The first place to start out your la Buca experience is, of course, at the bar. Tended by Nashville native and cocktailer extraordinaire Travis Archer, this is the place to come for inventive nightly specials full of seasonal ingredients and unlikely pairings. If simpler flavors are your thing, Travis is stocked full of quality liquors and well-crafted beers, not to mention a more-than-impressive selection of vino to pair with your appetizers. Stop in for a classic Italian wine, and enjoy what Travis ensures is “a really comfortable place to hang out and eat, and enjoy yourself.” Plus, talk a little sports or debate the best bourbon with Travis and your hard day will be right as rain.
Osteria la Buca has been open for seven years, birthed as a tiny restaurant that expanded three-fold in those short years. Now walled by glass overlooking the busy Melrose street outside, and filled with minimal decoration and rich wood walls, la Buca is the perfect balance of romantic and authentic. They cook from what they call “grass roots Italian cooking”, and are famous for “handmade, whole beast, long braise, and farm fresh traditions.” From the chefs to the waiters, la Buca is stocked full of passion for not only the food, but dining experience. After all, it wouldn’t be Italian without intimate familial hospitality.
You could stuff yourself with the perfectly seasoned Lamb Rigatoni, or you could opt to save room for the authentic pizza; we suggest the Taleggio with it’s funky cheese and mushrooms (as the staff likes to describe it). My favorite was the Bucatini Carbonara, an extremely flavorful but expertly balanced pasta dish of traditional carbonara topped with a softly poached egg. True italian style and insanely tasty flavor.
Mix any dish with seasonal vegetables including brussel sprouts you’ll crave long after, and you’re sure to be writing home about this night out.
In short, should you find yourself in these circumstances:
1) You’re on date night.
2) You appreciate quality food and wine.
3) You believe comfort food should include fresh basil and al dente pasta.
4) You are sick of imposter italian and looking for old-world style culinary adventures.
Then we suggest you report to Osteria la Buca as quickly as possible — and as a tip, you should order each course individually. The menu can be paired in infinitely fantastic ways, but it’s best to give each course a proper analysis (obsessive moment) before deciding what your palate craves next. Although, the rhubarb and strawberry crumble with chocolate ice cream goes with anything… even just a glass of great wine.