Mon-Thu, 11:30am-midnight; Fri, 11:30am-2am; Sat, 10:30am-2am; Sun, 10:30am-midnight
F, G at Bergen St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Not everything about Bocca Lupo is reminiscent of 'ino. The space, for one, with its plate-glass windows and long bar, is larger and more expansive. The menu, too. Owner Jeff Lederman has retained the estimable services of Kenny Tufo, a well-versed chef-about-town who last worked at Maremma to supplement the sandwiches with nightly specials and tasty small plates. We sensed his presence at Bocca Lupo when we saw vestiges of Maremma—the norcino, or butcher-style pork ragù, and the mint panna cotta—on the menu, and when we tasted an utterly delicious panzanella-salad special of shreds of vinegar-moistened bread scattered with capers and onions and nestled on a layer of perfectly ripe sliced heirloom tomatoes. At its heart, Bocca Lupo stays true to the Italian-sandwich tradition, starting with sourcing top-notch ingredients and assembling them with care. The menu comprises the holy trinity of this type of establishment: pressed panini (most of them cut into quarters for easy sharing), tramezzini (those delicate Venetian tea sandwiches, served here on crustless Il Forno bread), and small, hors d’oeuvre–ish bruschetta. Tufo's kitchen resists the gluttonous all-American impulse to overstuff, a particular menace to the minimalist art of Italian sandwich making. His are perfect finger food, sparingly filled with sharp complementary flavors like mortadella, pickled onion, and pecorino, or brunch's truffled egg salad. For the panini, airy ciabatta is grilled to an almost crisp, melding tasty roasted chicken, tomato, and Asiago, say, or the more pungent sweet sausage, broccoli rabe, and Taleggio. The "P.L.T." (pancetta, arugula, roasted tomato, lemon aïoli) is a panino tweak on 'ino's brilliant tramezzino version, and a good one.Ideal Meal
Veal-and-porcini meatballs, "P.L.T." panino