Recommendation:

BoccaLupo
753 Edgewood Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307
404-577-233 | www.facebook.com/boccalupoatl

Few restaurant openings have excited me as much as this one. BoccaLupo’s owner-chef is Bruce Logue, formerly chef at La Pietra Cucina, where he wowed the city with his cooking, inspired by his former employer, New York’s Babbo.  While the fare at La Pietra was expensive, BoccaLupo features a menu of quite reasonably priced antipasti and pastas. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu but the fried lasagna is an amazing novelty. Consider the taglietelle made with 20 egg yolks and mixed with wild mushrooms and ramp greens. Start with the octopus for sure, but also consider the fried vegetables with aioli and bottarga. Everything is super-fresh, local when possible.

“That’s odd,” Lee quipped. “You’re certainly a slurper in the bedroom.”

Robert blushed fiercely as everyone at the table laughed.

The two had finally consummated their relationship after dinner at Canton House two weeks earlier and had since behaved like rabbits on Viagra, usually meeting at Lee’s hotel room.

Lee was in Atlanta with his touring show, “House of Gay Oddities,” which he had set up on Cheshire Bridge Road, partly to irritate supporters of City Council Member Alex Wan’s effort to de-eroticize the road.

Shawtina, the trans-dwarf who was master of ceremonies in Lee’s show, held his glass of wine in the air. “So here’s to love,” he said, “no matter its form, where it appears, or how crazy it makes us.”

“Crazy doesn’t require love in this group,” Janet said, as servers covered the table with noodles, extruded and fresh, from crispy white lasagna to black spaghetti with shrimp and house-made calabrese sausage.

“So,” Robert’s colleague Tim asked, “what are you boys going to do when it comes time for Lee’s show to move on? Love is forever, right? Will you join the show, Robert?”

“I’ll be around for at least six months,” Lee said. “Why should we think about that now? That’s one problem with a lot of gay men. They think every relationship should last forever and require co-habitation and monogamy. Then, as soon as an inevitable problem arises, they break up.”

Robert nodded in agreement. Lee’s background remained mainly mysterious, but by plying him with cocktails, Robert was learning more.

He knew that Lee grew up near Tampa, as the son of a couple who owned a large carnival with one of the nation’s last freak shows. Since his parents were on the road most of the year, Lee went to an expensive boarding school and ended up with a Master’s degree in theology.

“Jesus ran a freak show,” he told Robert. “He showed people that oddness, like kinky sex, and suffering are the reality of life, as did the Buddha, for that matter. That fact is steadily losing appreciation in our time.”

Robert was fascinated. He was, essentially, dating a gay circuit preacher whose church was a gay freak show. And Robert himself had organized the Atlanta Food Porn Supper Club. So much for normal.

BoccaLupo grew crowded and the group knocked back several bottles of wine and finished their meal with pistachio semi-freddo and beignet-like zeppole with chocolate sauce. Lee paid the bill and took Robert’s hand as they headed out the door.

“Turning 50 never felt so good,” Robert said as they got in Lee’s van, painted with the name of his show.

They headed to Lee’s hotel to do away with four condoms by sunup.

 


Food Porn is a fictional series by longtime Atlanta food critic Cliff Bostock. Set in real Atlanta restaurants, it chronicles the adventures of Robert, a gay man in search of a husband — or at least a good meal. For past chapters, visit www.thegavoice.com

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