Sunday, 9 February 2014

REVIEW: Bocca Di Lupo, Archer Street, Soho

Perhaps one of the most raved about restaurants since it opened has been Bocca Di Lupo. Critics and bloggers have been talking about its heavenly dishes, and others accusing it of being over hyped. Personally it’s a bit of both after my experience at the restaurant. Bocca Di Lupo focuses on Italy cuisine from across all of the countries regions. It’s all very simple, stripped back with a focus on high quality ingredients, which with some careful cooking, speak for themselves.


We struggled to get a reservation at Bocca Di Lupo, but after some grovelling, the reservations assistant squeezed us in at the bar, which we weren't to happy about. After a few elbow nudges I discovered we actually had the best seat in the house, right in front of the grill and a great chance to see all the cooking and chaos between the chefs. It was great fun.


After ordering a delicious glass of Valpolicella and went straight in to our meal with some light nibbles. Fritti romani, which can be ordered singular, were all very simple, but a highlight to our meal. Deep fried sage leaves filled with anchovy were extremely moorish. Deep fried olives stuffed with minced pork and veal were even more addictive and buffalo mozzarella bocconcini was a messy ball of heaven. If you weren't quite up to an Italian feast, then wine and nibbles here couldn't get any better.


When it comes to making, and cooking pasta Bocca Di Lupo have it perfected. Any pasta dish containing sage is always lifted to some heavenly state. It has such an amazing smell and flavour it can transform even the most humble dishes. Here it was in the form of ravioli stuffed with ricotta and drizzled with a sage butter. The pasta was cooked unbelievably well, and was soft but also had a nice bite.


Romanesco cauliflower as a side was a very wise choice indeed. Served cold (which i wasn’t expecting) it was soft, crumbly, well flavoured and covered in lashings of top quality shaved parmesan cheese.  This dish was deceptively good and something which for lunch, is both healthy(ish), light and absolutely delicious. I love that Bocca Di Luppo change their menu practically every week, the only downside is if you love a dish, it’s gone - at least for a while anyway.

The food is all about sharing here, talking with your friends (or loved ones), and drinking delicious wines. While eating all these Italian inspired dishes you can quickly forget which country you’re still in - the food does have a charming, rustic edge to it. BYO wine is common in most restaurants, but here they have BYO truffle (during truffle season) - a fantastic idea, just not a cheap one.


A homemade napoli sausage was very good, though perhaps not outstanding. Its accompaniment of some gorgeous pearl barley soaked in olive oil and deeply flavoured stock was good. This dish may look small, but it was incredibly filling and again of course, made for sharing (or not).


Dessert was an easy choice. Homemade profiteroles which had a lovely light texture and smothered in dark chocolate sauce. Inside each profiteroles were a pistachio, vanilla and coffee ice cream, which they sell across the road, over at Gelupo. It was very all very tasty, and simple.

After dining at Bocca Di Lupo we carried on our evening into Soho for a night, which i hope to forget soon. For meeting friends, or taking out a date, this may be the perfect place. Its laid back, informal, has a great atmosphere and is all about simple food using the best ingredients possible. For wine and a few snacks i wouldn't hesitate to come back, but for a evening meal, it didn't quite excite me enough.

7/10

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