Blogging about food hasn’t changed the way I eat food. How I eat food dictates which restaurants I like and which ones I don’t! It was Saturday night at Bocca Di Lupo when I realized this. Bocca Di Lupo made me feel at home. I was in a cocoon of love. I was in an Italian’s house! And everything about it felt right! The staff were all smiles and though the same smiles showed a slight tiredness as the busy Sat night progressed the smiles still carried the same intention which was to make you feel both wanted and welcomed, earnestly.
For someone who likes to be looked after, who enjoys being pampered, who appreciates attention to detail Bocca Di Lupo can feel like your only haven and finding it, experiencing it can leave you feeling quite overwhelmed! I do not exaggerate but whether you believe me or not you must go. Go with a loved one, go with someone on your wavelength, go solo if that’s your preference in experiencing such loveliness!
There is something old about Bocca Di Lupo even though the setting is quite modernly designed. After some reflection I discovered that the sense of time I was feeling was down to the food and how it was presented. The menu sites the different parts of Italy in which each dish came from or was founded. Normally when I eat Italian food I’m unaware of its exact origins within Italy. But deciding what to eat from a menu which sited the origin of each dish for some reason reinforced the age of the recipes for Bocca Di Lupo’s food and in turn transported me back in time to appreciate the hands of the first woman or man who would have rolled out the pasta for the tortellini I was going to eat that night. It all felt very enlightening and thus the night started off with a sense of fulfillment before a morsel of food was even eaten!
We started with a round of small plates and a glass of white wine each before moving onto the meatier part of the evening accompanied by some pretty exceptional red wine.
I had a wonderfully floral robust white wine which after drinking left some fruity notes linger on my palate. Basil went for a very interesting sauvignon blanc which tasted fruity and finished with just the slight bit of crispness! Premium wines to say the least.
Our first small plate was the Tortellini of prosciutto and mortadella with cream and nutmeg – region Emilia. Incredible dish! Simple, creamy, comforting, chewy, soft distinct flavours, definitely plate of the night for me. Have never tasted tortellini so good!
Our third small plate was the Fritti. Fried squid, red prawns, aubergine and lemon – region Campania. A surprisingly refreshing dish. Not overly seasoned like so many other Fritti. Each ingredient was allowed to stand alone for you to really enjoy its actual taste as opposed to just fried salt! Fried lemon was a first for me and had a way of making your tummy feel incredibly light after consuming it! A splendid dish to finish our first course on.
Upon the Sommelier’s recommendation we went for the slightly expensive but worth it carafe of Nebbiolo, 2006,
Aldo Conterno, Piemonte. Light and earthy it tasted mature beyond its age just like the Sommelier promised! A real pleasure to drink and the perfect accompaniment to the game we had ordered.
Partridge arrived with cheek bacon and wet polenta and oh how beautifully sweet the polenta was! The partridge delicate but tough at the same time. Juicy, meaty with tender, subtle flavours. And the cheek bacon had serious serious flavour! Sweet as honey! I could have gobbled down a whole cheek!
Cimi di rapa with garlic and chilli – region Campania made an interesting side dish. This sounds odd but it brought an element of hydration to the plate as I suppose a lot of supper green veggies do! Its flavour wasn’t a million miles away from that of asparagus except more intense!
To finish of our second course was the Finferli (girolle mushrooms) and parmesan risotto – region Lombardia. Mouth-watering!! The texture of the risotto was supreme and the mushrooms tasted of pure luxury! An indulgent note to finish our second course on!
Dessert was SENSATIONAL! I am a big big gelato fan and eater and nothing could have outdone my Gelato cup bonet – amaretti soaked in rum, bonet gelato, salted caramel gelato and espresso syrup. Oh good god it was heavenly!! Creamy, textured, chocolatey chocolatey chocolatey! The salted caramel was yummy yummy yummy! All I could do was sit silently and indulge guilt free! Mama Mia!!! Dessert of my lifetime!! And I don’t speak… well in this case type those words lightly! And in fact in this case I type very heavily as it excites me just remembering the happiness I felt as the gelato oozed through me!
Basil opted for a lighter dish as he was feeling quite full! However all I can do here is show you a picture as I didn’t care to taste anything less than my own Gelato Cup Bonet!! Blood Orange Granita with almonds and mint – region Scilia
I didn’t want the night to end! I want to go back as soon as I can except this time treat myself to double of everything! Tasting is not enough at Bocca Di Lupo. You must eat with gusto verging on greediness! And that is how I like to eat! With gusto and a supreme amount of greed! Just give me the food and leave me to ravage it!
Bocca Di Lupo – 10/10
Views from the bar where we sat;