Location: Metamorfosi, Via Giovanni Antonelli, 30/32 – 00197 Roma
Date: June 10, 2015
Cuisine: Modernist Italian
Rating: Amazing modernist Italian
I found Metamorfosi simply by googling for “Rome Modernist Cuisine” or some such thing like that. I love experimental and modernist food, what we in the Hedonists group call “teacups” or “morsels” (some of my foodie friends are divided on the modernist issue, but I happen to adore but modernist and traditional cuisine). Anyway, Metamorfosi has one Michelin Star (although I think it should have 2).
The interior is appropriately… modern.
2009 Bellavista Franciacorta Gran Cuvée Satèn. VM 90. We began with this nice Italian bubbly.
There are tasting menus (at least 2) and ala carte. We, of course, went with the big tasting.
Various yummy bread options.
An amuse of some kind of whipped vegetable (like celery) with squid ink. Very light and lovely with a bit of brine flavor.
1996 Casal Pilozzo Malvasia Bianca. 90 points. Then on to this interesting old Malvasia. I haven’t had that much old Malvasia, so I don’t have much of a reference point, but it was an excellent food wine.
Raw tuna and herbs wrapped in chard leaves. A Modernist Italian tuna/lettuce wrap!
More breads, this is Italy after all!
Mozzarella and Spinach.
The Spinach clearly is the powdered green. The wrapper (ravioli?) over the top was actually made from Mozzarella, and had an interesting texture not unlike something skimmed off the top of milk, but it all worked quite well.
Charcoal roasted artichoke.
A crispy bit of puffed rice.
Foie gras, carrots and hazelnuts.
The simulated carrot, made of carrot, is actually stuffed with foie gras! Quiet delicious too.
The brioche for the foie.
Mackerel, green vegetables, meat glaze, smoked cream. An excellent “crudo” type dish.
Tortellini perfumes of the sea. Dill. These were rather amazing. Very nice and al dente pasta, and then filled with bursts of flavor like a white bouillabaisse. Extremely pure “seafood” taste too.
1998 Querciabella Batàr. 93 points. A blend of Chardonnay (50%) and Pinot Blanc (50%), grapes lovingly handpicked, 12 months in new French oak and quite a few years in the bottle result in liquid heaven. Honey-butter, creamy-vanilla and oak all come together in perfect harmony. The balance is truly quite stunning.
Encased risotto, mushrooms and hazelnut.
A peculiar dish made like a drum, with a sauce spread on top.
Then you poke through like a pot pie and the risotto is inside. The top had a texture like fruit leather, but the risotto was stunningly good. Really tasty.
Cod fish and “Black” friggitelli. Moist and perfect fish. I think the green was pea flavored.
Red mullet. Caponata.
“Pluma” of iberico pork, prune and chipotle chutney. Some nice chunks of meat and very tasty potatoes with a kind of salsa verde (parsley, olive oil, etc).
Gorgonzola lollipop with white chocolate and balsamic sauce. Awesome!
White chocolate with caramelized bananas and Armagnac. Extremely light and fluffy with only a subtle banana flavor (a good thing by me).
Cherries, laurel ice cream and Sangiovese. Very seasonal.
Chocolate, pear, and sage.
Various bon bons. Ice cream lollipops, jellies, and meringues.
And this one slightly different.
Overall, Metamorfosi was less formal than the previous night’s 3 star Michelin (La Pergola), with less carts and stuff — but the food was extremely inventive and tasty. Sometimes these highly modernist dishes fail, sometimes even quiet often. That was not the case here. There were perhaps 1-2 dishes that weren’t amazing, but for the most part the food was really spot on. And it was half the price too without the 3 star markup.
Now it was a LONG meal, 8-12 plus an unanticipated 45-60 minutes it took us to get a taxi, and with a 6 year-old! But really fabulous and if I was the Michelin reviewer I’d definitely knock Metamorfosi up to 2 stars. Inventive wine suggestions too. I appreciate the Ovid reference and a great way to wrap up the Rome section of our trip!