There are several things you’ll notice immediately when you enter Bossi, a polished Italian restaurant on Auckland’s Commerce Street.
The chic, sage green barstools. The marble counter. The plush booths. The floor’s large, diamond-shaped tiles and the striking, modern chandeliers. But take a few steps further into the space and you’ll be struck by something else: the two-metre-high framed black-and-white photo of a smiling Italian woman in an elegant ’40s dress.
Seeming to preside over everything from behind the bar, this is Nonna Irma, the inspiration behind Bossi.
It's a luxe sibling for Deli di Bossi – the sandwich bar and deli next door in the same Pacifica building.
As with the deli, Bossi’s polished interiors are by Ctrl Space. Downstairs is light and airy with high ceilings and a gigantic wine fridge that’s nearly as tall, whereas upstairs is more intimate.
The menu is based on owner Jenna Carter’s family recipes, but there are also plenty of items that lend themselves to sharing and snacking rather than just a hearty Italian meal.
Excellent smaller dishes include baby calamari ripieni – tiny squid stuffed with a mix of pancetta, garlic, lemon and Italian parsley (flanked by a sublime chunk of house-baked focaccia). There’s a salumi board (chef’s choice from Deli di Bossi) and pesce crudo slathered with chilli, capers, lime, Italian parsley and caper sauce.
On the larger side, there’s lasagne, veal saltimbocca, scampi mascarpone risotto and many other classics – all elevated with modern twists. There's even a dedicated vegan menu.
There’s a banger cocktail list, and the wine list has been carefully curated by master sommelier Cameron Douglas.
When it comes to desserts, even the ladyfingers in the tiramisu are made from scratch. The limoncello baba is a sponge soaked in limoncello and served with gelato, berries and coulis. There are some especially traditional Italian touches, such as the sbrisolona – an almond crumble with Vin Santo (dessert wine) for dipping.
Phone: No phone
Gift the experience of Australia's
best restaurants, cafes and bars