Bocconcino in Mayfair: Traditional Italian with a stylish contemporary twist
There are two elements that remain impressed in the diner’s mind after paying a visit to Bocconcino: the sleek interior design and the tasty ingredients used in the kitchen. Chef Marco Corsica is at the helm of this stylish Italian restaurant in the heart of Mayfair. The flowery entrance reveals a vast space inside, the lower level of which features a rustic wood fire. Moving straight past the wine display opposite the staircase, we are introduced to a more intimate setting, with a small olive tree taking centre stage in the middle of the room. The polished wooden furniture and the soft beige tones create a comfortable atmosphere, partially clashing with the background music, which gives off more contemporary vibes.
The menu offers a complete culinary journey: from veggie and charcuterie starters to rich pasta dishes, meat and fish-based courses – not to mention a good list of pizzas and finally, a whole page dedicated to the desserts.
We begin with a fresh Andria burrata on a bed of juicy red tomatoes with splashes of pesto. The sauce melts onto the other elements, making it a lavish antipasto. The slightly soft flatbread landing on our table warm from the oven is a match made in heaven. Despite their staggering size, the courgette flowers rather let us down: the heavy dose of flour doesn’t find a proper balance with the small pieces of scamorza and the chunks of anchovies. If you have never tasted this recipe, it is still worth a try.
To accompany our meal, a Sicilian white is served. The Vitese Grillo, fresh and crisp, is pleasing paired with the plates so far.
Still undecided when it comes to the mains, we welcome a suggestion from the front-of-house team. From the pasta selection, their choice is a relatively new entry: homemade malfatti with creamed courgette and black truffle. This type of gnocchi are renowned for their thick consistency, and the velvety filling intensifies the mushy feeling. The truffle shavings are generous on the top.
Our second course ranks among our recommendations. The grilled calamari, with just about the right amount of spice, doesn’t need any extras to enable the diner to relish the succulent meat. Tender inside, nicely roasted on the outside, each tentacle is an exquisite series of bites to enjoy.
To conclude our dinner, we can’t leave without trying the tiramisù. The biscuit, made in house, is indeed the most savoury layer of the pudding. Considering how big a coffee-lover this reviewer can be, its unfortunate that the copious amount of the dark drink renders the dessert a bit too runny – a more solid texture found only in spoonfuls of the whipped mascarpone cheese. The homemade Sicilian cannoli would be our favourite pick. The solid pastry encloses the ricotta-based cream, gratifyingly topped with pistachio ice cream.
Fresh, fine produce and an excellent fish selection are the winning factors of Bocconcino. The recipes remain traditional, with a slight contemporary twist. The splendid interior and the cosy atmosphere makes this a delightful Italian oasis in the most grandiose district of central London.
★★★★★Food ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Drinks ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Service ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮
Photos: Maria Barrios
To book a table at Bocconcino, Bocconcino 19 Berkeley Street London W1J 8ED, call 020 7499 4510 or visit their website here.