Posted by - 03 April 2011 - 1 Comment

Bocca di Lupo, Soho (taken from the blog archive)

Before Polpo et al Bocca di Lupo was the place all bloggers and restaurant critics were singing praises about.  Despite the abundance of newcomers  on the chic casual dining scene over the last few years, it's still celebrated by some as one of the hottest tables in London for it's fresh and well executed regional Italian menu.  The following blog post is taken from a visit to the restaurant in August 2009.

The menu is divided into small and large plates for sharing, although you could order small dish as a starter and large plate as a main, but where would the fun be in that, especially when the menu is bursting with a vista of dishes that you may not have ever encountered before.  "Tripe with guanciale, chilli & tomato" anyone?

When the AB, DTreed, Monibonsoir and I arrive at Bocca di Lupo we are quickly shown to our table, which is a good thing as there really isn't any where to wait.  We're seated at the back, amongst a cluster of tables, positioned so close together that you have to breathe in to squeese pass to get to the table.

Once we'd negotiated our way to our table, we're immediately distracted by what everyone around us is eating.  It all looks and smells so good.  A look at the menu and there are lots of dishes that we want to try that it takes us a bit of time to decide what we want to eat. 

The menu is divided into different styles of cooking and types of food including 'crudi' cured meats, and 'fritti' fried foods.   

Grilled hand-dived scallops
To start we order a selection of small plates.  Highlights included the scallops grilled and served in the shell.  They were plump and sweet and I could have easily eaten the whole plate.  All the dishes are reasonably priced at £5.50, apart from the scallops which were priced per shell.

Fritto di mare: fried prawns, squid and orange
Crescentini with finocchiona, speck and squacquerone cheese
For our main we shared the tagliata of grilled rib of beef served with rocket & rosemary (£24.50) and a side of spinach with garlic & chilli (£6.50).  The beef was perfectly cooked, but if I had to do it all again, I would recommend ordering something lighter as it left little room for dessert.

Tagliata of grilled rib of beef with parmesan
The desserts received mixed feedback.  The cannoli which you fill with ricotta sprinkled with chocolate; ice-cream brioche sandwich and chocolate filled donut all got the thumbs up, while the pig's blood and chocolate pudding chosen by the 'I'm trying to be adventurous' AB was most definitely the least popular of the four.

Cannoli with ricotto and chocolate
Brioche sandwich of hazelnut, pistachio and chestnut gelati
Fried donut with chocolate
Pig's blood and chocolate pudding with sourdough bread

Verdict:  Bocca di Lupo is one of the most popular restaurants in Soho and it's not hard to see why.  This is not your run-of-the-mill Italian and you won't find spag bol or lasagne on this menu.  Eating here is like taking a culinary tour of Italy, althought there you'll find some unexpect combincations there are also some reassuringly familar parings.  It won't be for everyone's taste but you won't know if you don't try it.  Just make sure you book well in advance.

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

Your pictures are really tempting!

you said that: " Bocca di Lupo is one of the most popular restaurants in Soho and it's not hard to see why."

I can't wait to visit Bocca di Lupo. great post!Buy Desserts

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