Talking about European food, it has a distinct rich history of ingredients, flavours and tastes. Water, in Europe, was not being purified until recently and was not safe to drink and hence surprisingly, it was not considered a beverage for a long time. Instead, wine, beer, ale, gin, and whiskey were the most popular drinks in Europe. Coffee, chocolate, and tea were brought from Africa, America, and Asia. Today, all of these drinks are popular, but pure water is consumed a lot more than it was a few centuries ago.
Food per se, Europe can be characterized by core categories: meats, sugar, cereals, and fats. Meats include tenderloin, sea and fresh water fishes, sausages and wild game, predominantly. Cane sugar soon became a necessary ingredient and was brought in from India and the new world. The demand fro cane sugar grew around the end of the 17trh century. The meals comprise of atleast one cereal and starch. From breads, wheat, oats, maize, rice to pasta, it soon became a staple. Peas and beans were once widely eaten, however, their popularity diminished with the rise of potatoes.
The most used fats in Europe are olive oil, lard, and butter. Today, fats are indispensable as they are almost always used when cooking. Coffee, tea, alcoholic beverages, and chocolate are the most well-known drinks in Europe.
Keeping all these core ingredients and the strong culinary history of European food in mind, Chef Rajeev Arora raises the standards of dining experience in Mumbai with ‘Levo’ – a restaurant, lounge and banqueting venue by Vertical Hotels and Resorts.
Chef Rajeev Arora comes with over two decades of international experience of designing some of the finest food and beverages for the world class hotels and restaurants. His journey in the hospitality industry has made a mark in the kitchens of some of the world renowned hotels and restaurants.
His entrepreneurial dream comes to life with his first venture, Levo, a restaurant and lounge that is enticing the taste buds of Mumbai with its scrumptious Global European menu, already.
Serving Global European cuisine, the dishes are cooked with the freshest ingredients handpicked by him ensuring the flavor of each ingredient complements the other without overpowering the taste of the other. And it is so true as the meal began on a very pleasant notes of basil. An amuse bouche comprising the very traditional ratatouille and polenta cake with balsamic reduction. Clean, rustic and intense, is how best the journey at ‘Levo’ can be described.
True to his ol’ world style redefined to today’s artistry, Chef Rajeev Arora said, “Here at Levo, we want to deliver a fine dining experience like none other in the city. The menu has been designed keeping the European essence in mind. Our patrons will see strong influences from across the European continent in our menu like our Crab pave from France. We invite you to embark upon a European journey here at Levo. ”
The menu at Levo boasts of delicacies served from across the continent such as Lamb Navarin, soulful coq au vin, and chicken cordon blue(stuffed with ham and blue cheese) from France, Stroganoff from Russia and pizzas from the Mediterranean region.
The delectable palate twisters at Levo like Goat cheese flat bread served with caramelized onion, cherry tomato, reduced balsamic, arugula and pesto brush and creamy garlic Sambuca prawns will make patrons come back for more.
But what he is known for, internationally, is his contribution to the extensive world of ice creams. He thinks of this dessert not only as a sweet course, but as an accompaniment to salads, toppings on soups and meal breakers in a array of flavours ranging from black pepper, watermelon, Ferrari chili, fried garlic and much more. His creativity when it comes to ice cream comes handy when he plans special plates for his guests.
He is happy to share his experience with smoked salmon plating that he did, a few months ago for a distinguished celebrity. Smoked salmon served with lemon and garlic ice cream. A very traditional pairing served with élan and a modern twist; thank fully not a molecular one for that. A large portion of his menu is an ode to the ‘masters of culinary’ with those iconic creations being on the menu which most chefs tend to overlook.
The Levo bar too boasts of a huge collection of liquor ranging from International brands like the Dom Perignon, Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino to a collection of Whiskey, scotch, beer and Liqueurs.
Overall, Levo invites you to experience grand dining while delighting the flavors of Europe and enjoying a meal served with the purpose to deliver an experience that will spoil you for all others!
Photographs by: Chef Michael Swamy.