The good tastes of the past, reimagined for a refined present. This is the promise that the good people of Boccini Pizzeria aim to deliver local diners. Located at the Levels restaurant complex in Mahboula, you instantly feel like you’ve stepped into a hearty Italian kitchen that is prepping for a grand feast.
Boccini’s décor is inspired by modern grandeur. You will be impressed by the fashionable lights and the sleek walls adorned with funky typography, yet your eyes will linger a little longer at the serving plates that are formed to resemble handmade clay creations. Toward the end of the restaurant, the wood fire oven will capture your gaze. Then hunger, if in that rare instant you arrive at this establishment feeling only slightly peckish, will suddenly kick in with the rising aromas wafting out of the oven and kitchen. Expect regional Italian flavors alongside your favorite classics, where the pizza is only prepared Neapolitan style and, at the same time, modern palates will rejoice for many contemporary options using classical flavors.
As you feel the opera music playing in the background wash over you, let your eyes glance over the Antipasti selection. We reveled in the wide array of choices, especially the towering Parmigiana Di Melanzane, with layers of parmesan encrusted fried eggplant loaded with both mozzarella and provolone cheese drizzled with a flavorful marinara sauce. We also loved the completely innovative Boccini Nachos. Imagine pasta dough used to make crisp, yet light and fluffy nachos, layered with Parmesan enhanced sauce, basil, onion, and tomatoes, along with pistachio Pesto. This appetizer is also perfect to share amongst friends. If your craving is strictly dough-centric, then you must try the Panzerotti, fried mini calzone filled with beef salami, spicy rosso pesto, herbs and cheese with tomato sauce. As far as the salads are concerned, the options at Boccini are ample, but the Goat’s cheese salad with summer vegetables is a must-try. Prepared with a whole round of baked goat’s cheese, we loved how the warmth of the cheese complemented the grilled vegetables, while the pistachio and honey citrus vinaigrette elevated the salad’s simplistic flavors.
The Pasta Di Casa, or freshly prepared in-house selection of Pasta, is a sight for sore eyes. Taking on the same ethos in preparing authentic Neapolitan pizza, the pasta selections are equally crafted with care. We loved seeing Spinaci Toretellini (Spinach tortellini) and authentically prepared Carbonara on the menu. Still, we ventured toward the unconventional, and opted for the Parppardelle Con Pollo Salsiccia, Funghi E Asparegi, that’s home made, perfectly Al-dente’d Pappardelle pasta with chicken sausage, asparagus, juicy mushrooms and punchy Romano cheese with a spiced, smoked pepper-flavored tomato cream sauce. Not only is this dish extremely filling, it was layer upon layer of flavor. The sauce alone is addictive, and combining cuts of the asparagus with sausage and the pasta was equally enjoyable. At that moment, we wished we had dined at Boccini in a larger group to sample more of their pasta options.
The main attraction at Boccini’s culinary opera is without a doubt their pizza. Prepared Neapolitan style in a wood fire oven, the dough is light, airy, slightly crisped on the outside and a touch soft in the middle. What Boccini has managed to create with that impeccable dough, however, is an admirable feat. Imagine this Neapolitan pizza dough, cut into thin strips, topped with fresh cream cheese and spices, then rolled up into mini spherical bites. Such is the house creation of the Bocconcini Di Pizze. Or, double up on that dough, and order your pizza Spumanty style to enjoy the taste of an authentic pizza pie. Finally, the Foccaccina Di Pizze delivers a thicker crust, almost like a muffin, with a tomato and spicy veal stuffing spilling over the edges of these small pizzas. All in all, you can opt to go traditional and order your Margherita pizza how you regularly prefer it, or you can dare to try something different and try a staggering 5-cheese pizza! We took a culinary leap of faith and tried the Bocconcini Pesto Rosso, complete with a deep and nutty pesto, olive, caper, anchovy, red onion, ricotta and mozzarella cheese filling. Another highlight at Boccini is the selection of infused olive oils that are prepared by their expert chefs. From garlic, lemon and rosemary to chili to aromatic basil, you can pick and choose between the different oils to drizzle atop your choice of pizza or pasta.
There’s something particularly reassuring about Italian desserts. Whether you choose a Tiramisu, a messy banana and Nutella pizza, or you go for fresh fruit with Mascarpone cheese, you simply know that you’re in for a treat if the dessert is executed with precision. At Boccini, the dessert selections are delightful, especially the Panna Cotta, where the vanilla bean flavored pudding is served with an abundant amount of fresh berries, both sweet and tart and topped with a tangy raspberry coulis. Expect to devour this instantly, and also to find it difficult to share this particular dessert with others.
Boccini Pizzeria is located at the Levels restaurant complex in Mahboula. For more information please call 2371 6216 or you can follow them on Instagram @Boccinikw.