Dani’s Birthday Dinner at Bocca Lupo
Last Wednesday I was drooling on my keyboard all day thinking about the panko crusted eel I would be eating at Hibino later that night to celebrate my friend Dani’s birthday. But alas, Hibino just wasn’t in the cards for us. By the time we rolled up at 7:30, the cute little resto was already full, save for a couple of spots at the bar, which really only works for lone or couple’s dining. So we ended up walking down Henry a bit to Bocca Lupo. I always wondered about this place, so I was sort of glad Hibino was too full to accommodate us.
Bocca Lupo’s menu is very similar to ’inoteca’s (apparently it is most often compared to the original ‘ino, but I think it has more in common with the LES offshoot) – cured meats, a nice selection of cheeses (including La Tur, a delicious blend of cow, sheep and goat’s milk), lots of tasty small plates and assorted types of tramezzini, bruschetta and panini.
I ordered a nice glass of Sangiovese (the wine here is served in stemless glasses, which I like), the roast pork loin with tonnato sauce and sausage, fennel and caramelized onion bruschetta. The roast pork was incredible and not at all what I expected, mainly because sometimes I do not actually pay attention to what I am reading. I pictured a hearty piece of pork loin served hot in a tomato-based sauce. But what I got was much more creative and delicious. The dish was a generous portion of thinly sliced cold pork loin, served with arugula and a tonnato sauce – yes, TUNA, not tomato! Suffice it to say, I thought it was very tasty and couldn’t have been more pleased about the bonus protein.
The sausage and fennel bruschetta was also quite good, but I think the star of the night was the birthday girl’s plate of veal and porcini meatballs. The flavor and consistency were perfect. I really feel that meatballs can turn out a little on the heavy side, but these were lighter than air! I will definitely get these on my next visit. I also want to try the baby lamb chops.