Bocca di Lupo is another restaurant that I’ve long wanted to try, having made great use of chef Jacob Kennedys book, The Geometry of Pasta. And, yes, it is another Italian restaurant but there is a little difference; it specialises in “the obscure and delicious highlights of food and wine from all across Italy’s twenty regions” making what they can themselves, particularly bread, pasta and ice cream. Anything else is carefully sourced from Italy.
I arrived early for my lunch date with the kitchen boy and was informed that as we’d booked online then we would be seated at the bar, which was, initially, a little disappointing but actually gave me a bird’s eye view of the pass, which I love. However, this often results in a lack of conversation as I’m too busy watching what’s going on around me to concentrate on the kitchen boy!
The staff were most attentive and helpful and bought us a glass of something bubbly while we looked over the menu. Everything on the menu can be ordered either as a small sharing plate or as a main sized portion, apart from things in the “Fritti” section of the menu which are all small mouthfuls. And from which, the deep-fried olive stuffed with pork and veal, was very, very good and served as a perfect appetiser with the bubbles.
We decided to go for five small plates, so that we could try more things, and I couldn’t help but feel that the waiter thought us slightly over ambitious, or maybe just plain greedy? They also had a good selection of wine that could be ordered by the glass or small carafe; perfect for such menus.
The first dish to arrive was the radish, celeriac, pomegranate and pecorino salad with truffle dressing. I thought this was one of the most delicious things I’d ever eaten, mostly because of the truffle dressing, but the kitchen boy didn’t share my enthusiasm and thought it ok.
Next came the risotto with fresh porcini mushrooms, which was also delicious and the flavour of the mushroom sang out loud and clear, whilst the rice was soft and creamy but perfectly al dente.
This was followed by two meaty dishes; spicy sausage made at Bocca di Lupo and ox cheek braised with chocolate and spices. The sausage was good, served very simply grilled, and definitely spicy! The ox cheek was also very tasty, the beefy meatiness bought out by the almost imperceptible, but still there, hint of chocolate. We also had some grilled peppers, which were a little too charred and, therefore, disappointing.
Despite the waiter’s fears I was able to order a small pudding from the dessert menu and went for something charmingly named “grandfathers balls”! And rather lovely balls they were too! Little fried ricotta dumplings with chocolate and cinnamon; a very nice end to the meal with a coffee. I can also vouch for the ice creams, having already sampled quite a few of the different flavours on previous occasions. In fact, just opposite the restaurant they have opened a gelateria, cleverly named Gelupo, which is dedicated solely to their delicious ice cream.
So, another delicious meal in a restaurant I can heartily recommend. Typical regional Italian food in a very smart setting. In fact, to borrow from the website, “despite the buzzy feel and glamorous surroundings, we are a family business, a small and humble trattoria at heart.” This does indeed ring true.