Festive feast – and more besides – beckons at top Italian restaurant

If you’re thinking of a treat this Christmas then add Ristorante BoCConi to your list – it’s got something extra special lined up.

On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, a festive menu will be available, one that has been specially created by the famous chef Fulvio Pierangelini. As befits the work of the Italian, the concept is a traditional Italian “feast” but this is a menu that comes very much with a modern twist. The refined set menu is designed to help diners celebrate the festive season in real style.

The Christmas Eve dinner (served from 7pm) includes foie gras scallops, ravioli alla Romana, sea bass (picture below) and, to finish, Castagnaccio with rosemary and thyme ice cream.


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For Christmas Day lunch, starting at noon, the fixed menu includes consommé with traditional tortellini, grilled pork pluma and a desert of red fruits with panettone ice cream.

Each of the carefully-crafted dishes are skilfully matched with a good selection of red, white and desert wines, each one expertly explained by the well-informed and attentive staff. The restaurant’s sommelier has brought all his experience to bear in selecting the best Italian vintages for this festive feast.

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One of the ideas behind the gourmet set menu is to give people, be they couples or families, a chance to give the cooking and washing up a miss this Christmas and treat themselves.

The celebrations are, of course, not restricted to Christmas – on New Year’s Eve,the BoCConi culinary experience (including a delicious Italian dinner with five-course service and fine wine pairing) will also be accompanied by live music.

If the food (and wine) is magical then so is the setting – from December 7 the restaurant will be bedecked with a dazzling, yet subtle, display of sparkling lights. The installation of 1,000 lights has been specially prepared for the season and is the work of Alessi, the renowned Italian design brand.

If that wasn’t enough there’s another festive treat awaiting nearby. The restaurant is part of Hotel Amigo, one of 11 Rocco Forte hotels and resorts worldwide and is just a stone’s throw from the famous Grand Place with its own stunning festive sound and light show. Currently adorning the hotel lobby is a beautiful Christmas tree decorated by Fabienne Delvigne,the famous Belgian designer.

She normally designs hats, headpieces and bags but,this year, has turned her hand to a different creation (if you look closely enough you’ll see one of her trade mark hats at the top of the tree).

As wonderful as the surroundings are (and they are), it is, of course, the cuisine that is the most compelling reason to visit Bocconi and, here, you won’t be disappointed. Diners (residents and non-residents of the hotel) who visit over Christmas can avail themselves of either the special festive menu or the normal (and excellent) a la carte.

If you are a lover of Italian cuisine then for a taste of the real thing you don’t have to venture any further than this place.

Main courses include a nice range of meat, pasta and fried fish and there’s also a fabulous choice of very good Italian wines (served by the glass or bottle).

Everything is lovingly overseen in the kitchen by head chef Igor Rosi who hails from Tuscany and has been skilfully plying his trade at BoCConi for a year now.  The helpful restaurant team includes the very welcoming Giuseppe, who comes from Sicily and has worked here for five years. The service, attentive yet unobtrusive, is a nice match for the fantastic food.

With its subtle lighting and easy-on-the-eye décor the restaurant itself oozes charm and is a great place, amidst the hustle and bustle of the busy streets outside, to relax and enjoy the good things in life.

There’s also a lovely, 20-seat terrace (particularly ideal for the summer) where you can watch the world go by. It is also worth noting that a car valet service is available which, given the fact that the restaurant/hotel is right at the heart of the city, is a real plus.

There’s plenty of other reasons to visit such as the festive afternoon teas, starting at 3pm and 5.30pm daily, and, for guests wishing to stay during the Christmas/New Year period the hotel is offering a festive break which includes an overnight stay in a classic room, a festive welcome cocktail at Bar Amigo, breakfast and an informative booklet with all the city’s winter activities.

The restaurant is almost fully booked for New Year’s Eve but there are some places still left for 24 and 25 December so the message is: Don’t delay, book today!