Bocconcino, 19 Berkeley Street, Mayfair

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I had the pleasure of eating at Bocconcino this week. A smart, stylish Italian restaurant in the heart of Mayfair near Green Park tube station. Opposite the Mayfair Hotel, and sandwiched between Nobu and Sexy Fish, it’s in good company, and rightly so! Having previously worked in Mayfair for a few years I was keen to head back for a night in the West End and the dinner didn’t disappoint.

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The restaurant is smart but not stuffy. The décor is impressive and feels special. The waiting staff are (on the whole) Italian, and all are very friendly and welcoming. It’s perfect for a special occasion, a date with your loved one or an intimate family dinner or birthday.

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Head Chef Marco Corsica has an impressive C.V. having previously worked at Cecconi’s, Daphne’s and most recently Marco Pierre White’s Michelin Starred ‘Wheeler’s’ in the City for 3 and a half years before working at Bocconcino for the past 2.  Marco sources some of the best prime ingredients from around the U.K. (with wild fish and meat coming largely from premium Scottish suppliers) and then in the Italian way these are then cooked simply, classically and with love.

The menu is varied with a number of enticing antipasti, salad, pasta and fish/meat starters. There is a wood fired oven for authentic crispy base pizzas as well.

Our friendly and helpful sommelier assisted us in choosing a lovely dry white wine. As we were impressed by the choice and variety of the classic Italian dishes on the menu we decided we were going to eat mainly fish and pasta.

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We started off with the Burratina con melanzane (aubergine) e pesto which was deliciously creamy with sweet roasted aubergines and fresh cherry tomatoes. We also had the Scottish Scallops with cauliflower puree and Bottarga (salted, cured fish roe usually grated to compliment a dish and add seasoning).

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The Scallops were so sweet, tender and gently cooked to perfection. They worked very well with the smooth cauliflower puree and micro herbs. I went back and forth between the wine and the scallops which was heaven.

We then went on to the pastas, which for me, were the stars of the show! The Italian black truffle tagliatelle was unforgettable. Delicately rich, creamy and indulgent. It was also complemented by the dry chilled white wine too which cut through the dish perfectly.

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We also had the Scottish lobster linguine with cherry tomatoes. Perfectly cooked lobster and the pasta (as you would expect) had a slight ‘al dente’ bite, but what I particularly liked was that the sauce had a wonderful taste of the lobster flavour giving the sauce a great depth of flavour. The chefs have clearly worked hard on this and have added some reduced lobster stock which works very well and brings the whole dish together. Both of the pastas were pretty much faultless in my view.

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We had a short break and then ordered a couple more fish dishes for our mains – the seabass fillet with potato crust and the grilled octopus with gratin asparagus.

The seabass was light and delicate with a crispy potato topping with fresh tomatoes to balance the dish.

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The Octopus was cooked very well. Grilled enough so that the outside was ever so slightly crispy/charred but the inside of the tentacles were soft and tender. Full of fantastic fresh fish flavour and complemented with giant asparagus, fresh tomatoes and basil. A wonderfully fresh, clean, summer main course all around.

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To finish we had a glass of dessert wine suggested by our sommelier to accompany a Tiramisu (of course) and a Passionfruit cheese cake. The tiramisu was light and soft and tasted lovely as a slightly creamy and indulgent end to an otherwise pretty healthy and balanced meal. I also had a quick double espresso on the side for an extra pick me up.

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Overall the meal was one of the best Italian dinners I have had outside of Italy and is highly recommended for a special occasion or a business lunch where a bowl of pasta or some fresh fish and a crisp glass of wine would be very welcome at lunch time. We were left very satisfied and content. I’ll be back!

Bocconcino 19 Berkeley St, London W1J 8ED

Website: http://www.bocconcinorestaurant.co.uk/

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