Situated on Berkeley Street in the heart of Mayfair, Bocconcino has set out its stall in style.
Doors down from salubrious stalwart Nobu, a seriously impressive blond wood door is your first indication that chic is the order of the day. And that’s part of the game plan.
Genuine Italian food in salubrious surroundings may sound easy. But it’s surprisingly difficult to pull off without leaving your customer with the feeling they may as well have gone to one of our most popular upper-mid range pizza outfits.
I’m happy to report that Bocconcino rises to the occasion.
I took David. We were long overdue a catch up, and launched straight into an almost constant stream of chatter, but not without taking in our elegant surroundings. Glitzy without bling, grand without being ostentatious, intimate yet encompassing, Bocconcino would be a brilliant match for whatever the occasion.
The extremely well-trained staff mastered the delicate dance between attentive, discreet, polite and absent with such skill that they were a joy to be around. Service was personal, with no pressure to place our order.
The menu is extensive without being detached from detail. Pizzas are a speciality – their Pizza Parma (tomato sauce, mozzarella, Parma ham), Diavola (tomato sauce, mozzarella, spicy salame) and Pizza con il tartufo (mozzarella, black truffle shavings, truffle oil) being the most popular – but we were in the mood to mix things up.
David chose Piedmont-style veal to start – delicate slices of tender veal with a tuna sauce. Studded with caper-berries, it looked a picture, and tasted like a dream.
My carpaccio made me want to kiss it – the best carpaccio has no need for excessive seasoning – and this was the best.
We had chosen drinks from the short, but well thought-out cocktail menu. A slight niggle was that my Elderflower Spritz was more cucumber-ish spritz..but either way it was refreshing and welcome.
As David and I broke down the past two months into gossipy chunks, our mains arrived. David was awestruck at his wild boar ragu tagliatelle. He’d never had it before but pronounced that it had been pitched just right, with chunky shreds of meat gilding a sumptuous tagliatelle lily. A definite ‘will have again’.
I had chosen the lobster linguine and, although I felt that the sauce could have had a little more spark, the lobster was dense and meaty and the presentation was excellent.
So satiated was I with my delightful two courses, I regretfully had to pass on dessert, but took particular pleasure in watching David wolf down his Creme Brulee.
I took the opportunity to talk to Victoria Paltina, Bocconcino’s diligent Events Manager who told me
‘I personally have been working at Bocconcino since before we actually opened, so it has been great to see how our team was building, and how everyone has a possibility to grow within a restaurant, as for example two of our head waitresses have been recently promoted to managers.
In Bocconcino most of the team are Italian, so it’s definitely never boring and everyday is full of laughter.’
Happy staff, fabulous food, beautiful yet intimate surroundings…Bocconcino may be new, but there’s heart in this place that can’t easily be matched.
Bocconcino|19 Berkeley Street | Mayfair | London |W1J 8ED
Monday – Saturday 12.00pm – 11.30pm
Sunday 12pm – 10.30pm (& Bank Holidays)
General Enquiries T: 0207 499 4510