Restaurant: Bocconcino Pizzeria
Where is it: Berkeley Street, Mayfair
Opened: December 2014.
The concept: Inspired by Forte dei Marmi, a seaside town in Northern Tuscany, successful Russian restauranteur Michael Gokhner launches his first London venture in the heart of Mayfair.
What kind of food: Authentic wood-fire pizzas, freshly-made pasta dishes, oven-baked meat and fish – typical Italian fare done with finesse.
Who goes: The suits of Berkeley Square have taken it up as a great weekday lunch spot, but come weekends and evenings it’s a great place to grab a dinner before drinks in one of Mayfair’s hottest bars. Visit for an early dinner or a Sunday lunch and the restaurant are very accommodating families too – after all, everyone loves a pizza no matter what their age.
The interiors: Forget paper napkins and tucking into a slice on a rickety old bar stool; Bocconcino is without a doubt London’s poshest pizzeria. As you walk in to the unassuming door the restaurant opens down onto a sweeping, open basement space with an impressive spiral iron staircase. Exposed brickwork, Tom Dixon-inspired pendant lights at the bar and the open kitchen give it a contemporary feel, whilst warm shades of cream, light brown and marble add a sophisticated Italian vibe. Looking for something more intimate? There’s also an upstairs dining room with alcove seating to tuck into your pizza and prosecco in private.
Hero Dishes: The pizzas naturally, but freshly made pasta is worth a try if you’re after something warm and comforting, or the wealth of seafood and fish dishes if you’d prefer something light.
We tried: To start we tried the Tuna Carpaccio - just what you’d want before tucking into a large pizza, as well as the Scottish Beef Carpaccio with tangy mustard dressing. Next up was pizza, naturally, and although there are a wealth of tempting toppings on the menu we went for the simple Margherita. The base was thin, the mozzarella delightfully creamy and the basil and tomato as fresh as can be.
And the drinks: Bocconcino showcases some of Italy’s finest wines from Lombardia to Puglia to Trentino alto Adige. There’s also a strong choice of cocktails – they do a great (and very on-trend) Italian Aperol Spritz.
Our favourite thing about it was: The fact that Bocconcino doesn’t take itself too seriously – it might be Mayfair but it's still pizza.
The Small Print: If you have a sweet tooth the pudding menu could have been a little more tempting, but after all that pizza and pasta we’d forgive you for skipping it all together.