Tucked in a side street of Soho, is the most perfect little slice of Italy in London, Bocca Di Lupo restaurant with Gelupo, their gelato shop opposite, is the oasis of aperitivo, marble decked out bar and booths for tucking into some divine regional Italian dishes.
Unfortunately, I think Italian restaurants get a bum deal, that most people, myself included, think that as the dishes are simple that they have become weeknight staples to be cooked at home quickly after work, and when faced with restaurant eating out options not seen as sexy and flashy as other world cuisines. But Bocca Di Lupo is the poster child of showing how with incredibly fresh produce and skill, attentive cooking, what refined and standout dishes, you simply can’t make at home and should be trying when eating out.
Bocca Di Lupo has been on my visit list for a while and was excited to visit for the first time with my mum. I took the day off work to take her to the George Micheal exhibit at Christie’s, with her (and me) being a big fan of his and to see his art collection before being auditioned to continue his charity work.
With George’s songs still in our ears, we hopped up to our seats at the impressive long marble bar, with a view of the chefs hard at work, creating dishes in front of our eyes. I loved how the menu was set out that you could select to have the dishes, either as a small or larger plate, creating your own type of dining experience. We went for a collection of small plates and enjoy that they came out in their own turn, so not overwhelmed with dishes at once and could quite rightly savour each dish.
Fried Artichokes – As my mum and I are big artichoke fans, we had never tried them deep fried, so this dish was a must. Crispy petal shards, peeling and nibbling until reaching the meltingly tender heart. Like any artichoke dish, really you need to get stuck in with your fingers. Was a standout dish for us.
Mozzarella Bocconcini – You can’t go wrong with ordering fried cheese. With a crisp golden shell and oozing centre. With Summer drinks, many of these morsels would happily be polished off. Did not last long at all.
Smoked Ricotta with Grilled Peas in the Pod – A beautiful celebration of the freshness of Spring. The creaminess of the ricotta with the light smoke, offset with the sweet charred pods. Was wonderful scooped and heaped onto the fresh bread to make sure every smokey crumb of cheese was captured.
Tortellini with Pork, Proscuitto, Asparagus and Cream – The most perfect little parcels of joy. Al dente spears of asparagus nestled between the tortellini, filled with fine and flavoursome meat filling. The cream offered a light sauce, that lightly coated but not drown the pasta or flavours, whilst with the parmesan top to make a still decadent dish.
Lamp Chops with Crumbs and Chilli – Beautifully, pink and tender in the middle of the chop, with the chilli adding a gentle heat to the crumb crust. You can’t be ladylike when eating chops, as at one point you just need to pick them up and gnaw on, to get every little bit of flavoursome meat.
Blood Orange Salad with Fresh Oregano and Red Onion – To go with the lamb, this salad was a burst of citrus to cut through the richness of the lamb. Tender sweet red onion shards with the plump floral blood oranges and love the savouriness of the oregano. Simple but my new favourite salad combination of flavours and textures.
Grilled Langoustines with Lemon and Oil – Plump split langoustines tails, with the smoke of the grill, lashings of fresh lemon juice, fishing out the sweet meat and lip-smackingly delicious. Taste of the ocean and great dish to end the savoury part of the meal.
Espresso Gelato – After all the dishes tried, a pick me up was definitely needed. I couldn’t visit and not order a gelato. This was actually a milk free gelato and not sure of what witchcraft they performed to make it as smooth and creamy as a full-fat cream gelato. Also, a firm favourite is their pistachio gelato, one taste and you’re transported to Florence outside the Duomo.
I can’t wait to return again, would love to go with a big group and try out their private dining room downstairs, but that might be more out of greed to try more dishes.
Bocca Di Lupo
12 Archer St, Soho, London W1D 7BB
Tel: 020 7734 2223
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