Bocca di Lupo, Soho

  • DATE #131
  • Written by Kitty Wakeful (Guest Author)
  • 6 years ago
Bocca di Lupo Soho
The absolute dream

The Vibe

Bocca di Lupo means ‘into the mouth of the wolf’ – the ultimate Italian misnomer. For, once you’ve breached the aperture of the haughty hostess standing guard at the entrance, there can be no more caressing, inviting a restaurant. Hot young pairs line the bar, dripping with dosh. Money talks – loudly here – the volume rising to a crescendo around 10.30pm when the custom is released by its corporate captors to run into each other and make merry, in distasteful contrast to the food and the staff who are impeccably turned out. You are transported to a world where everyone’s rich and voluble and delicious. Clutching a coincidental bunch of flowers from a pal and accompanied by a handsome, suited chap in the immediate aftermath of Valentine’s Day, our waiter smelt a special occasion. ‘Champagne!’ he cried. ‘To celebrate!’ And celebrate we did, giddy from our ill-begotten fizzy freebie.

The Order

Champagne, on the tab, if you’re less fortunate than us. Wine from the all-Italian wine list, if you’re less fortunate still. And many small plates to share (or many large ones if MNO). We stuck with the small: rabbit, pearl barley and wild garlic orzotto (£9), giant roasted Jerusalem artichokes (£8), fried courgettes (£6.50), soft shell crab (£9) and sea bream carpaccio (£10.50). If I was a rich man, I’d have pounced on the roast suckling pig that I’d salivated over whilst it was prepared before us but I was thwarted by the £27.50 pricetag.

The Game

Come late and sit at the bar where you can interlace your legs and watch the chefs sweat over the aforementioned assemblage. Last orders are at 11pm. Pretend you don’t notice the glamour surrounding you. The waiters’ friendliness, narrowly avoiding over-attentiveness, makes even the gaukiest date [said in the third person] feel welcome. Book a table at the Experimental Cocktail Club on neighbouring Gerrard St to continue spendthrifting or hit up the New Evaristo Club on Greek St for an equally animated ambiance-cum-welcome financial respite.

The Faults

If you’re not a financier or captain of industry you might be forced to pick one up before confronting the bill – at least if you want to leave without lamenting the suckling pig.

Sex Factor

5. Sandwiched together sharing food enforces intimacy.

P.S Try late night ice-cream joint Gelupo, Bocca’s sister restaurant, for a sweet, if juvenile, end to the evening.

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