Bar Buca Eglinton
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