2011 has been officially dubbed by many experts of the Wichita dining scene as the year of the Italian restaurant. After years of lacking many solid options for people to get their carb and tomato sauce fix, almost overnight Wichita had just added 4 new Italian places. Bocconcini was one of the first to open, taking over the vacant Sugar Sister’s location at Central and Oliver. They were an instant hit and actually had to close for several days to streamline their operation due to the high demand.
The day we stopped by was no different, as we had to wait about 15 minutes for a table for 5 to open up and unfortunately there are not many large tables. If you have a party over 4 I would highly recommend getting a reservation or you run the risk of getting stuck in the queue for a bit. The dining area is largely unchanged from the Sugar Sister era although a 4 seat bar has been built and it seems more tables have been added to the open dining room, which can create some noise issues if you are there during a busy dinner or lunch crowd.
The menu offers all your favorite Italian dishes from homemade TR(toasted ravioli of course) to chicken alfredo, but also has some more unique dishes including a salmon sandwich and homemade seasonal ravioli. There were many dishes that caught my eye, but one dish in particular took my breath away, the Pork Saltimbocca. There was no way I could pass up a “thin sliced pork tenderloin wrapped with prosciutto”. Mmmmm pork wrapped in more pork. Steph decided to try the seasonal ravioli, which at this time of year happened to be filled with winter squash and served with a light white sauce with zucchini.
My dish was a delightful plate of salty goodness. The pork was tender and although a bit overcooked it was wrapped in prosciutto so I wasn’t complaining. Served with polenta and a marsala sauce it was good stuff. Steph really enjoyed her ravioli dish, so much so that I barely got a sample. You could certainly tell that the ravioli was homemade. I was also able to sample some of the home fries that my sister had ordered. Booconcini’s fries consist of large chunks of roasted potato that are drizzled with a garlicky olive oil. The are certainly worth a try.
Overall we enjoyed our visit to Bocconcini, although I would have liked a side salad or perhaps some garlic toast to come with my pork dish to add a bit more food for the price. This is probably not the best place to take a large family, but is good if you are looking for a nice “upscalish” option for lunch or dinner. The menu is top notch and offers alternate options to the old tired Italian dishes.
Note: Unlike some Italian places there is no never ending bread basket at Bocconcini, so if you are expecting that keep going go to Olive Garden.
Just in case you were struggling with Bocconcini’s name here is the pronunciation and translation: boh-kohn-CHEE-nee, which means small bites. Bocconcini are also small nuggets of fresh mozzarella cheese. Mmmm nuggets of cheese.