This was a Saturday night dinner on a whim. Having missed my flight because of tight planning and delayed connections I suddenly had one extra night in London. Somehow I felt for having Italian and the name Bocca Di Lupo (mouth of the wolf) popped up in my mind. Making dinner plans on a late Saturday afternoon for the very same evening is risky business in London if you aim for a popular place. Naturally the restaurant was fully booked when I called but the receptionist told me they usually keep a few seats on the bar for walk-ins early in the evening. Without hesitation we went there at seven knowing that there are plenty of options in Soho if the plan would fail.
Upon entering you feel the buzz around the long bar with people eating and waiting for tables. Further in is an open kitchen. We were seated fairly quickly at the bar to join the other diners.
I don’t know if the sight of Bambi in the menu (see above) helps sales but it’s a nice touch that all dishes has a region in Italy assigned to it. It gave the impression of the care for provenance.
We started the meal with a selection of cold cuts. I can’t remember exactly what they all were but I remember the middle one was a type of blood sausage with pistachio which was my favourite.
Not much to say about this straightforward plate of winter greens Castelfranco/Tardivo topped with hazelnuts and balsamic vinegar. The balsamic vinegar was thick and added richness to the dish.
My friend had a plate of juicy grilled chicken from the Easter menu. I had Peposo Toscana, ox cheeks braised in tomato and (a lot of) black pepper. The ox cheeks were very flavourful and had a sharp sting from the black pepper which went very well with the spicy Italian wine we had that I forgot the name of. The pepper was however a bit too much towards the end. It’s a kind of dish I would prefer to share before the palate gets tired of the flavours, especially if there is one dominant ingredient (in this case the black pepper). Nevertheless a very nice dish but be prepared for a lot of black pepper!
I was quite full towards the end of the meal so I decided to round it off with a small Chocolate & Marzipan ball filled with rum and raisins.
It was a very busy Saturday night at Bocca Di Lupo. The atmosphere around the bar was cheerful. I sometimes prefer sitting in front of the chef/bartender and see the action rather than in front of diners, especially on a weekend. I would say that the food was very good and the service was alright in general but a bit lacking towards the end of the meal. We had to ask for the bill several times before we finally could pay and leave. I will come back and maybe find out how the Bambi taste like.
For more photos from Bocca Di Lupo, please visit my Flickr set.
Bocca Di Lupo
12 Archer Street
London W1D 7BB
Tel. (+44) 020 7734 2223