Great staff, food, and atmosphere..
Went to Buca's for the second time with my girlfriend for our anniversary. We reserved the Passion Pit the night before since it looked interesting on the tour the last time through. She has been living in Jax for much longer than me and is a stallwort fan of Buca's.
The evening started off well when we found our seating reservation double booked. We were the first couple on hand so the option to take it was given to us. We had to wait a while for the last diners who were taking their time but the more isolated seating was worth it. The other couple, older and very cranky, came in while we were waiting. The girl hosting and the manager were very friendly and accomodating to them. We later saw them being seated so they must have come to terms with the bad reservation.
Me and the girlfriend opted to skip an appetizer in order to have room for some dessert. The portions at Buca's are quite large and should be approached with caution by the less than starving. In the past, we've had the best Bruschetta so far in Jax with fresh bread and tomatoes with the perfect mix of seasonings. We ordered a small Ravioli with Meat Sauce for the two of us as our entree. The ravioli was excellent just as the Quatro Al Forno was the last time we were there. For dessert, we decided on the TIRAMISU,rum and espresso soaked ladyfingers layered with custard, topped with cocoa and biscotti with almonds. Neither me nor her had ever tried some but have more experience now. It was served very cold and we thought it was pretty rich both in sweetness and alcohol but overall a great choice with some after dinner coffee.
Overall I would definately recommend Buca's as one of the best Italian restaurants in Jacksonville so far. So far, the food and service has been above reproach with only a minor scheduling mix up. It was explained the area we reserved doesn't have a spot on the reservation seat and is just noted on the bottom. Call ahead to confirm and avoid any problem.
True Ambience!. Of corse there's the big authenticity debate about every Italian restaurant, but Buca is a great place to have a wonderful meal with friends and family. All of you germophobes will need to avoid it during the dinner hours because everything is served Family Style which means you order an entree that serves 4-6 people and you "plate it" yourself. For those of you who love to try different things and get bored before you finish a meal, this is THE BEST place for you because you can have a small piece of chicken (parmesan, marsella, boulegnaise, etc) and a side of pasta and some eggplant or veal parmesan. The list goes on and on, they have a wide variety for everyone's tastes and I haven't even mentioned the salads, sangrias and desserts!!
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