Two minutes earlier we'd been forced to abandon ship at Spuntino where the apathy of the staff left us sitting at the bar with no food and no drink, and us growing more and more frustrated. The minute we walked through the door at Bocca di Lupo however, we were greeted with genuine warmth and it instantly made the world of difference to our mood. Time to enjoy our second attempt at lunch.
The first difficulty at Bocca di Lupo is deciding what to eat, plates can be small or large and there's a choice of around 30 dishes (excluding desserts where there are another 14 options). There is also a menu of 'one dish meals' for those in more of a hurry and everything sounded good.
While deciding, the kitchen kindly offered a plate of 'nettle and borage pansotti with walnut sauce'. It was excellent, pasta just right, excellent use of walnuts and great flavours in each and every component.
We had been recommended the 'shaved radish, celeriac & pecorino salad with pomegranates & truffle oil' by both a friend and the staff. No let down here, huge flavour, great texture, bursts of freshness with the pomegranates and the truffle oil packing an enormous punch. For all that, the dish never lost balance and was shared round the table and enjoyed by all.
We also ordered 'tripe with guanciale, chilli & tomato', and while I wasn't personally in the mood for tripe, it was judged by those who ate it to be perfectly cooked and an overall fantastic plate, dish of the day even. The final starter plate (small size but still seeming pretty large) moved the table in the direction of pork where we would stay for the rest of the savouries. The starter was 'Tortiglioni all'Amatricana (tubular pasta, pig cheek bacon, tomato and pecorino)'. The pasta was again first class but the crispy pig cheek was divine, crisped to perfection.
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