Al Boccon Di’Vino is Non Solo Vino

It’s taken us seven years to get to this small Italian restaurant in Richmond Surrey, in part because of its long waiting list. Run by Riccardo a characterful Italian it was an experience well worth waiting for.

Eating at this restaurant is a bit like turning up for a party at an Italian house where you don’t know anyone but a few glasses of vino and you are having the time of your life. They have no menu, you just turn up and are fed. When we went we started with melt in the mouth smoked beef on toast. Then came out platefuls of Parma ham, bruschetta, rocket salad and roasted vegetables. The Parma ham was quite possibly the best I have tasted. Once the dishes were cleared away next came the fish courses. A scallop and then prawns in a bisque. If you still had room after than then a whole suckling pig was paraded through the restaurant to applause. Extremely tender it was then served with delicious mashed potato. The hostess Simona, not Italian but in every way like an Italian mamma, trying to feed everyone up with second helpings. After all of that we just about managed to find room for a panacotta with deliciously sweet strawberries in syrup.

The food is not refined but it is tasty and plentiful. It’s probably not the place to go for fussy eaters or those who wish to maintain a British like distance from their fellow diners but it is well worth a try.

Cost: Currently £50 a head plus wine at £30 a bottle.

Booking: Essential