I believe they’re still in business, in one way or another.
I would be hesitant to supply any of their restaurants, and I stopped dining at them around the time that article came out . The 2 men that started the company grew up in the resto business, they know exactly what they’re doing. They’re running Myth in the former Brant House space. They also tend to have many partners in the various restaurants they run. At one point, Brant House had over 6 co-owners.
There are still several Buca’s (and other survivors of the whole debacle). I assume they are paying cash for supplies.
The new Cucina Buca has several items previously featured on the original Buca menus, and they seem comparable to me. The service was also pretty good - but then these are probably new hires anyway.
The food was certainly good enough to bring me back - except the tables for two are situated along the St. Clair street side and the entrance is perpendicular to those. This means that every time the door opens a blast of cold air sweeps through the restaurant. I had to put my coat on before any food arrived.
They do have an upstairs, so if dining for 1 or 2 I recommend asking for an upstairs table.
I thought La Banane showed the best in the group PRIOR to the apocalypse. Even though nearly all the staff seemed new, and certainly the chef departed, the menu is still quite similar and the resurrected dishes are still good. I only tried one one dish I didn’t recognise, and that was the weakest dish.
Their aligot potatoes are still the best I’ve had ANYWHERE (including France).
As far as I remember, the 2 partners started with The Myth that had been located on the Danforth (when it had nouvelle Greek food, maybe until 2003 or 2004- I have a Joanne Kates review book they gave it a positive review) , where Louis Cifer is now, then they opened Wild Indigo on College, and Caché on King W, before Brant House and Brassaii.
I am not sure which restaurants their parents had run.
If I remember right, they went to East York Collegiate Institute with Rob Gentile.