Bar Buca Eglin­ton

Designlines - - Food Dept. -

Guido Costantino is Toronto’s go-to guy for

un­der­stated, finely hewn din­ing spa­ces. Keen read­ers will re­call his jewel box of a bis­cotti place at Union Sta­tion, fea­tured in our last is­sue, and here he is again, al­ready pre­sent­ing an­other win­ner with Bar Buca at Yonge and Eglin­ton Av­enue East.

“As an out­post of the orig­i­nal Bar Buca on Port­land,” the ar­chi­tect says, re­fer­ring to chef Rob Gen­tile’s first down­town cafe, “we wanted the up­town lo­ca­tion to evoke the orig­i­nal through a fa­mil­iar feel­ing with­out a lit­eral repli­ca­tion.”

Just as Buca Port­land has a sep­a­rate cof­fee bar to suit a down­town clien­tele, this mid­town Buca needed to be con­ve­nient for quick work­day lunches, as well as a chic spot for even­ing drinks and meals put to­gether by the Ital­ian tra­di­tion­al­ist chef (who has a pen­chant for pasta and of­fal). And so, Costantino cre­ated a front area for take­out, a bar fac­ing an open kitchen, and a din­ing room. Re­flect­ing the dra­matic above-bar wine racks at Buca Port­land, il­lu­mi­nated cane screens (by Maple Leaf Fur­ni­ture) hang above the bar, which winds through and con­nects much of the space, switch­ing from wood to traver­tine (by TMT Mar­ble Sup­ply) as it goes.

In both spa­ces, the ma­te­ri­als and the palette re­flect the chef’s work: un­fussy sim­plic­ity (Gen­tile’s favourite dish, af­ter all, is pasta with to­mato sauce) trans­formed through crafts­man­ship and vi­sion into some­thing su­perla­tive. GUIDOCOSTANTINO.COM; BUCA.CA

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