Situated in the heart of Mayfair on one of London’s most prestigious streets, and in earshot of The Ritz, Bocconcino Pizzeria opened its doors last December following an extensive refurbishment of the office block which once stood on the same site.
Greeted by a large wooden front door and decorative windows, guests enter this Italian restaurant via a suspended walkway which is followed by a descent on the magnificent spiral staircase to the tables awaiting below. It’s not a large space in the open basement, (they do around 90-100 covers in an evening, and there is more seating at ground level), although a clever use of mirrors and light fixtures makes for an airy and cozy setting. Diners are therefore sat quite close together, but there is never any sense of intrusion. There is also a large bar nicely lit by suspended decorative light bulbs which are another nice touch – there was clearly a lot of thought that had gone into the recent renovation.
Considering that the Bocconcino Pizzeria is located within one of the Capital’s most desirable postcodes, the menu is very reasonably priced. This means that Bocconcino Pizzeria literally caters for a number of different audiences during the day and night which are namely tourists, business people and members of the nearby Russian community.
For the entrées, there is plenty to choose from, which makes deciding what to have pretty difficult. The only way that we could truly satisfy our taste buds was to share a couple of starters. These came in the form of thinly sliced and delicate tuna carpaccio garnished with salad leaves, and a bowl of burrata perched on a bed of diced courgette and fresh tomato, decorated with a light coating of basil pesto. Both were simply divine and proved to be a great opener to the meal.
Come the mains, and there is once again a huge selection which includes wood-fired pizzas, homemade pasta, seafood, red meat and fish, although surprisingly, there are not many sides available to accompany them. We settled on the latter, continuing on from where we had previously left off. It’s not usually my first choice when it comes to fish, but the tuna from the “Secondi Dalla Cucina” section of the menu proved too good to resist. Joined by a bottle of Barbera 1212 red wine from the Lombardia region of Italy, as well as crispy and perfectly cooked deep fried chips, the two pieces of medium to well-done fillet were artistically placed on a mélange of sweet peppers and black olives, and disappeared with absolute ease and very little hesitation.
The pan-fried Dover Sole on the bone finished with capers and a light sauce caught the eye of my companion, and it was equally a hit thanks to a soft and moist flesh that duly lifted off of the bone without any effort… Bocconcino Pizzeria had so far not put a foot wrong.
With my sweet tooth a well-known weakness, a dessert was too much to resist, although I could have opted for the highly-tempting cheeseboard. Top of my list when eating Italian is tiramisu, and that is exactly what I headed straight for, and the result did not disappoint thanks to a generous portion which oozed with strong cocoa and coffee flavours. My guest decided on the New York-style Cheesecake with passion fruit compote which was equally as impressive and nicely presented.
Everything that we had digested at Bocconcino Pizzeria had been brilliantly prepared, and this superb meal was aptly rounded off with a pot of fresh mint tea, enough to cleanse the palate before heading home fully satisfied. If you are after great Italian food in London coupled with excellent service and a welcoming and laid-back atmosphere, then Bocconcino Pizzeria is certainly the place to be.
To make a reservation at Bocconcino Pizzeria, visit www.bocconcinorestaurant.co.uk