Yeah, so this is a picture of the fun wallpaper in the men’s room at BoccaLupo — that new Inman Park Italian restaurant that has become a magnet for the city’s pasta lovers. We sat on the lovely back patio (a repurposed garage with its doors hoisted open) with a little ambient electric light creeping in from the corners. Easy on the eyes but hard on the iPhone. So, in getting a sense of the food from this post, you’ll have to deal with the 1,000 words, not the picture.
BoccaLupo is the new restaurant from chef Bruce Logue — a native Atlantan and veteran of the kitchen at Babbo in New York – who first caught our attention as the chef at La Pietra Cucina in Midtown. Logue has serious chops as a chef, particularly when he turns his attention to pasta.
Pasta is BoccaLupo’s calling card. Unlike other restaurants that hew to a repertoire of classic recipes and a pantry full of imported ingredients, the cooking here is modern Italian American. The prosciutto is proudly Iowan, while the pastas may contain kimchi or field peas.
We just stopped in for a quick bowl of pasta one evening and found ourselves wanting to order everything on the menu. We really loved an appetizer of Roman fried cauliflower with mint and capers. Lots of toasty little brown bits dance on the plate with the caramelized florets. A special of local produce fashioned into a tangy Greek salad gave that pitch-perfect taste of summer.
Logue has mastered the pasta trifecta; he’s as good with fresh noodles that slip and slide, twirl easily and taste of egg as he is with dried pasta shapes that spring back and absorb the flavors of robust sauces. Then consider his rich stuffed pastas, and you’v got some choices to make.
We opted for two different mushroom pastas — “20 yolk tagliatelle” with wild mushrooms and kale for my lady, and a special of handmade macaroni with chanterelles, corn, thyme and a generous gob of butter for me. I liked it a lot but almost would’ve sold my soul to the calorie gods to try a baked version of this macaroni.
Next time. Or the time after that. I plan on working my way through this menu.
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- by John Kessler for the Food & More blog