by Lauren Mote
Barry White once sang, “I can’t get enough of your love baby…” that’s kinda how I feel about restaurants owned by Andrey Durbach and Chris Stewart.
La Buca, the second restaurant opened by the dynamic culinary duo, is a quaint and cozy 32 seat room at MacDonald and 24th st. in the gorgeous Kerrisdale area of Vancouver. La Buca is home to the only red sparkling wine that I have ever loved…. Riunite Lambrusco, Emilia-Romagna – named for the region and regional drink. The dark red ice cold aperitif tickles the mouths of even the non-adventurous diners. Accompanied by my usual foodie crew, Chef John Corsi, Stacey McQueen and Luca Mirabelli, we make our way to the table, Lambrusco in hand.
The menu looks amazing, especially for John and Luca, Italians their fathers are, but real Italian food enthusiasts they themselves are. Stacey and I were in charge of choosing our own main courses, and we left the first and intermezzo courses to the boys. Of course, I picked the wine!
First courses – Insalata caprese – Fairburn Farms buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes, arugula, aged balsamico, best olive oil (11.5); Funghi alla griglia – Grilled mushrooms in a garlic and herb vinaigrette (10); Agnolotti con sugo d’agnello Green pea and mint agnolotti with braised lamb sauce (18.5).
Second courses – Anatra all’ arancia – Crisp roast duck leg with Tuscan white beans, arugula salad, orange sauce (20); Brasato al vino rosso – Beef shortribs braised in red wine with mushroom risotto (24.5); Coniglio Milanese – Rabbit scaloppini with smoked proscuitto, fresh sage, Marsala sauce (24.5).
Both our first and second courses were paired with a bottle of Mauro Veglio Langhe Nebbiolo “Angelo” 2003, Piedmont (70) – absolutely fantastic.
For dessert, verbal specials – Italian meringue with mango and raspberry preserves (6.5); Tiramisu (6.5) – paired with grappa, moscato d’asti sweet sparkling, and many many double espressos.
The small room, with big charm comes out on top again. Visit La Buca for an original, yet familiar dinner experience.
4025 MacDonald Ave.