lemon Soup:

This is what you need:


1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup diced Spanish onion (I used normal onions)

2 cups peeled, diced parsnips

4 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock or water (I used water)

1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)

3/4 tsp sea salt (to taste)


1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter until it foams.

2. Add onions. Cook stirring, 3 minutes to soften.

3. Add parsnips, stock (or water). Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil.

4. Add zest.

5. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 15 minutes till parsnips are tender.

6. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

7. In a food processor puree soup. (I puree solids first and then slowly add liquids till its smooth)


A creamy delicious healthy simple soup! What more could you ask for?

Happy Cooking!!

p.s for some reason I think this soup needs a herb, but I haven’t figured out which one? Suggestions are welcome.

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