CALGARY — Buffo — the newest restaurant by Oliver & Bonacini Hospitality (O&B) — has opened at Saks Fifth Avenue at Calgary’s CF Chinook Centre.
The 158-seat restaurant’s culinary vision is driven by O&B corporate executive chef Anthony Walsh, chef Paul Brans (O&B), chef Ryan O’Flynn (The Guild, Sub Rosa, Hudson) and chef Michel Nop (Foreign Concept). Buffo’s menu is designed to celebrate the simplicity and generosity of Italian cooking with a selection of pizzas, handmade pastas and local meats and seafood. Offerings include porchetta with fried capers and parmigiana-reggiano ($9.50); albacore tuna confit bruschetta with soft cannellini beans and lemon confit ($10.75); pesce pizza with puttanesca sauce, octopus, clams, bottarga, calamari, capers and basil ($22.50); and Swiss chard-and-ricotta ravioli with pancetta, lemon and pine nuts ($23.25).
Overseeing the front-of-house team and Buffo’s cocktail program is Julien Lavoie, O&B’s director of Restaurant Operations for Alberta. Paying homage to all things Italian, Buffo’s robust wine list spans from Veneto to Tuscany and offers plenty of well-priced wines by the glass. In addition to a diverse cocktail selection, Buffo also serves a curated Negroni menu, featuring five distinct takes on the Italian classic.
The nearly 5,000-sq.-ft. space was designed by Reggie Andrade and Alexandra Stoewner of Dialog Design. It features a bold red, blue and green colour palette, with marble and brass accents. The contemporary and comfortable atmosphere is seasoned with quirky artwork and playful touches throughout. In addition to the main dining room and bar, the restaurant also boasts two private dining rooms for events of up to 65 guests (48 seated).