Sunday, 27 April 2014

The great Italian feast

Before you read this, I must warn you, as soon as you start to feel like you want to go to this restaurant, book it - book it right now. It is an extremely popular restaurant and you could wait weeks, months to get a table there. And it's really easy to see why.

So first, the details:

Al Boccon di'Vino
Richmond
http://www.nonsolovinoltd.co.uk/

And where do we start?

Firstly, there's no menu. Which as a massively indecisive foodie, this is a dream. Just sit back, a glass of wine in hand, and wait for course after course of deliciously fresh Italian food to be presented in front of you. Now bear in mind, when you sit down you'll probably not find your feet for another five hours. This is for two reasons: one, due to it's huge popularity the seats are back to back and getting up seems like a massive mission, especially when, two, you eat so much you will literally have to roll out of the restaurant when you finally reach course 15!!

Yes, 15 courses... I think. I have never been to an Italian wedding, but I am told that if you do this is what you should expect. From starters of charcuterie, to numerous fish courses, followed by pasta, risotto and then a grand meat course, finished off by something sweet, your taste buds are lured in every direction until you can no longer lift up the fork.

In every mouthful you could taste the time and effort taken to source each of the ingredients. Like the mozzarella, served with an aubergine stack and asparagus. It was like no mozzarella I have ever tasted, so beautifully creamy and basically dissolved in your mouth. Incredible.

I absolutely love scallops, so when a tower of beautifully presented scallops within their shells stood at the centre of our table, my mouth just started to water. All smothered in butter and roe still intact, they were devoured within seconds, slipping down far too easily - I only wished there were more!

So we'd had meats, cheeses, grilled veg and fish - I think it was then at that point that I was starting to feel full, and perhaps could have done without the ravioli and risotto which followed. Both rather bland and not particularly something to write home about, but it was not long until the whole restaurant was presented with whole roasted lamb.

Now even the fullest stomachs in the restaurant were sent into a roaring hunger as the gorgeous smell of the lamb filled the restaurant. Each of us turning around to take a peak at those who were served first. I don't think I can put into words how good the lamb tasted, each bite was so succulent and tender, it just melted in your mouth. My stomach had now resembling a pot bellied pig's, positioned me further away from the table, but still I couldn't help going for more. It was simply irresistible.

A definite hard dish to follow, yet still I managed to find room to try the panna cotta served with a strawberry compote...with a side of chocolate brownies and a pineapple! And it didn't stop there, if you fancied it you could also have coffee and Limoncello, but full to the brim and it being 11pm, I was ready for a taxi home (sized extra large)!
 Obviously all of this does come at a price, and £45 will put many off. With this price though comes delicious food and a great atmosphere, perfect I think for a special occasion with a large group of people - especially with the hassle free no menu and set price (easy for bill splitting too!) That said, I do think that I could have sacrificed some of the dishes for the wine which was priced at £25 a bottle.

It's one Italian that's going to be tough to beat...

Yelly-fi-felly-food-belly x