My cousin Craftgirl and her son Marky Mark were in London for a flying visit from the homeland, Newfoundland, this week so Tootsie and I met up with them at a stylish Italian restaurant in Soho for supper before they headed off to the West End to see some theatre. I did my research and found Bocca di Lupo, in easy walking distance to the Wyndham’s Theatre, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wyndham’s_Theatre , where they were going to see “Relatively Speaking”, and smack dab in the middle of Soho’s red light district, where fabulous delis and cafes rub shoulders with strip clubs and “adult” bookstores. Bocca di Lupo had a slew of great reviews and had an early sitting to accommodate theatre-goers, so Bob’s Your Uncle, as they say over here.
Tootsie and I were a little early so, after admiring the tastefully chic décor (all beige walls, dark wood panelling, handsome leather chairs, very good paintings, and a shows-stopping modern chandelier), we compensated by dipping into the extensive drinks list, with me choosing a cocktail of martino rosso, prosecco and, umm, something else, and Tootsie opting for a cocktail of prosecco and, ohh, I forget. It was pink. They were very good.
Craftgirl and Marky Mark arrived and we hmmmed and hawed over the menu full of intriguing offerings. I chose the manzo di pozza beef carpaccio with shaved pecorino cheese and rocket (a lovely flavourful dish which got my taste buds jumping), followed by tagliatelle with girolle mushrooms, garlic and parsley — which was perfection — the pasta cooked just al dente and the mushrooms firm and meaty. Tootsie had the same thing with a salad and we were very happy with our choice.
Craftgirl ordered the lobster risotto with a salad, which she said was scrumptious, and Marky Mark started off with a lamb chop with sweetbreads, peach and honey mustard, followed by the trofie pasta with pesto Genovese, green beans and potato. We washed it all down with an earthy Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2012. Very very pleasant food indeed.
We made sure to save some room for dessert, and I had the pudding of chocolate, coffee, and caramel sauce…
…which was almost fudgy in its consistency and full of chocolately flavour, and the others tucked into some delicious home-made gelati (Bocca di Lupo has a gelati shop across the road called Gelupo). Then we paid up and had a brisk walk through Soho, getting them to their theatre in the nick of time for their show.
Then… it was still early. So Tootsie suggested we drop into our favourite Leicester Square wine bar The Cork and Bottle, a subterranean treasure tucked behind an innocuous door and rarely found by tourists. It’s been there forever, and has a décor which has evolved over years of adding on without taking away. Just the kind of place to wile away an evening (or a lazy afternoon) over wine and nibbles, far beneath the crowds of Leicester Square.
We chose a carafe of chilly white (Tootsie chose and I neglectfully forgot to ask her what she selected, being caught up in taking photos of the interior)….
…and we had a great natter, deciding to have a sisters’ night out in London once a month from now on. Watch out London, here we come!
Bocca di Lupo, 12 Archer Street, London W1D 7BB, Tel: +44 (0) 207 734 2223, www.boccadilupo.com
Gelupo, 7 Archer Street, London W1D 7AU, Tel: + 44 (0) 207 287 5555, www.gelupo.com
The Cork and Bottle, 44-46 Cranbourn Street, London WC2H 7AN, Tel: +44 (0) 207 734 7807, www.thecorkandbottle.co.uk