Chris Kelly reviews Al Boccon di'vino, a vibrant Italian restaurant in Richmond that does away with menus for an authentic Venetian dining experience...
I struggle to think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon in December than over a long, slightly boozy lunch somewhere cosy, friendly and where the food is unpretentious but brilliant.
Salubrious Richmond’s Al Boccon di’Vino fits the bill perfectly and offers less a mere Italian restaurant and more an unmissable dining experience. There are no menus, for a fixed price diners instead get treated to a Venetian style banquet; course after course of whatever the chefs feel like cooking.
Go for lunch and expect to be there for a minimum of four hours as dish after delicious dish heads your way in relentless fashion. This latest visit was exceptional with highlights too many to mention but the prosciutto aged for two years in Amarone was a marvel, as were the butterflied prawns in a rich tomato seafood sauce and the huge whole roasted loin of pork.
For the wines, I’ve no idea what the wine list looks like as our large party went with the (rather good) house red. However, given that the walls were covered in very decent stuff; 2007 Tignanello and Barbi Brunello and Amarone from Masi to name just three, the connoisseur won’t be disappointed.
Small, always crowded and with a great buzzing, festive atmosphere this is one of London’s (well technically Surrey’s) great under-the-radar restaurants and a true must for any fan of Italian cuisine.
You’ll wobble away from the table groaning, unable to think about more food and already planning your next visit.
Al Boccon di'vino is located at 14 Red Lion Street, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 1RW.
Visit their website for contact numbers, reviews, photos and more information. Please note they are strictly telephone bookings-only.