A Table in the corner: Boccon di Vino, a Divine Mouthful

Boccon di Vino
With my limited Italian, I was scratching my head wondering what a Boccon could be – a flask, a carafe? And found out it’s a play on al boccon di’vino which means a “divine mouthful”. The vino part first caught my eye as I love wine and never have a meal without it. Luckily, Boccon di Vino features Italian wines as I am a little tired of the mostly Mexican and Chilean wines on offer in Vallarta. Re: the former, I do like L.A. Cetto (founded by an Italian, I might add!) but I do think Chilean wines somewhat overrated and when I visited Chile I was very surprised to see how little wine drinking was going on, they export most of what they produce and prefer drinking pisco sours and the like.
So order a Tuscan chardonnay or Sicilian shiraz and then wade into the menu. First off, their carpaccio is terrific and they also have an octopus variation. I also like the Portobello mushroom with goat cheese. There’s bruschetta and very nice cozze – mussels in white wine. Then on to the big guns or, in this case, big pastas. Spaghetti variations are vongole (with clams and Pinot Grigio), tried and true Bolognese, a la Scoglio (an assortment of seafood) and of course da Spaghetti wid-a meat-a balls-a, staple of every red and white checked tablecloth/candle in the chianti bottle Italian joint. They’ve three sorts of ravioli – I like the Ravioli Sophia Loren stuffed with ricotta and spinach. “Oh Sophia” as the Italian song goes. And let’s not forget good old gnocchi, penne and fettucccine! I am partial to baked pasta dishes, they do not have my absolute favorite, cannelloni, but they do have lasagna and the first dish I ever had here was the baked eggplant parmigiana. I was on an eggplant parmigiana kick at the time and theirs is delectable. PV seems very fond of risotto and they’ve got two renditions of it. It stars in the frutti di mare – a really hearty dish, chocabloc full of mussels, squid, octopus and shrimp. Last time I had the veal piccata, the sauce was delicious but the veal could have been a bit tenderer.
Dessert-wise, I’m pretty sure I ordered panna cotta here once, but last time I went they didn’t have it so I had a fantastic passion fruit ice cream – delizioso! As is their terrific walnut/fig one. I am a little disappointed by the tiramisu, it is too light, and I prefer mine somewhat denser with a bit more amaretto in it.
Boccon di Vino has a lovely homey feel, they’ve two courtyards in the back, rather eccentrically decorated with assorted platters, empty wine bottles on the walls and photos of la bella Italia circa 1950 all interspersed with plastic bunches of grapes and other accoutrements ubiquitous to Italian trattorias. Service is extremely friendly (we do enjoy Silvia who has been there for years) and the mostly Italian sound track tailored to quiet conversation while you linger over an Italian digestif such as sambuca or limoncello. Who doesn’t like an Italian restaurant, a theory of mine is that it’s because pronouncing Italian is so pleasant – say Valpolicella three times and see! Andiamo e mangia!