Italian restaurants often give you visual access to the kitchen through a window from the dining area.
It breaks the barrier that confines the kitchen staff and the diners to two separate spheres. It breathes more friendliness to the atmosphere and direct connection between guests and chefs. Upon entry to Ristorante Livello 1, the first thing that you will notice is the complete visibility of the kitchen from the dining area. With a minimally designed glass wall, you can witness all the movements that go on in the kitchen and if you position yourself right next to the glass wall, you can even learn a thing or two about cooking. It’s a unique kind of view that you can’t get everywhere.
Michelin-starred Chef Felice Lo Basso of Felix Lo Basso Restaurant in Milan functions as the initial consulting chef of Ristorante Livello 1 while the helm of the kitchen is controlled by the young and talented Chef Mirko Di Mattia, who made years of journey in the kitchens of Ristorante L’Acheologia in Rome, Poggio Antico of Montalcino and lastly before Ristorante Livello 1, Gavius Ristorante in Rome again, where his talent did not go unnoticed.
Mirko’s creativity approaches the fundamentals of a perfectly orchestrated dish. There is visual impression and a smooth combination of flavors without overwhelming the senses. He is most attentive to the aspect of healthiness of his dishes and has a keen attachment to tradition which he combines with his imaginative creations.
His signature is printed all over his creations and that’s what makes his work distinctive.
And that is what made me follow him from Gavius to Ristorante Livello 1.
Emilia Branciani and Claudio Montingelli, both lovers of the sea, travel and the kitchen, conceptualized Ristorante Livello 1 in 2016. The success of the restaurant as one of the strong referral points for excellent seafood dishes in the capital paved way from their determination to give high quality seafood under one roof.
The restaurant has an elegant modern design with clean unadorned interiors. The place is spick and span as the tables are spaced well enough to give everyone privacy. With a spacious dining area, the capacity is seventy while the exterior is also organized for thirty more spaces.
Next door, with a another decorated glass wall separated from the restaurant is the fish shop named La Pescatoria where you can buy fresh seafood fished from the Tyrrhenian Sea in the towns of Fiumicino, Anzio and Ponza which are all close to Rome. It is also possible to pre-order cooked fish dishes from the Pescatoria.
From Tuesdays to Fridays, they offer the Business Lunch for a quicker and more economical meal. Whereas for the cocktails, they have the Fish and Cocktails offering different kinds of fish appetizers with original cocktails created by their talented barman to accompany the appetizers created by Mirko.
Do not miss Mirko’s signature dishes like the Causushi (€18) for appetizer. It’s reminiscent of the Peruvian dish that’s like sushi wherein the rice is replaced with mashed potatoes that’s mixed with extra virgin olive oil, lime, salt & chili then topped with raw seafood (which by law in Italy are flash frozen first to kill harmful parasites). For the pasta, try his original Carbonara dei Ricc(h)i (€22), a seafood carbonara pasta dish mixed with sea urchin served in an egg ceramic bowl. For the dessert, Mirko’s creativity widens to fun and creative dishes like the Argentina (€10), a dish he created that depicts his the dough that his grandmother makes or the beautiful Alice (€10) made of blackberry gelato, raspberry sponge, blueberry mousse and chocolate powder.
Ristorante Livello 1 is open for lunch, dinner and cocktails giving varied choices at the menu.
Ristorante Livello 1
Via Duccio di Buoninsegna, 25
00142 Rome, Italy
Tel: +39 06 5033999
Closed on Sundays and Monday lunch
Summer closure: mid to end of August