A Sneak Peek Inside the New Bufala

The 160 seat, 3,300 sqft second coming of Bufala is nearing launch at 3280 Edgemont Blvd. in North Vancouver’s Edgemont Village. We took a look inside yesterday and this is what we saw…

The Bufala construction site was a hive of activity yesterday afternoon. I walked in just when the sunbeams were starting to cut into the dining room to catch clouds of dust. It’s a swell, clean-lined design by Studio CM with wood panelling everywhere and a classic black and white checkered floor. I can’t wait to see what it looks like when it’s all finished and filled with people and heady aromas. All that appeared to be missing were light fixtures, the discreet television above the bar and the dozen-plus bar stools, which should be arriving any day now. The kitchen looked to be almost completely hooked up and good to go, its big Wood Stone Fire Deck pizza oven awaiting its first flames.

If you’re keeping score at home, Bufala will be the sixth restaurant effort from the Gooseneck Hospitality crew of James Iranzad, Josh Pape and Nick Miller, the triumvirate that also gave us the original Kerrisdale location of Bufala, Gastown’s Wildebeest, the Fraserhood’s Bells and Whistles, Kitsilano’s short-lived Supermarine and its more popular replacement, Lucky Taco. It’s been in the works for well over a year now, part of a new ground-up development that dominates the northern end of the Edgemont strip. (We first reported on it last Spring.)

When it launches later this month, the new restaurant will offer a much larger menu that the original, which concentrates mostly on pizzas. While diners can expect a full complement of pies (nine in total), they will be further spoiled for choice with six pasta dishes (eg. rigatoni bolognese, ricotta-stuffed ravioli with lemon and sage), well over a dozen starters, salads and sides (eg. arancini, caesar, meatballs, focaccia to “fare la scarpetta”) and four mains (eg. melanzane parmigiana, braised lamb shanks).

It’s definitely a good looking one-sheet with something for everyone; an approachable mix of the very familiar supplemented by several creative riffs on the equally familiar. I haven’t seen the weekend brunch menu yet, but I imagine it’ll be as rock solid (as is the tasty case with Gooseneck’s other restaurants). The drinks card will see plenty of Old and New World wines, and I spied twelve taps for a selection of beers, a cider, a couple more wines and even a batched Negroni cocktail. For sweet things, I spotted a virgin soft serve machine in the kitchen, so it’s fair to anticipate some good licking.

Though the new Bufala seems to be aiming a little higher than the old one, I don’t think it will be that much of departure. It’s clear that they’re still going for a neighbourhood, family vibe. This feels smart/right for the area. But I also think the bar area and the menu depth give it a lot more potential. Oh, and the 45-seat patio. That’s going to be awesome next summer!

I’m happy for the North Shore, especially this particular precinct of it, which could use about five or six more restaurants to at least be within striking distance of the par set by most other Metro Vancouver enclaves of comparable size.

Opening day is being set for November 18th. Take a closer look…

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