Bocconcino Mayfair is a luxury Italian restaurant that first started its journey nine years ago. With almost a decade of serving one of the city's most affluent postcodes under its belt (think celebrities and people with lots of expendable cash), the team decided 2023 was the year to expand into another one of London's most popular areas. Heading down on a wet and windy October evening where the promise of Christmas hangs in the unlit Christmas lights on Oxford Street, I had high hopes for Bocconcino Soho's handmade pasta, focaccia cocktails and dare I say: their vibes.
Similar to their Mayfair establishment, the interiors at Bocconcino were glossy and made you feel like you were somewhere where gorgeous people with shiny hair go. Marble-topped tables were set with Bocconcino-branded plates and gold-hued lighting created a buzzy ambience. The crappy weather and my soggy leather jacket was pretty much forgotten about the second I was seated, and I found myself effortlessly leaning into that light-hearted Italian-way of living.
Two bodies now at the table (my ex-colleague was late) and gawping out of the way, we weren’t long ordering from the man in charge. His name was Gianni; he wore heavy black-rimmed glasses and came with a seductive Italian accent that roped us into ordering six plates (not that it took much convincing). While the open-kitchen was heating oil in pans and wondering why two people would order so much food, we sipped from the Ligurian Coast Echo (£13) that’s made with focaccia-infused Cazcabel Blanco Tequila, pineapple cordial, fresh bergamot juice, and rosemary syrup and Umbrian Forest Whispers (£13) that's stirred with prosciutto-infused Woodford Reserve whiskey, honeydew melon shrub, and two dashes of Peychaud's Bitters that's fat-washed with porcini mushrooms. Refreshing and balanced well, the signature serves got us off on the right foot.
Drinks and chat flowing, it wasn't long until our eyes sparkled into a moon-sized ball of gooey burrata with ripe baby plum tomatoes and pesto (£10); fatty slices of parma ham with a deep-fried cheese pastry (£10); and a trio of fresh, raw tuna, salmon and yellowtail (£13). Plates cleared and vast nods of improvement from both sides of the table, we sat back with two full-bodied glasses of wine. The wine list here is extensive so we took advantage of Gianna’s knowledge and repeated what we had ordered for our main courses, letting his experience do the rest.
To reiterate: Bocconcino has a whole host of options on the menu; from meat and seafood to wood fired pizza - but for the mains we were all about the handmade pasta that’s plastered all over their socials. In two heavily decorated, deep bowls came tagliolini with pistachio pesto and red Sicilian prawns (£34) and linguine with Scottish lobster and cherry tomatoes (£42). The linguine was al dente in a light sauce that let the flavour of the lobster sit above the dish. We also ordered the cicchetti pappardelle with wild mushrooms and stracciatella cheese (£14). This ended up being our favourite pasta plate. Thick ribbons of soft pasta were smothered in a creamy sauce, topped with rich, melted cheese. We made the mistake of eating our way through the other bowls before twisting our forks into the modest bowl that sat between us.
Full but repeating the mantra ‘there’s always room for dessert’, myself and Tom ordered our seventh and eighth dish of the night. When asking one of the team what the cheesecake (£11) was like, we had a non-sarcastic response that went something a little like ‘triangular with passionfruit sauce’. Needless to say I was sold. Needing no explanation or description for the tiramisù al bicchiere (£12), we ended our meal on a delicious note and with a completely new found respect for cheesecake descriptions.
The DesignMyNight Digest
I booked in a trip to Bocconcino Soho just a few weeks after it opened which meant the new speakeasy bar, Sotto, hadn't launched yet. If there was ever an excuse to return for more plates of pappardelle and to hear the sweet dulcet tones of Gianni, this is most certainly it. Lining up a new restaurant in a new part of town is a scary - and that's without even mentioning what's going on with the economy - but I think this new addition to one of my favourite parts of town adds value, especially with the dash of luxury you can feel from the overall dining experience. If you're after a new restaurant to try, this place should be your next 'book now' moment.
💰 The damage: £192 for dinner and drinks.
📍 The location: 59 Great Marlborough Street,, W1F 7JY.
👌 Perfect for: a luxury experience revolving around handmade pasta, cheese and delicious wine.
⭐ Need to know: Keep an eye out for the opening of their new secret speakeasy bar, Sotto.