Restaurant review: Bocca cucina and bar

Restaurant Review: Bocca

Looking for one of the most authentic Cacio e Pepe dishes in NYC? We have you covered in our new restaurant review featuring Bocca Cucina & Bar!

Restaurant Review Cacio e pepe

The owner of Bocca, Alessandro,

wanted to highlight the unavoidable Roman classics like homemade pasta pappardelle al ragù di agnello and Cacio e pepe rolled in the wheel of Roman Pecorino cheese. But with classics come innovations, and he designed a menu with items that reinvent the Italian cuisine with modern and current trends. Stating in line with the seasons, Alessandro made this an important factor for Bocca to stand out from all other Italian restaurants in the city.

The place?

Bocca Cucina & Bar is a quaint yet lively Italian restaurant owned by Alessandro Passante, who wants to offer his customers the most beautiful experience and best Italian food. Once you step inside you forget about the hustle and bustle of the busy streets of NYC, and you enter a restaurant you know will welcome you like a family, and feed you like you’re at your grandmothers. Regulars are sitting at the bar with friends, and families are enjoying an authentic week night meal. Alessandro of course welcomed us with open arms and a menu we could not forget, and we spent an evening eating and eating some more, to discover one of the best Cacio e Pepe pasta’s in the city.

Facade of restaurant

The food?

The star of the starters was something you would not typically think would be a combo. You may know and eat cauliflower in many different forms, however at Bocca, they created their special Italian version of it: the cauliflower Cacio e Pepe with truffles. The cauliflower was perfectly cooked al dente. The sauce was a creamy heaven. The truffle was present but not overpowering. The dish was interesting but unforgettable. Not one piece was left on the plate.

Alessandro brought us a multitude of antipasti (if the cauliflower wasn’t enough!) Each dish had authentic Italian flavors and we couldn’t decide if the fried zucchini flower stuffed with ricotta or the saffron arancini with smoked mozzarella was better. Accompanying this, we also tried their “Focacce”, Bocca’s revisited pizza that we recommend you share. A dough between pizza and focaccia. A star for the fresh and delicious homemade tomato sauce.

At this point we were stuffed to the brim, but we knew that the highlights of the evening would be coming out at any moment. The waiter came out with a big pecorino cheese wheel where we watched with eyes wide open how he rolled the freshly made tonnarelli pasta in the depth of the cheese wheel.

For those who really like to feel the cheese in their cacio e pepe, this is definitely the way to go, you will taste a real piece of cheese in every bite. As for the homemade fettuccine, the sauce was composed of wild mushrooms swimming in a black truffle sauce. The mushrooms were complemented by an amazing truffle sauce that you could smell from a mile away.

As we expected, we were filled to the brim but could not leave without a sweet touch. The kind bartender saw we needed a pick me up and offered his signature post dinner drink (trust us, ask for it, and you won’t be disappointed.) With this came a sweet chocolate dessert with fresh berries.

We almost rolled out of the restaurant but we do not regret it. We highly recommend stopping by and checking out this wonderful Italian restaurant in the heart of NYC and saying hi to Alessandro, who will welcome you into his family.

Bocca Cucina & Bar also offers festive brunches on Sundays, with a DJ on the turntable and Italian food galore, you won’t be disappointed!