Little Italy has seen a brisk changing of the guard in the past couple years, with the rise of new buzzy spots like Woodlot, Acadia and Frank’s Kitchen. A couple weeks ago, Neil Da Costa and Victor Brum, two veterans of the neighbourhood who first met at Trattoria Giancarlo, opened BruDa in the space that long held Negroni (and briefly held Carpano). Rather than pigeonholing themselves into specifically Italian, French or Spanish cuisine, they describe their restaurant’s menu as “European.”
Da Costa and Brum renovated the space themselves, creating a large, open-concept room with high charcoal ceilings and classic white walls, which house artwork by local artists like Nadia Lloyd and Loredana Blandisi. At the heart of the restaurant is an open kitchen helmed by executive chef Gordon Calman, whose most recent stint was at the Inn on the Twenty in Jordan. Calman aims to bring some of that wine country sensibility to his approachable menu here, with dishes that are simple yet refined.
The lunch menu is casual, with items like like wild mushroom bisque ($8), a smoked ham hock sandwich ($12) and chef-rolled gnocchi with truffle, Brussels sprouts and Ontario burrata ($14). At dinnertime, there are classic seared scallops ($13), slow-cooked spiced rabbit served on a potato cake ($10) and double-smoked pork tenderloin in a coffee-fig reduction ($17). The wine menu, chosen by Brum (who’s also a sommelier), includes European as well as Canadian selections. Just don’t ask for a negroni at the bar.
4 thoughts on “Introducing: BruDa, a new pan-European restaurant from two Little Italy vets”
Stay clear – – Manager was extremely rude, food was middling, but not worth the price or the attitude. Carbonera was weak. “Brined chicken” was dry and just tasted like salt.
Went for Saturday night dinner with my family, and was greeted by a warm and friendly atmosphere. It was our visit, and luckily we beat the rush. We each tried a different appetizer+entree selection so that we could sample as much of the menu as possible. All of us were intregued and very satisfied with all dishes! Favourites include the seared scallops, the wild mushroom bisque, the new world carbonara, and the smoked pork tenderloin.
Definitely return visits are in the future!!
We had a great evening here. The wine list was great, so much more diverse than most new places in the city. The relaxed atmosphere was really welcoming. The food was good but it was really all elements together that made BruDa memorable.
Just ran into Bruda for lunch today after standing in line at the Service Ontario office a few doors west, to renew my plate sticker.
I was blown over by the delicacy of the gnocchi and the fabulous home made ice-cream that I had – very reasonable prices. Superbly executed. Way to go, Neil and colleagues.
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