Stilelibero or freestyle in English, has its distinguishing style where the mergence of art, fashion, live music, food and drinks magnify the kind of modish evening that we would love to engulf ourselves once in a while. It opened its doors to everyone at the Prati district of Rome recently with an artistic approach to dining and drinking. The walls and glass-paneled tables are adorned with the poetry of art represented in original photographs, bags, jewelry collections and other works. In tune with what meets the eyes, the background live music fills the air with pleasant tunes as the gastronomic proposals of Chef Max Mariola completes the circle of congenial entertainment.
In the same world of art and enogastronomy themselves, the three proprietors, who are musicians and a sommelier, give light in the harmonious ambience of Stilelibero.
Like in any house, the hosts give their best in making their guests feel welcome where their personalities reflect the creative part in providing the soothing mood, and only the best food and drinks chosen by food and wine experts.
Chef Max Mariola is one of Italy’s most popular TV chefs where he appears in diverse cooking programs of Rai Premium and Gambero Rosso channels. He is also a consultant to various hotels and restaurants. He describes his kitchen as straightforward because of his love of the simplicity of linear and clean tastes. Being Italian, his love for his country and its climate is evident because it permits him to be innovative with the seasonal ingredients from different regions.
With the creation of the menu of Stilelibero, Max maintains a freestyle cooking which is neither traditional nor modern.
Behind the dishes is an enhancement of the ingredients where they are the protagonists in every dish. It’s the kind of cooking where the amalgamated ingredients don’t dominate each other, rather, they enhance each other’s most assertive flavor.
The menu, as you can expect, is rightfully sublime starting with the entries for antipasto (appetizer) like the Piedmontese beef tartare with fried quail egg, sweet and sour shallot, capers and parsley pesto (battuta di carne razza piemontese con ovetti di quaglia al tegamino, scalogno in agro dolce, capperi e pesto al prezzemolo, €18); or the shrimp tartare with foie gras escalope, pomegranate and autumn salad leaves (tartare di gamberi con la scaloppa di foie gras, melograno e foglie autunnali, €18). There are also the Jamon Iberico Bellota with bread rubbed with pomodorini del Pinennolo del Vesuvio (Jamon Iberico Bellotta con pane strofinato e pomodorini del Piennolo del Vesuvio, €20); a selection of salumi (salumi da noi selezionati, €16); tastings of cheese, compotes, dried fruits and toasted bread (degustazione di formaggi, composte, frutta secca e pane tostato, €16); and toasted bread, mortadella, sautèed fennel, butter and Parmigiano Reggiano (pane tostato, mortadella, finocchi saltati, burro e Parmigiano, €12).
The pasta dishes are equally interesting like the maltagliato pasta aromatized with rosemary with red mullet and squash (maltagliato al profumo di rosmarino con triglie e zucca, €16); and the vermicelli garlic, oil, anchovies of Cetara and breadcrumbs (vermicelli aglio, olio, alici di Cetara e mollica di pane, €12). You can’t miss some of their meat dishes like the slow-cooked flank steak, sautèed potatoes in pan and aromatic herbs (biancostato cotto lentamente, patate saltate in padella e erbe aromatiche, €20); and the lamb hamburger with lesser calamint, chicory and Pecorino cheese (hamburger di agnello alla mentuccia, cicoria di campo e pecorino, €18).
I suggest that you leave some space for the desserts because the one that I tried was very hard to resist. Pop one in your mouth and you’re absolutely hooked! The crunchy bignè with chantilly cream and dark chocolate (bignè croccanti con crema chantilly e cioccolato fondente, €6) were absolutely delectable. For a traditional combination of flavors, try the ricotta foam and sour cherries with short pastry crumbs (spuma di ricotta e visciole con briciolata di pasta frolla, €6)
Stilelibero, designed by interior designer Tommaso Guerra, is divided into three different spaces on two floors. Upon entry, the restaurant opens to an eclectic and avante-garde style where there are creatively-designed glass-paneled tables and oak benches that accommodate 30. On one side, the kitchen is viewable through a large glass window.
The second room connects with the first where the oil blue walls and ceiling, antique walnut tables, art decò style lamps, brass and worked glass create a warm, initmate atmosphere. The restaurant continues its path, through a staircase in iron and wood, to get to the area where the cocktail bar is organized along an English counter. The overtone is mellow and tasteful as the brick walls and wallpaper with oriental highlights envelope the room with walnut furniture and black iron. A piano and some musical instruments are on one side of the room with armchairs in blue velvet that make listening to music more relaxing.
The restaurant is open from tea time until late at night with simpler and faster proposals from the menu like club sandwiches that are available at the cocktail bar. It changes only on weekends, where, following the authentic spirit of traditional Italian cuisine, family lunch themes are offered.
Via Fabio Massimo, 68
00192 Rome (RM) Italy
Tel: +39 06 3219657
Open daily from 16:00 to 02:00
Saturdays and Sundays, open for lunch until 02:00