By Lori Bosworth
My dining partner and I both had trouble pronouncing the name of the new Italian restaurant in Liberty Village as we made our way to the media preview night on December 1, 2015. The restaurant, Bugigattolo Kitchen, was located on a somewhat deserted portion of Fraser Avenue, a bit south of where you would find more neighbourhood foot traffic. We squeezed our way into the brightly lit but small room, where Executive Chef Quin Josey was already preparing dishes in the open kitchen for the evening’s tasting, and staked our place at a side bar. We found out that Bugigattolo means “hole in the wall” in Italian. It was all making sense now.
Bugigattolo Kitchen is an intimate restaurant: the main room seats a cozy 18 people although the back patio, which is covered during the colder months, seats an additional 25.
We were offered drinks at the bar, which is situated at the front of the room, and then sampled an antipasto that featured prosciutto, pepperoni, provolone, reggiano, ciabatta, sliced pear and balsamic extra virgin olive oil among others. The ciabatta was mouthwatering, dipped in balsamic-infused EVOO; the provolone deliciously sharp and tangy. I loved how crisp and thin the pepperoni was, but it was a bit too salty for my liking.
The next dish on the menu was Prosciutto Pizza with fior di latte, arugula, reggiano, olive oil and tomato sauce. Although I prefer meatless pizzas, I have to admit this version was pretty good, especially the creamy fior di latte and medium-thick pizza crust.
We were then given spoonfuls of the Butternut Squash Soup with panna, an absolutely divine concoction that was sinfully rich and satisfying.
Uova Affogato featured a poached egg with ricotta and nduja (pork sausage) on toasted ciabatta. I loved the contrast of textures: crunchy, soft and chewy.
I was glad to find out that the media tasting featured Margherita Pizza, one of my favourite pizza renditions. I would have to say that this pizza definitely evokes Southern Italian cooking at its finest: forget the thin-crust pizzas of the north, this pizza featured a doughy and chewy crust, with rich-and-robust-tasting tomatoes, fragrant fresh basil and the reappearance of that smooth and creamy fior di latte. Here, Executive Chef Quin Josey has displayed his talent.
But it was the rigatoni that was the hit of the evening for me. With freshly grated reggiano, mozzarella and al dente noodles, this pasta was a gorgeous, gooey mouthful. The superb freshness of the cheese was allowed to shine without being drowned in a typical cream sauce.
What a wonderful introduction we had to Executive Chef Quin Josey’s menu at the new Bugigattolo Kitchen Liberty Village. Stop in for some authentic Southern Italian cuisine if you are in the hood.