Ristorante Livello 1: Fish & Cocktails in Rome, Italy

There's always something to toast about. For our health, life, accomplishments, relationships, changing of seasons - I can go on and on but true to our fun-loving nature, when we cup a cold glass of cocktails around our hands, we yield to the feeling of clinking our glasses to salute a good reason. Cocktail hour is probably one of the sought after time of the day when the men can loosen their ties and the women can let their hair down. Tired or not after a long day, it's the best moment of the day isn't it? It was for that very reason why I closed my computer, bid my work goodbye for the day and drove off to EUR in Rome to catch the early evening Fish & Cocktails at Ristorante Livello 1.

I was going to meet up with a small group for an invitation to toast the summer season at Ristorante Livello 1 with their Fish & Cocktails. The cocktails, intriguing and original, are mixed by barman Edoardo Bottiglieri while the fish hors d'oeuvres are prepared by Chef Mirko Di Mattia. The Fish & Cocktails of Ristorante Livello 1 goes on everyday (please check with the restaurant for current opening times) starting at 18:30 all-year round. I have dined at the restaurant a few times which actually counts as one of my favorite seafood restaurants in the capital but the Fish & Cocktails was a first for me (check out my articles here and at Honest Cooking).

Our group was treated to a show cooking of the causushi of Chef Mirko Di Mattia. It's reminiscent of the Peruvian dish that's like sushi without the nori and the rice is replaced with mashed potatoes that's mixed with extra virgin olive oil, lime, salt & chili then topped with fresh seafood (which by law in Italy are flash frozen first to kill harmful parasites). It's quite a simple procedure with delectable results. And if you are at Ristorante Livello 1, you can't possibly skip it.

The menu of the Fish & Cocktails has very interesting options, creative in presentation and most especially, the quality is superior. The fish they use are sourced from the best parts of the Tyrrhenian Sea closest to Rome which are Anzio, Ponza and Fiumicino. In fact, annexed to the restaurant is their fish shop where fresh fish is always available to be taken home. 

Like wine, cocktails are best enjoyed when they are paired well with the hors d'oeuvres. Barman Edoardo Bottiglieri can whip up exciting flavorful combinations that complement well the creations of Chef Mirko Di Mattia. I highly recommend the La Principessa cocktail (tequila, lychee liqueur, freshly-squeezed lime and agave syrup sprayed with whisky) which stayed well with the causushi and with the tacos of tomatoes, raw codfish, marinated watermelon and alcoholic fresh green salad. 

Then there is the Senshi, an exotic cocktail with strong nuances of herbs and citrus made with a Rabarbaro Zucca, an Italian liquor made exclusively with the roots of Chinese rhubarb, Campari and chinotto then sprayed with a lovely aroma of citrus fruits. Pair it with a fried dough hor d'oeuvre with burrata and anchovy from Cantabrico (fantastic!) or a small hot tramezzino with cold tuna.

Another cocktail is the Balos which is very refreshing to the palate, quite perfect for a hot summer evening. It's a mixture of the resin liqueur Mastiha, gin aromatized with cucumber, freshly-squeezed lime, tonic water and symple syrup. Even if the plate paired with it is not an hor d'oeuvre, the egg-free carbonara of sea urchin (available in the regular lunch & dinner menu) was a great accompaniment.

Like a cherry on top, a surprising dessert paired with a lovely cocktail was the conclusion. Simply called La Chocolat, a chocolate sphere with delicious sliced bananas, it went harmoniously well with a glass of a yuzu-based sweet cocktail.

The Fish & Cocktails menu often change with more enticing cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. For the classic cocktail options, they also have the oysters and sparkling wines in the menu but if there are a couple of notable young talents behind the bar and in the kitchen, take out your adventurous side and try out what they can offer you. You won't be disappointed I promise you.

The Fish & Cocktails of Ristorante Livello 1 will also be present during the Taste of Roma between 21 to 24 September 2017 in Rome where they will be presenting their creations during the important food and wine event in the capital.

Ristorante Livello 1

Via Duccio di Buoninsegna, 25
00142 Rome, Italy
Tel: +39 065033999

Summer Opening Hours: 
Open daily for dinners
Closed on Sunday and Monday lunch
(consult site for updated opening hours)

Winter Opening Hours:
Open for dinner daily except Sundays
Open for lunch daily except Mondays
(consult site for updated opening hours) 

Restaurants in Rome: