Small plates, small plates everywhere. Yes sure, they’re great when you want to dip a fork into someone else’s plate to sample something, but not so fantastic when with colleagues or mere acquaintances and a ‘bite’ means you’ve wiped out half the plate. So when you head somewhere like an Italian trattoria focussing on small plates, you can’t help but be dubious about how this sharing eating etiquette will work out.
Bocca di Lupo is a bit more sensible, the menu has small & large versions of everything so you can share in a far more civilised fashion, should the notion take you. And even better for sharing, round tables, may seem like only a minor detail, but round tables were made for sharing and for groups of people to take in a meal together.
There are 5 of us and we’re hungry so we attack the menu with gusto and order well, everything. One of us is vegetarian, another one pregnant and the staff are exceedingly helpful, pointing out which dishes can be amended to be vege friendly, which ones can be slightly more cooked to apply to pregnancy standards and which ones they’ll do split portions of.
Oh we order up a veritable feast. We order lightly battered and zingy calamari, rosamarina – toast with a chilli fish spread (they’re not joking about the spicy element here), blood orange salad and artichocke leaves. The fish spread has a serious zing to it, the artichokes are beyond moorish and the blood orange salad is fresh and zesty and works beautifully with the greasier elements of the calamari and artichoke.
This lot has only whetted the appetite and there are another hefty round of plates to come, this time in the larger portion, masquerading as main portions. The food doesn’t seem like much, arriving as it does on these little plates, but I’m soon proved wrong, because they pack a punch. The carbohydrates food group of Risotto & Ravioli is silkily, impossibly rich and these are something you really need to share, if you expect to have any space remaining to try anything else. The sea bream is fresh and feels almost like you’re having a salad, no mean feat, given the cacophany of flavours dancing around your mouth and the lamb is juicy.
The bone-in sirloin is large enough for the whole table to have sizeable portions of and they’ve even whisked away the rare portion to cook up a bit more for pregnant lady.
To my great regret, we had to hightail it out before we had time for dessert, which I’m still a bit bitter about, as I had my eye on the profiteroles with different flavoured fillings.
But I guess that gives me a very good reason to come back one day, with a whole lotta friends, all the better for ordering up those not so small, small plates with.