Â Ristorante Life Loves to Feed you Exquisite Slow Food
By Ari Kane, Photographs by Daniella Veras
Ristorante Life is a superb establishment located in the nicest area (The Rodeo Drive) of Rome. Life is run by Clemente and Giovanna, a brother and sister sommelier team that is committed to the institution of Slow Food. The beauty and philosophy of Slow Food, which started in Italy involves preserving and promoting local foods and centuries-old traditions of gastronomy and food production that Italy has abided by for centuries.
Clemente is one of those people that you just feel an instant endearing connection with. He is wise, passionate and insightful. We authentically felt his abundant love for his food, the Earth and his customers. Â He explained how Ristorante Life, as part of the Slow Food movement, only uses the finest ingredients from all over Italy. Everything at Life is Home-Made Express meaning nothing is pre-prepared. Everything is made on-demand at the moment the customer orders it. Â This type of service requires extra hands in the kitchen but the results are well worth it. There is fresh fish daily and bread baked in-house twice a day. They specialize in fresh truffles delivered every two weeks as well. You can really feel the quality, love and freshness of the food there.
Clemente believes that fine food should be available at reasonable prices. Wines come directly from the producers so they can pass the savings on to the consumers. Having this personal relationship with the produces further ensures they also are provided the best bottles from the best grapes. As a sommelier, he knows that wine can vary based on the positioning of the vines in the vineyards. Two identical bottles can actually have a noticeable difference in taste and quality. A great relationship with the vineyards assures that the best bottles are served here.Â This why celebrities like Russell Crowe, Penelope Cruz, the Prince of Spain and even Italian star Adrien Brody all dine here.
We tried their Lobster Tasting Menu and Black Truffle Tasting Menu and were immensely impressed with both. These were stellar, filling and beautiful meals at only 50 Euros a pop without wine or 65 Euros with incredible wine! We recommend the latter. As mentioned earlier, when it comes to wine, they really know their stuff, so everything is perfectly paired.
The Lobster Menu opened with a three-part appetizer tasting plate that was so sexy and delicious. The plate had Smoked Salmon with Robiola Cheese, Pistachios and Croutons, which was the paramount lox and cheese dish we have ever sampled.Â The salmon must have been swimming in the kitchen right before it was served to us. The Robiola cheese was paired perfectly with the silky salmon and the pistachios and croutons added a perfect layer of texture and taste.
The Carpaccio of Fresh Sea Bass with Black Truffle was pleasantly light and so exotic. We had never had truffle mixed with Sea Bass before and it was sooooo freaking delightful. The truffle was not overpowering and the combination felt so sensual in our happy mouths.
The final piece of this sexy threesome was the Red King Prawns Carpaccio with Black Salt from Hawaii and Lime. These skinned prawns from Sicily, which is known to have some of the best in the entire country, were like none you have never had before. The lime and Hawaiin salt worked so perfectly with the prawn that it left you craving another hit. This entire plate was glorious. Next time we are back, we will be ordering at least two of these plates.
The Home Made Tagliolini with Fresh Lobster and Cherry Tomatoes was satisfyingly luscious. The savory sauce really allowed the lobster flavor to really shine. It was so harmoniously seasoned, all of the ingredients were clearly represented on the palate.
he Fresh Sea Bass cooked in the oven in Potato Crust was a remarkable plate. The Sea Bass was moist and coated in a beautiful crispy crust. It was a stupendous Crunchulent (succulently crunchy) mix yet it was so airy. It was served with brilliant mashed potatoes filled with cheese.
The truffle tasting menu had its own spectacular tri-appetizer plate with heavenly truffles on each serving. There was a Carpaccio of High Quality Beef Filet with Black Truffle from Norcia and Lime that was a perfect balance of fine slivered meat with silky truffle and a hint of sweet lime that induced sincere moaning at our table.
There was a Selection of Mixed Italian Matured Cheeses with Grapes, Walnut and Artisan Jams. This phenomenal and tantalizing mix of cheeses were Pecorino, Puzzone di Moena (small village famous for its cheese) and our favorite Italian cheese of the trip, Ubriaco (which means drunk in Italian) del Piave. Wine and cheese are meant to be eaten in tandem but some genius figured out how to combine them into one sensational bite.Â This delicious cowâ€™s milk cheese was created by farmers in the Piave region of Veneto. They preserved their cheese by immersing it in fermenting wine must during the grape harvest giving it its purple hue. It was so uniquely satisfying and fun to eat.
The last segment, Carpaccio of Smoked Duck Breast with Figs, Pears and Honey was banging. The duck was biological (Italian for organic) and was served as a shaving of smoked duck jerky with pear and a hint of honey. It was a very interesting, inspired and truly delectable mix.
The Homemade Burrata Cheese Ravioli served with Parmesan Cream and Black Truffle was also a treat. The truffle was cooked to a crisp and served atop impeccable pasta. Eating a truffle that was not soft was new experience for us and we loved it. The truffle is cooked on top of the pasta for one minute to crisp it up. This brings out its flavor and the pasta gets infused with the taste of truffle, as well. The burrata and parmesan cheese combo of was quite tasty and again surprisingly light. It is remarkable how these â€œheavy dishesâ€ float like figurative feathers on your palate and your tummy.
Ristorante Life is one of our favorite places to eat in Rome. The food is fresh, magnificently satisfying, and a great value. Ervis was our favorite waiter in Italy.Â He was so funny, cool and awesome at his job, we felt like his family. When you go, ask him what his favorite soup is on the menu and tell him we sent you. At the end of the night, we found out it was his birthday and stayed after closing to celebrate a while. Clemente took care of us like we had been friends forever. We applaud and appreciate his commitment to health, value and the sustainability of the world. God bless Slow Food as well as its members who execute the philosophy exceptionally.