T’was the Brex’t of times, t’was the worst of times.
But despite all the chaos and turmoil caused by the EU referendum, this weekend I found myself enjoying the best of Italian hospitality at Bocconcino.
Situated on Berkeley Street (just off Berkeley Square), it’s a restaurant which is ever-so-Mayfair yet incredibly warm and inviting with its exposed brick walls and soft wooden details. I was particularly taken in by the tall mirrors at the entrance, which did much to enhance the spacious feel of the place…
Immediately finding ourselves at home in the relaxed dining area downstairs, my family and I started the evening on a sprightly note with a fresh artichoke salad and cloudy ball of burrata glistening with fresh pesto.
The salad was a tad low on seasoning and could have done with a more punchy dressing, but overall it packed in quite a crunch. While it was the flavourful heap of aubergine served alongside the burrata, which was surprisingly the star of this dish!
As for the mains, pizzas are a signature focus at Bocconcino with a wood-fired oven commanding pride of place…
… However, we weren’t disappointed by our decision to go with pastas instead. Tagliatelle with the finest Italian black truffles was every bit as decadent as it sounds, the earthy richness of the truffles really shining through here.
My often hard-to-please mother loved the soft and buttery spinach and ricotta ravioli too, which was so beautifully enlivened with a hint of sage.
If you’d believe it, this was actually our second evening at Bocconcino in a matter of weeks… We live in the neighbourhood and the restaurant offers much of what we would ask of our local Italian – especially the warm and friendly service. It was an education to chat with the incredibly knowledgable and impassioned wine sommelier Carlo, as well as with the quietly confident man behind the bar, Mariyan.
On Carlo’s suggestion, we whet our whistle with a more offbeat bottle of red wine from a small artisan producer in Campania, before moving on to after-dinner tipples, including an incredibly creative concoction involving marmalade, prosecco, Maraschino cherries and creme de cassis!
Of course, a frosted shot of limencello wasn’t amiss either.
Since mother and I had only recently enjoyed the pleasures of the tiramisu here…
… We rounded things off with exquisitely creamy profiteroles, liberally doused over with hot chocolate sauce!
From the charming ambience and affable service to the fresh and high-quality fare, it was just the evening we needed to take the edge off things.
Bocconcino, 19 Berkeley Street, Mayfair London W1J 8ED
I was invited to review by Bocconcino. As always, all opinions are mine alone.