While living in Rome for years, I must admit that there are some areas I frequent little, as the Eur. Then you know that the Eur since may 2016 there is a seafood restaurant, Level 1, born with the help of chef neo starry Happy Lo Basso, for me it was a surprise. The occasion was a dinner invitation to an evening of fresh fish and the Calvisius Caviar along with the winery's sparkling Franciacorta Castello Bonomi and, Since I tasted several dishes that the chef Mirko Di Mattia has included in the tasting menu from the restaurant menu, I think I have enough material to tell you about my experience at Level 1. A positive experience, starting with the assumption that this is a restaurant of upper-middle price range and pointing to a range of creative dishes, with portions though decidedly abundant especially regarding first courses, based on excellent raw materials, with a clear vocation for light cuisine, low in salt and fat, that brings out the natural flavors of fish and vegetables.
The restaurant is very modern, born from the passion for cooking with a group of friends' headed’ by Emilia Branciani, interior designer, whose hand is evident in design and in setting up the entire room: natural colors, very white, some color lively touch, many windows and a wonderful, large kitchen fully exposed in the middle of the restaurant. Attached to a Local “fisherman's” where every day you get local seafood (Anzio, Ponza and Fiumicino), you can buy (and chefs also provide the best recipes to cook) or enjoy happy hour or lunch and dinner canonical.
The chef, young and smiling, It offers a quick formula for lunch, strictly only fish: first with garnish, pane home made, acqua e caffè a 15 euro oppure secondo con contorno, pane home made acqua e caffè a 19 euro. Then, and the price, si può scegliere il percorso degustazione di 7 portate a scelta dello chef a 70 euro, un menu degustazione a scelta libera dalla carta di 3 portate a 50 euro e di 4 portate a 60 euro. Of course you can also order a la carte: the main protagonist is the fish, even raw, but all the raw material is clearly the result of a choice that does not yield to compromise and aims high.
Starting from appetizers, among whom are the carpaccio of red prawn with burrata and almonds (18 euros), the rosticciato octopus with potatoes, broccoli and truffle (16 euros) and Causushi (16 euros), a creation of the chef who joined the 'cause rellena’ from Colombia (mashed potatoes seasoned with lime and chili) the raw fish, serving him like a Japanese sushi: tuna, salmon, amberjack combined with caviar and a small soy sauce. An original idea and light (as well as gluten-free), perhaps by decreasing the amount of the potato, whose taste was slightly prevails over the fish.
In combination with a special caviar Calvisius, normally served at the restaurant is pure in both plates, I tasted the delicious homemade sandwich with smoked salmon, lime and mayonnaise with caviar and tartare of smoked tuna with tomato confit, olives and basil mayonnaise. Tantalizing and well made. The difference between the sliced bread homemade and industry is abysmal and I, that I make bread from it, I know well.
I primi variano dai 18 euro degli spaghettoni Felicetti con vongole veraci e bottarga ai 28 euro della calamarata con pesce spada di Ponza e salsa alla cacciatora. I'll be back to try the spaghetti with lobster Felicetti, 'Nduja and crispy pata negra I saw during the preparation stages but I could not taste.
I have tasted a risotto Watercolor with mashed broccoli retouched, raw red shrimp, baked tomato sauce and caviar Oscetra (22 euros): nice idea, with the risotto (served in very generous portion) only creamed with the broccoli puree and then in purity, a balanced salinity, the right acidity given by tomato, the undoubted quality of the red shrimp. Two minutes less cooking rice, for my taste not quite al dente, and the dish would have been perfect.
I could not resist and I also shot a video on the composition risotto, because it is always wonderful to me to observe the chef at work. Of this kitchen I noted with pleasure the absolute cleanliness, the accuracy of the chef's gestures and the brigade.
Without flaws and, Indeed, very high level, tortelli pasta with burrata, vanilla and caviar. The thick and rough pasta, perfect cooking, calloused pleasantly in the mouth, the flavor of vanilla gently but persistently burrata, the flavor of caviar, and the fatness of the butter icing (a truly amazing butter, try the homemade bread) make a dish really in balance, Very pleasant, that you would rather an encore.
Among the second course the catch of served fresh steamed sea, baked or grilled “for lovers of simplicity”, as stated in the menu, a 8 euro all’etto, or a few selected dishes created by the chef in a fusion route between the East and the Roman tradition as the cod in tempura with chickpeas, basil jelly and licorice (28 euro), morsels monkfish vaccinara (28 euro), saltimbocca alla romana sole (26 euro). I tasted a slice of sturgeon in oleocottura on Castelluccio lentils cream and caviar Calvisius. The sturgeon is a skinny fish, slightly pronounced flavor and a trend, because of its lack of fat, to become stringy when cooked just a little’ more than just: I then found the idea very well studied dell'oleocottura, because the meat has remained tough to cut but soft in the mouth. Tantalizing pairing with lentils, although I would have ventured a saline known more in the pot, that overall I still liked.
Last but not least,, excellent and very light white chocolate cream with chocolate ball, sponge with raspberries, red fruits gel, crumble and salty caviar (10 euro): a light dessert, very well done, where caviar was perfectly in balance. Among other sweets in paper, everyone at 10 euros, the Cuban, pears with ricotta and Porto, Classic "the Romanian’ pear in red wine magazine with turmeric and banana ice cream and 'Alice', a blackberry ice cream, Sponge raspberries, blueberry mousse and chocolate land.
In conjunction with the chef's dishes Di Mattia, I got to try the Franciacorta DOCG Saten and Franciacorta DOCG Brut “Cru Lost” the cellars Castello Bonomi. The holder, Roberto Paladin, He has also presented a preview of a new version of the Cru Perdu “with the bottom”, ie without still being disgorged, then with more wine on the lees.