The second location of Bufala is now open in Edgemont Village (3280 Edgemont Blvd). The new restaurant is from the same cream that gave us Gastown’s Wildebeest, Kitsilano’s Lucky Taco, the Fraserhood’s Bells and Whistles and the original Bufala in Kerrisdale.
After a couple of friends and family services over the weekend, the 160 seat Italian-themed pizza/pasta restaurant officially opened to the public last night. I was there the night previous for the soft launch, spending half my visit at the comfortable, woody, well-served bar watching the Canucks get destroyed and the other half at the kitchen pass taking photos and avoiding watching the Canucks get destroyed.
Dismal hockey score aside, I enjoyed myself. The menu is a solid mix of the familiar and the different with pastas and pies in starring roles. It’s supported by vernacular starters (eg. meatballs, arancini) and some hefty-looking mains (eg. lamb shank) and paired with an unfussy drinks list that has something for everyone.
It’s a very well put together room with clever nooks and corner tables – even a side-by-side deuce that stares straight into the kitchen (table #41) – and it was great to see it fill up so quickly with so many curious walk-ins. When empty it doesn’t feel bereft of personality and when full it doesn’t feel hectic (an odd phenomenon common in restaurants with checkered floors). I especially love the rib-backed black leather chairs, especially the butt-hugging high ones at the bar (seldom are my short legs dangled so cozily).
The vibe is fresh, successfully threading the needle between the approachable neighbourhood hangout and the sort of spot you can count on to knock Dad’s birthday celebration out of the park. It’s very evidently a restaurant put together by people who know what they’re doing.
If you’re unfamiliar with the whole project, let me refer you to the text of their official opening press release:
The latest high-profile project for Gooseneck Hospitality — the Vancouver-based team behind Wildebeest, Lucky Taco, Bells and Whistles and the original Bufala that includes respected restaurateurs James Iranzad, Josh Pape and Nick Miller — Bufala Edgemont brings the same charm and feel of the original Bufala that opened on Vancouver’s West Side in 2014, but offers an expanded menu of rustic Italian comfort food served up family-style and intended for sharing.
Open at 4 p.m. during weekdays and from 11:30 a.m. on the weekends with early and late happy hours seven days a week and lunch and weekend brunch services to follow, Bufala Edgemont’s menu includes a range of Starters, Salads and Mains such as Peace Country lamb shank (red wine, rosemary mushroom risotto) and heritage flatiron steak (7oz. Alberta beef, peperonata, polenta). The kitchen also showcases a variety of made-from-scratch Pizzas such as bone marrow (roasted bone marrow, mozzarella, parsley, lemon, bianco) and caponata (eggplant, treviso, burnt orange, fried capers, marinara), as well as Pasta dishes like sagne e pezze (kale, ‘nduja sausage, bagna cauda) and pappardelle (duck ragu, chestnuts, sage, pumpkin seeds).
The Bufala Edgemont bar menu includes an extensive list of Old- and New-World wine available by the glass and bottle, a mix of classic and contemporary cocktails, local craft beer on tap, amaro and grappa and a housemade rosemary limoncello in addition to espresso-based beverages, mocktails and non-alcoholic drinks.
The Bufala Edgemont décor scheme was designed by studio CM’s Andrea Greenway and Ella Kane (Bauhaus, Dalina), who took their cues from Italian modernism and films like The Graduate and Rear Window to inject a sense of warmth, familiarity and nostalgia to the space with walnut tones, soft metals, racked concrete walls, checkerboard floors and custom lighting.
Congrats, Edgemont Village — any neighbourhood would be lucky to have a restaurant that you can feel comfortable taking a date to, taking kids to, catching the game at, feasting with friends, sitting at a chef’s table, chilling at the bar, eating pizza, drinking good beer, sipping good wine, experimenting with pasta combinations you’ve never heard of (eg. pappardelle with smoked ham hock with caraway), et cetera. The new Bufala – a slightly more formal and more capable version of the family-friendly original on West Boulevard – pulls it off with ease.
Take a closer look…