Sunday, 6 July 2014

It has now become a yearly tradition to mark my brother’s birthday with a special meal at Al Boccon di’Vino in Richmond. The first year, we were completely bewildered to enter this cosy little world where the walls are lined with crates of wine and you’re brusquely told that “you will eat ahhhntipasti, pahhhhhsta, meat and dessert. You choose naahhhh-thing. Except the wine.” And so you choose the wine and then the food comes thick and fast, plate after plate of mouth-watering delights that you realise still constitutes the antipasti portion of the meal. Seating about 40 people, with two daily services – lunch and dinner – this restaurant is an homage to the Venetian wedding feast and is a sparkling gem in the crown of home cooking and fine, seasonal produce; one that I am reluctant to share, lest we not secure a reservation for the same time next year!

This year we ate:

Grilled aubergine, courgette and peppers in a piquant, yet rich, vinaigrette
Wafer thin curls of Serrano ham, salami and wedges of cantaloupe melon
Crisp bruschetta with garlic and tomato
Butterflied paprika prawns
Scallops in their shell, ruthlessly drowned in garlic olive oil
Rocket salad with smoked salmon and prawns
Rolled beef in a thick tomato sauce
Crisp meatball croquettes
Aubergine parmigiana with griddled asparagus

Fettucine carbonara
Ravioli sprinkled with award-winning parmesan

And then after a marathon of starters and primi platti, the chef and his right hand woman parade a whole roasted lamb through the restaurant before serving up steaming portions to each table, on a family-style platter with a bed of soft, rosemary potatoes.

To finish – pannacotta with syrupy strawberries, a startlingly strong espresso and a homemade limoncello digestive.

Al Boccon di'Vino, 14 Red Lion Street, Richmond TW9 1RW
Reservations essential: 0208 940 9060

1 comment:

  1. Wow, this sounds amazing! I've always wanted to try an experience like this - and it sounds delicious!