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Bocconcino Revisited – Mayfair Italian Restaurant:
The last time I visited Bocconcino Italian Restaurant to review it had only just opened. I was impressed – in an area packed with apparently beautiful restaurants that don’t always deliver food warranting the exhorbitant price tag, Bocconcino was an unexpected delight. We feasted. The Italian restaurant delivered an excellent menu of food that somehow combined dishes with real depth of flavour with that ‘comfort factor’ I look for when I am out with friends. And, what’s more for this part of London it was remarkably affordable.
A return visit more than a year later had me excited. I took a friend who works in the City and who regularly eats out in Mayfair. I’m delighted to say that Bocconcino has made it to his own little black book now – and I’m waiting for him to invite me back again. He’s one of those diners who seems to have hollow legs and while I started the meal with an antipasti, he was keen to order a pasta dish.
Gentle reader, I do remember now that we shared the pasta dish on our first visit. This time, he managed the entire bowl of Linguine alla Vongole himself – a classic Italian bowl that he loved and which looked utterly delicious.
Meanwhile, I enjoyed a meltingly soft burratina d’Andria con Pomodori e Pesto – the lightest and creamiest burrata I’ve enjoyed for a while with a beautifully fresh and vibrant pesto and piquant San Marzano style tomatoes.
While my filetto di branzino in crosta di patate (seabass fillet with potatoes, olives and tomato) seemed a little less photogenic, it was a truly delicious and rather unusual dish. Fine mandoline slices of potato were wrapped around the fish to create an edible papilliote with morsels of olives and tomatoes tucked under the wrapping to add contrast. The fish was beautifully cooked and had all the flavour you’d expect from fish cooked en papilliote, while the potatoes were light, crisp and delicately infused with the juices from the fish. I’m really tempted to try recreating this dish at home, it was utterly delicious.
My companion enjoyed a substantial serving of Cotoletta di Vitello alla Milanese (veal Milanese). I was impressed that he finished it – and he was impressed with the cooking. I had a taste of the succulent meat with a crisp breadcrumb coating.
For dessert, he ordered Fragole di Stagione – something I couldn’t eat as it is a mixture of fresh strawberries, meringue and vanilla mousse. It looked pretty and he was suitably impressed.