Culinary sophistication and local tradition in the heart of Tivoli, created by multi-starred Chef Adriano Baldassarre.
A very recent opening, Li Somari is the ambitious project of its founder Andrea La Caita (partner and founder of Acquolina*, Acquaroof Terrazza Molinari, Velo, Alto and Regina Elena in Pescara) who, following his experience with his restaurant Vesta in Tivoli – the only restaurant in local history to have been awarded a Michelin Star in 2009 – wanted to get back into the game with the aim of enhancing local cuisine and the town of Tivoli once again thanks to a new culinary proposal.
A Historic Setting in TivoliLocated in the center of Tivoli, Li Somari combines tradition and innovation to perfection with the aim of preserving the culture of the Latium territory as best as possible while enhancing it thanks to the innovative proposal of chef Adriano Baldassarre.
A cuisine predominantly from Lazio, albeit revisited in an innovative key: a tale of the many territories that throughout history have made it the cradle of different gastronomic cultures – Maremma, Abruzzi, Campania, Jewish and Roman – that have always been symbiotic. A new proposal, then, for those from the city who want to experience authentic regional cuisine that is both rich in innovation and culinary styles that meet to perfection.
Located in the heart of Tivoli, in the upper part of the restaurant in its former place was the historic sign of “Alfredo alla scaletta” first and “La Belle Epoque” later. In the lower part, on the other hand, in one of the oldest stables in town, there were “li somari” – the donkeys in Tiburtine dialect. Hence the decision to preserve the history of the location by choosing a name that fully reflects the tradition associated with the original use of the structure but also recalls the renowned stubbornness of these animals, the driving force behind Andrea La Caita’s project. A return to the village, Tivoli, to bet again and stubbornly on a project far from the guaranteed success of the city.
A format closely linked to Executive Chef Adriano Baldassarre, a multi-starred chef who best knows the cuisine of Lazio thanks to his origins in Zagarolo. His proposal has a very precise focus made of study and reworking of the territory capable of enhancing its flavors and aromas.
Wine and Dine at Li Somari“Ours is a everyday menu, designed daily to ensure the freshness of the raw materials brought to the table so as to guarantee their quality. A cooking concept strongly focused on the respect of the product thanks to the seasonal choice and linked to the use of the totality of the product, serving it in multiple processing so as to avoid waste,” explains Executive Chef Adriano Baldassarre.
Gastronomic signatures proposed by Chef Baldassarre include: Vicovaro goat cheese with wildflower honey, Cacio sulla piastra, Gnocco di patate ripieno di pollo alla cacciatora, Raviolo ripieno di coda alla vaccinara, Polpetta di coda alla vaccinara and Treccia di pajata di vitella, Patata di Avezzano in two firings (alla ash and fried) and the Cappuccino di baccalà in tiburtina version.
Also on the menu will always feature a dish as a tribute to Acquolina’s Chef Alessandro Narducci, who passed away prematurely.
The Chef also offers three tasting menus until arriving at a course that fully reflects his stylistic signature: 5-grain bread with Lupine Humus, olives and local olive oil; Trout Carpaccio, Tomato Water and Raspberries; Lamb Tonnato; Codfish mantecato and potatoes with truffle and crouton with parsley butter; Meatball of tail and celery; Fettuccine butter, parmesan cheese, lemon and marjoram; Potato gnocchi stuffed with chicken cacciatore, spring onion and gravy; Rabbit cacciatore and Meaux mustard; Millefeuille of biscuits, cream and salted caramel; House biscuits and Coffee.
The trattoria has 28 place settings downstairs with a private room; upstairs the Chef’s table with 5 place settings, open kitchen and a room that by December 2022 will house the patisserie, a striking 16th-century fireplace and another 30 place settings.
The wine list, with over 500 references, fully reflects the concept of the kitchen with a proposal of about 90 labels only from Lazio, belonging to niche and sought-after wineries. Tuscany and Abruzzo stand out among the wine regions of reference, in line with the cuisine daughter of neighboring cultures and lands. Latium wines are carefully selected by area expert Giulio Ficorella, owner of a wine shop in Olevano Romano, who also takes care of the local gastronomic side. Manuel Mingoni is the property’s sommelier and is responsible for the selection of all other wines.
Sustainability and enhancement of small local realities, starting with the local wineries of Piero Riccardi and Lorella Reale, Damiano Ciolli, and Carlo Noro, to name a few of the names mentioned in one of the two wine lists-“Lazio and the goodies outside Lazio”-curated by Li Somari and always available. The second one – Italy and the rest of the world -, on the other hand, was born out of a collaboration with Enoteca Gaudi and is therefore not always available.
“I personally and carefully select small local, artisanal suppliers who produce raw materials following the seasonality of the product. The idea is to start real long-term collaborations with niche Lazio realities for the production of oil, jams, tomato sauces and more made specifically for us. A way to enhance small sustainable realities also through a Li Somari branded shop,” says Andrea La Caita.
The ecological choice is also evident from the premises made entirely from reclaimed materials: floors, tables, chairs and even silver cutlery and glasses, some of which were made by artisan Gianni Lopez creator of the Li Somari sign that greets customers at the entrance to the establishment.
A project, that of Andrea La Caita, that will also involve important star chefs such as Alessandro Ferracci, son of Anna Dente (a cook recognized as the ambassador of Roman cuisine in the world), Daniele Lippi and Davide Pezzuto, for starters.
The idea is to have each of them create a dish to put on the menu that pays homage to the traditional cuisine of the territory in the style of Li Somari; a way to bring together the excellence bordering Tivoli, a sort of bridge of Latium culture. A territorial cuisine characterized by a rediscovery of ancient flavors, reproposed in combinations with an innovative taste in a cozy and eco-friendly venue, within a context of inclusion and cultural diversity – this is the proposal of Li Somari.