WEST END PASTA WARS

Annex Post - - FOOD -

#4 BUCA

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a foodie in this town that hasn’t heard of Rob Gen­tile. It’s safe to say that the chef-restau­ra­teur is one busy guy, palling around with Jamie Oliver, plot­ting foodie re­treats in Um­bria and head­ing up a food com­pany in ad­di­tion to hold­ing exec chef du­ties at a hand­ful of restos. But his orig­i­nal Buca — on the buzzy King West strip — is where it all be­gan. Every­body still adores the no­dini, glis­ten­ing with EVOO, and the tooth­some duck egg bigoli swim­ming in a ragu of duck of­fal. But let’s not for­get the ro­tat­ing house­cured sa­lumi, which may in­clude sop­pres­sata and prosci­ut­tini, and that whole fish branzino with pre­served lemon and bar­i­ole olives. There’s a rea­son the place has been hopping since 2009. 604 King St. W. & 53 Scol­lard St.

#10 CAM­PAG­NOLO

Be­fore there was La Palma, there was Cam­pag­nolo. Chef Craig Harding and wife Alexan­dra Hutchi­son’s love let­ter to Ital­ian food has been draw­ing the pas­taratti to Dun­das West since be­fore it was cool. The homey en­vi­rons make you feel like you’ve stum­bled into a Tus­can villa over­seen by an ea­ger nonna, keen to feed. A mound of su­per-fresh ri­cotta is the per­fect cloud-like con­sis­tency, warm and ready to spread on house-made bread with roasted grapes. Even more com­fort­ing are the pas­tas: ag­nolotti come stuffed with the fruits of the sea­son, whereas the main­stay all’am­a­tri­ciana means strands of spaghetti bathing in spicy tomato-and-guan­ciale sauce, fin­ished with a snow­fall of Parm. Not to be missed. 832 Dun­das St. W.

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