Review: Boboli, Kibworth Harcourt

By Philippa Maffioli

So, where would we meet this time for a girls-only Friday evening dinner?

We’d both be driving so needed a restaurant with good parking, but also wanted to kick back, so it had to be somewhere relaxed, where we could chat the hind legs off a donkey and no one would rush us.

Italian restaurant Boboli in Kibworth Harcourt near Market Harborough proved the perfect choice. It’s bright, modern and airy, and on the night of our visit the well-drilled staff were charming and professional.

It was a warm night, so on arrival we made good use of the spacious outdoor seating area, where we tucked into a pre-meal glass of rosé with some bread and olives while we perused the menu.

To start, you can choose from either the antipasti section or have a starter sized portion from the pasta menu. I opted for my old favourite, Parma ham and melon, and my friend was excited at the option of starting with pasta and had a starter-sized lasagne della Nonna (“lasagne as head chef Lino Poli’s mother makes it”). Both our starters were plentiful, well presented and tasty.

For main course I went for a traditional bolognaise, which might sound a slightly safe choice but in my experience this can be a dish that is either excellent or – more often than not – disappointing, often due to lazy cooking. Happily, this was one of the best, if not the best spaghetti bolognaise I have eaten. The flavour was intense, the beef succulent and the pasta perfectly cooked. It was enhanced by a simple side order of rocket and parmesan.

My friend went for quattro stagioni pizza, which she thoroughly enjoyed but, despite trying her best, could not finish. She was delighted to be offered the option of having the remainder of her pizza boxed up to take home. Sadly we didn’t have room to share a dessert.

We found Boboli’s atmosphere laid-back but with a contented buzz that gives rise to a sense of occasion. The restaurant was full but we were not on top of our fellow diners. A great choice for a Friday evening.


Cuisine: Italian
Price per head: £25-£35 (three courses & drinks)
Kids welcome: Yes
Dogs: No
Customer car parking: Plenty
Food times: Seven days a week from 10am


Beef carpaccio with slow roasted tomatoes and gorgonzola £6.25

Pennette, tomato and chilli £7.25

Veal escalope pan-fried with Parma ham and sage £14.50

Fresh fish
Fillet of sea bream with chickpeas, prawns and tomatoes £14.50

Italian cheese with mustard fruits and bread £6.50



The author:

Matt lives in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. He is passionate about the independent food & drink sector and founded Great Food Club in 2010 after being inspired by local producers near his home town.