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Oct 15, 2012 05:29 PM

Buca, Enoteca Sociale or Campagnola

First ever post....better late than never :)

I'm looking for some feed back on either Buca, Enoteca Sociale or Campagnola. We (2 of us) have decided to make our way to the City next weekend and we have narrowed our list down to these 3 restos. We are hoping for a casual dinner where we can enjoy some good quality food on a reasonably priced menu..... good service is a must!

Thanks in advance.....

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  1. I would think the choice is more between Enoteca and Campangolo. Buca's nice, but it's not what I would consider "casual" - it's styled to be casual, but ends up a lot more trendy.

    Buca - trendy, louder, good apps, pizzas, okay mains, desserts. Enomatic machine if you like your wines.

    Enoteca - homier feel, good pastas, great grilled dishes. Also has an Enomatic. Probably my front-running pick.

    Campagnolo - great pastas, in between cozy and trendy, love their kitchen bar (up to four people). Adore their salted caramel budino. Note: sit there and prepare to absorb food smell. Also not romantic, but very engaging.

    Lots of reviews for all three across the board and we see this question come up a lot, so don't be shy about searching for them. "Reasonably priced" is all up to you. Of course, there will be menus on those restaurants' sites, but you can get a better sense of the kind of dishes you might get and their cost over time from the links I provided.

    Good luck!

    // edited: added budino thought + finishing my menu thought. derp.

    --- -- food. is. love.

    8 Replies
      1. re: jlunar

        I agree with you. I'd go with Enoteca.

        1. re: jlunar

          Thanks jlunar et al,

          That's IS a great description. I did a search on each of them after my post and noticed that Enoteca and Pizzeria Libretto apparently have the same owners or cooks or both. When I used live closer to the City, I remember Terroni being the talk of the town. Has Pizzeria Libretto actually taken over as top Pizza in TO? Maybe I should have started a new Pizza thread....sorry.. ;)

          1. re: matty83

            Not to hijack this thread, but there are as many opinions about that as there are pizza toppings. I think the difficulty is that consistency is difficult to obtain when you are putting dough into a 900F oven for 90+/- seconds, dealing with different humidity levels, different employees, etc, notwithstanding that the ingreditents in the dough remain the same. I find that Pizza Libretto and Queen Margherita are my 'go to' pizza restaurants and that they are comparable (setting aside the different ambienci of the two places).

            Anyway, there are many threads on this topic so back to our regularly scheduled program.

            The people at Enoteca Sociale sure know what they are doing and manage a very good restaurant.

            1. re: Flexitarian

              You both deliver helpful reviews. I'll be sure to check in on you two in the near future for additional resto critique. Goodnight TO foodies.

            2. re: matty83

              To answer your question more clearly

              Enoteca Sociale and Libretto have the same owners and originally had the same chef (who is one of the owners) but they hired an executive chef for Enoteca last year.

              Libretto and Queen Margherita (and a few other places in town) do VPN pizza, VPN stands for vera pizza Neopolitana, it's a complete BS fake authenticity thing that demands slavish adherence to someone's idea of authentic Neapolitan style thin crust wood oven pizza, they have to buy their ovens from an Italian consortium, buy only Italian San Marzano tomatoes etc.

              Not everyone likes this style of pizza. Despite my cranky comments about the authenticity scam they actually do make pretty decent pizzas if you like that style.

              1. re: bytepusher

                I say Enoteca! Buca is very nice but I find maybe too formal and pretentious, the food is also hit or miss with me but others love it. Campagnolo is good but if we're talking about food I think Enoteca is better. I find the service at both to be good and the decor are equally uninspiring but enoteca wins hands down for good honest cooking where all the flavours work.

                1. re: bytepusher

                  Whether the authenticity requirement is 'fake' is highly debatable (again going way off topic here, lol). No one is forced to adhere to it and anyone is free to create their own versions of VPN or pretend they serve VPN even when they don't serve the 'authentic' version. Being 'authentic', of course, contributes to the attributes of both these places, whether 'fake' or not. The unmitigated success of both Libretto & Queen Margherita (and the success of Libretto resulting in the owner being able to have the resources to create Enoteca) speak for themselves. And, no, not everyone likes that style of pizza but I have yet to have a friend who I have taken there (whether they've had VPN-esque pizza or not) not say they really enjoyed it.