Pieces of treasure at Bocca di Lupo
Finally made it to Bocca di Lupo for lunch a couple of weeks ago. We turned up on speck one sunday and managed to grab a couple of seats at the bar – and enjoyed an italian feast…
They call the bar the “chef’s counter” at BdL – it’s certainly the place to be to see the variety of dishes on offer. Having decided that a glass of prosecco was the way to start (and ordering a bottle) we then settled to examine the dishes on offer. Our friendly waitress suggested we share around 6-7 plates between the two of us and persuaded us that the radish & celeriac salad was an excellent choice. After some to-ing and fro-ing we made our choices and relaxed as our food was prepared.
While we waited we enjoyed some bread and olives – both delicious. First of our dished to be served was the aforementioned radish & celeriac salad (with pomegranates, pecorino romano and truffle oil) and fried squid, prawns, aubergine and blood orange. The radish & celeriac salad was indeed fantastic – the combination of flavours on a single plate just awesome! The fried squid and prawns were almost as fantastic, mixed with the orange flavour made for another great combination.
Next up was parmesan risotto with black truffle and spinach & ricotta malfatti with butter and sage. The risotto was rich yet light and so creamy and smothered in shavings of black truffle – yum. With ingredients and cooking this good we were really enjoying lunch but the risotto and pasta were so filling (and delicious) we did wonder just how we would cope with the remaining dishes we had ordered…
Finally we were presented with veal tongue, cotechino (home-made & cured boiling sausage), peara (bread & bone marrow ‘polenta’) and home-candied mostarda & salsa verde, closely followed by luganega deluxe (thin pork & foie gras sausage with nutmeg, cinnamon and clove) and cime di rapa with garlic & chilli. We struggled initially with the veal tongue dish, the tongue appearing and tasting rather uninspiring. But when I finally tried everything on the plate at once I understood why the dish had been put together in that way – and M soon agreed. The luganega was very tasty and the cime di rapa provided some refreshing and welcome greenery.
Although we were quite stuffed at this point, dessert could not be ignored. So after resting a while we made our selection. M went for the lucky dip bon bons – four chocolate coated scoops of gelato… the surprise being you do not know what flavours of gelato you might get. I could not resist ordering the sanguinaccio – a sweet pate of pig’s blood and chocolate. Not having any idea what dessert wine might accompany such a dish I sought advice and our ever friendly waitress (having checked with sommelier) came back with a suggestion of a passito di pantelleria Ben Rye (a moscato).
Dessert arrived and M was just a little disappointed with her choice, simply because the chocolate coating was such a strong (good) flavour she found it difficult to determine the flavours of the gelato. The sanguinaccio was served with more of the delicious bread and was a fine choice – not too sweet, very smooth and rich and extremely chocolatey. The passito was a great accompaniment – more plaudits to the staff.
Everything about BdL was relaxed – we were there for around 3 hours and just did not notice the time. The staff were all welcoming and friendly and keen to help. We eyed dishes being served to fellow diners quite jealously at times – I have to return soon to try the scottadito (grilled lamb chops) which looked amazing and brought a contented smile to the face of everyone who had them.