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12 Archer Street
020 7734 2223
Sit at the “lovely marble bar” at Bocca di Lupo for a quick refuel or book one of the wooden tables at the back if you have more time: the vibe is the same – busy, buzzy, noisy and fun, with a menu offering some of the very best Italian regional food in London. Although the idea is to share, there are full-size versions of nearly all dishes for diners who don’t like another person’s fork near their plate. The seasons dictate proceedings at Bocca di Lupo, but some items are all-year keepers: delicate sea bream carpaccio, anointed with orange zest and rosemary; unctuous arancini filled with soft cheese and pistachio; wonderfully rich and comforting tagliolini gratinati with prawns and treviso. Also expect simply grilled fresh fish (perfect) and soft slow-cooked specialities such as white polenta with suckling pig ragù. Gelati come from Gelupo (Bocca’s own ice-cream parlour across the road), and we’d recommend them over the restaurant’s more adventurous desserts. There are also some terrific Italian regional wines by the glass or carafe for refreshment.
All reservations are for 2 hours. PLEASE NOTE all bookings for parties of 2 will be at the chef's counter rather than at a table.
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SquareMeal 3 Stars
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Pre and post-theatre dining
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12 Archer Street
020 7734 2223
Piccadilly Circus Tube Station 158m
Leicester Square Tube Station 325m
Lyric Theatre 31m
Apollo Theatre 31m
Mon-Sat 12N-3pm 5.15-11pm Sun 12.15pm-3.30pm 5.15-9.30pm
The Remus Room at Bocca di Lupo is a warm and opulent setting for parties accommodating 12 to 32 seated and up to 45 standing. A wonderful reclaimed teak table provides the centre piece of the dining room, which has a dedicated chef located in an adjacent kitchen, and the food rarely fails to deliver on all its promises.
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 5
Wonderful staff, creative food - it remains a superb restaurant.
Food + drink: 3
I like Italian food, and I like trying new dishes. So I feel I should like Bocca di Lupo more than I do. I've eaten there quite a few times though not in the last 4-5 years as in the meantime I discovered the much lamented Zucca which was superior in almost every respect. Actually I did like its sister Vico every bit as much as BDL ( after its relaunch as a proper restaurant) but then they closed it.
So what offends me about Bocca di Lupo? I love the menu , and when I go I'm filled with anticipation. The problem begins when they serve the food. Some of it is great- and indeed my wife left on Saturday professing to have really enjoyed her 3+ courses. I was so-so. My fried rabbit was dull- not a lot of flavour and what there was resembled chicken, and the accompanying broad beans were close to invisible. I was denied the pasta I'd hoped for because although they said online that the Easter menu was available throughout April , they decided that the green nettle pappardelle should be accompanied by a lamb ragu not the kid goat I'd been anticipating. Pity. the dish was OK, though the pasta wasn't as al dente as I like it. I followed this up by cuttlefish & peas which sounds wonderful -told you I love the menu! But the reality was chewy and not particularly flavoursome cuttlefish and an inedibly large quantity of peas. Meanwhile my wife loved her salted cod starter and lamb main. This is probably a very busy kitchen and I do wonder whether that accounts for some of the variability in food quality I've seen on this and previous visits.
Second, the place confuses me. I don't know whether they're serving sharing plates or courses , whether a large portion of pasta is a main-course worth of a sharing plate for two, and so it goes on. So after several visits I still really have no idea about how much/how many to order . The waiter helped us out by accumulating our order into two three course meals and we were grateful to him for that.
Third the vibe. Too close; a bit noisy, and tables not remotely big enough to have a mix of courses served at once if that's the way you want to go. Its not a place I ever feel really comfortable or relaxed. My wife insists on an early table so we can order and eat at least some of our food before the place gets heaving.
Decent bottle of Corvina. Good bread. Good service. But as I say I don't think this restaurant is ever going to be loved by me. It should be , but at the end of the day the food's just not consistently good enough.
Food + drink: 4
Bocca di Lupo was nice. It has been on my list of restaurants to go for about 2 years so I was very excited to go! (As they change their menu so often I would have only chosen to go at certain times and it is very hard to get a table at short notice) After having read that it is the best Italian in London I had very high expectations as I have eaten a lot of top notch Italian food. I was let down a little bit. While I cannot fault the pasta I had, the fried bocconcini was quite average and didn't come with any sort of sauce. My partners fish in a salt sarcophagus was average and full of small, fine bones and therefore difficult to eat. I like having a kitchen you can see into but the head chef kept yelling numbers and dishes to his staff which was a little bit irritating - I understand it is necessary to instruct your staff however its not what I would choose to listen to at dinner. I don't recall there being any sort of music playing either. I would maybe go back depending on how nice their menu looked, but wont be in any rush.
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