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12 Archer St. (Soho)
(44) 020-7734-2223 | www.boccadilupo.com
HOURSMon.-Sat.: 12:30pm-3:00pm, 5:30pm-12:00am; Pre-theatre Menu: Mon.-Sat.: 5:30pm-7:00pm
BEST FORLunch; dinner; pre-theater dining
PRICE (APPETIZER; ENTRÉE)GBP 5-8; GBP 12-26
FAMOUS PLATESSpaghetti with lobster, mussels, and ginger; crisp fried artichokes; burnt almond granita with bitter chocolate sorbet
DRINKS AND WINEGood value all-Italian wine list; well-made cocktails
# OF SEATS50-100
PRIVATE ROOM AVAILABLE?Yes
TUBEPiccadilly Circus; Leicester Square
With an intense focus on food authenticity, Bocca di Lupo trades in handcrafted, rustic Italian dishes that continually rack up food critic accolades for their tastes-like-Italy quality. The frequently changing menu focuses on highlights of regional cuisines (the region of origin is even ever-so-scrupulously listed beside each dish), and those seated at the counter can often even watch them being freshly prepared. The décor is light and airy, with warm terracotta tones throughout, terrazzo in the dining room, a marble-topped counter, and simple settings on the tables (nary a starched white cloth in sight). The long, narrow room is buzzing with movement and filled with to-die-for smells.
A mix of professionals, ultra-foodies, and pre-theater diners
WHAT WE WOULD WEAR
Though technically casual, it’s pretty sophisticated–try black pants, flats, and a chic top.
GO HERE WITH
A date, friends, or colleagues. Counter seating makes it a fine solo choice.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The food is really, really good, and the prices are reasonable for cuisine of this caliber. We like watching the action in the open kitchen, too.
WHAT WE WOULD CHANGE
The seating is pretty limited–more space would be nice.
GOOD TO KNOW
The dining room is lovely, but the seats at the counter in front of the chef have the best views in the house. Note that all counter seating is called “kitchen view” even, though some seats only overlook the bar, so be clear about where you want to sit when you book (we didn’t know this and ended up waiting an extra 30 min. to get a “real” view of the action). Space is tight, so if you’re coming for table service, don’t bring more than three or four companions, and if you’re planning on sitting at the counter, bring one or two, max.
Read more about Bocca di Lupo in The Diary
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