There’s nothing more delicious than a well prepared meal, and at Boccini you’re guaranteed to get exactly that. With our minds set on having a good hearty meal, we made our way to Boccini at The Avenues to indulge in their unique take on modern Italian cuisine. Their beautifully reimagined space, with stunning light fixtures and typography-adorned wall, makes for a stylishly cool space. Looking past the décor, you get wafts of freshly prepared pastas and the unmistakable aroma of a wood fire oven with baking pizzas – our ears and eyes were tantalized and we were more than were ready to eat. Flipping through their menu, we knew that we were going to be in good hands. Every creation is fantastically curated to exude an air of contemporary elegance and finesse, mixed with some Italian spices and beautifully finished with cheese.
After we were seated by Boccini’s friendly staff, our food started to make its way to us. To start us off, we went with their wonderful Burrata Salad – fresh burrata, grilled asparagus, leafy greens and a thick slice of juicy tomato topped off with a basil pistachio vinaigrette and balsamic glaze. As for their appetizers, we went with two – the Fried Tortellini and the Boccini Nachos (the house special). The Fried Tortellini was gloriously stuffed with succulently spiced braised short rib and chili beef mix and topped with cheese sauce and finished with barbecue aioli and a drop of Sriracha. Every bite brought new flavor profiles that enhanced the experience further. As for the Boccini Nachos – if you’ve never had them, we suggest you drop everything and make your way to Boccini NOW! Unlike traditional nachos, the Boccini Nachos are created from towering triangles of fried, fluffy pasta dough amid layers of cheese, tomatoes, olives, onions and finished with Parmesan cheese sauce, pistachio pesto and an Italian spice mix.
Having demolished our salad and starters, we couldn’t wait to see what else they had prepared for us! For our mains, we got two kinds of pasta, a risotto dish and a pizza – we knew we were in for a treat. Our first main was the Chicken Porcini Penne and it was delectable! The penne, topped with a porcini mushroom cream sauce, is mixed beautifully with basil chicken, porcini mushrooms and fried portobello mushrooms then finished with a generous helping of shaved parmesan. Wonderfully balanced, the flavors complimented one another brilliantly. The next pasta dish came in the form of a Spicy Shrimp Fettuccini: The pasta, mixed in a spicy pepper cream sauce is adorned with perfectly cooked shrimp, cherry tomatoes and fresh basil then sprinkled with parmesan. This pasta dish had the perfect amount of heat and came packed with zest.
But the real kicker here was the risotto – the Vioccini Risotto. The vibrant, violet risotto is topped with their very own house-smoked mozzarella, chicken, mushroom, asparagus and finished with a beautiful dill foam and parmesan. Molecular gastronomy, vivacious colors and knockout flavors combine to create this beautifully presented dish – and the taste, spectacular! Our final main came in the form of a not-so-Italian pizza, the Chicago Style Pizza. Served in a deeper-than-deep pan with more cheese than you can imagine, this pizza is not for the faint of heart. To start, the crust is fluffy and the edges rise to the top of the pan, then the layers are as such: tangy pizza sauce, magnificent cheese, more sauce and more cheese and – you get the picture. Baked to perfection, this pizza requires proper maneuvering to get the slice from pan to plate with minimal cheese loss.
As our meal came to an end, we had to try one of their desserts – after all, we had already cheated on our diets, so what’s the harm in ending the meal on a sweet note. We flipped through the menu, contemplating which dessert to pick. While they have a sinfully delicious tiramisu, we opted to try something new: The Dulce De Leche Brownie Pan. Let’s just start by saying that we were jumping with joy when we were presented by it! Perfectly accompanying our coffee, this wonderful creation combines a dulce de leche coconut sponge with a chocolate brownie. It is then smothered in caramel and topped with coconut, hazelnuts and pecans is finished with superbly toasted marshmallows and lotus biscuits. Make sure to dig right in to get the full experience – although the flavors are extremely palatable as a whole or on their own. And with the last toasted marshmallow, our splendid meal came to an end, but we know that we’ll be coming back for more!
Boccini is located at SoKu – The Avenues. For more information, call 2220 0669, and follow them on Instagram @boccinikw.