Looking for fresh Italian fare without spending thousands on a trip to Italy? Named after the titular Roman sculpture of a man's face that, during the Middle Ages, served as a lie detector, La Bocca keeps it fresh without an Italian vacation price tag. A replica of the sculpture welcomes patrons to try an Americanized version of the "lie detector." Just stick their hand inside the rectangular mouth. If you tell a lie, the sculpture will bite it off. Really, it will.
Inside the cavernous, rustic, multi-room space on busy Lincoln Avenue, expect a fine Italian wine selection including Pinot Noir and Chianti Riserva, and a wide variety of the carby goodness that is Italian food. Perfect for a fancier meal before a movie at the next door Davis Theater, La Bocca's menu hits all our favorite Italian eats. Appetizers like the carpaccio ($7.75), an array of sliced raw beef fillet, mushrooms, capers, parmigiano cheese and extra virgin olive oil, and the caprese ($6.50) work whether the temperature is 80 or 80 below.
Expect to spend more than $10 on any given pasta entrée, but don't worry — it's worth it. Main courses cost a bit more, especially if you go for the sogliola alla Mugnaia, a white Dover sole sautéed in extra virgin olive oil. If you'd rather not consume carbs at dinner, we have good news: you can do that at lunch on the weekends.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Alicia Eler