Calvisius Caviar Lounge: A Royal Experience Made Sustainable, Served In A Romantic Setting

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Calvisius Caviar Lounge is located at 58 East 58 Street, (212) 207-8222, in the ground level of the Four Seasons Hotel. It is open from 12-9 PM daily, with availability for private gatherings and parties. To purchase online or learn more about Calvisius Caviar, please visit www.calvisiuscaviar.com.

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              Step into the little jewel-box and you are transported to Europe, Romance and Fantasy at once. There is nothing quite like it in New York City. To fully appreciate the experience, let’s give a little background. There is no question that Italy’s traditions surrounding food and wine are countless—but historically, caviar has been left to the Russians. Little do most people know that Italy is rich with “black gold,” with stories of its discovery dating back to the late 1400’s, when Leonardo da Vinci happened upon a magnificent sturgeon in the Ticino river—a tributary of the Po. As the legend goes, he harvested its roe as a long-fabled gift to the young princess, Beatrice d’Este, whose “treasure chest of small black pearls” were comically much-hyped and never seen. The Ticino river has remained, ever since, a secret source of top-grade sturgeon caviar—the kind that,  like Beatrice’s, is quickly gobbled up and savored bite for bite. But the secret is spreading as Europe’s most recognized and voluminous producer,

Calvisius, proves that Italy’s sustainably farmed caviar is, more than ever, a true royal experience.

            Most easily found at their ultra-chic lounge in the ground floor of New York City’s Four Seasons hotel, Calvisius is the top choice caviar for acclaimed chefs like Eric Ripert and Michael White, who use it generously in their restaurants. Its taste and quality are unlike any other, as Calvisus is both farmer and producer—not like your typical merchant who must go through several middlemen. With a sustainable aquaculture farm located in the Brescian lowlands of Calvisano, Italy, Calvisius has direct control over every aspect of its fish and their eventual product.

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            These practices are exactly what makes Calvisius caviar so special: from the natural spring water they swim in to the optimized, exclusive feed they’re given, every aspect of the fish’s is controlled for their utmost well-being. The roe they yield is the purest, most clean-flavored product on the market, free of contaminants or water pollution—often the downfall of wild caviar. Agroittica’s perfect conditions allow the caviar harvest to extend through most of the year, resulting in a smaller shelf life and, therefore, a true malossol (low-salt) product with a more delicate, true flavor. Furthermore, each tin of caviar is properly labeled so that it can be traced to the exact sturgeon it hails from, giving Calvisius a comprehensive understanding of each batch’s freshness, provenance, species type, and so on.

           

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To experience these ocean gems, there’s nothing quite like the swanky year-old Calvisius lounge at the Four Seasons—the first and only of its kind. The space, designed by renown architect James D’Auria, is anchored by a beautiful backlit display of Calvisius’ signature items—any of which can be enjoyed at the white onyx bar with a glass of champagne or, just as easily, taken to go. Service is paramount, in keeping with the luxury digs and product. Caviar is most typically enjoyed by the tin, served atop a custom-designed glass dome filled with ice and presented with mother of pearl spoons, blinis, toast points, crème fraiche and French butter. It’s also served “The Italian Way,”

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in a martini glass atop creamy mashed potatoes—the perfect textural foil to the caviar’s snappy texture and robust flavor. 

The proof is in the tin: Calvisius’ white sturgeon malossol, their best seller, features large dark gray pearls whose unmistakably mild, nutty taste reveals the purity and delicacy associated with only the best. It pops and melts on the tongue, hardly salty at all—a sure surprise for those unfamiliar with caviar of this quality. Even more prized, perhaps, is their classic oscietra, almost clear with an amber-like translucence—as pretty as the pearls Princess Beatrice’s court must have imagined. Its aroma is more intense, the texture taut and firm, literally exploding on the tongue and yielding the unadulterated flavors that caviar enthusiasts seek out almost religiously.  In a side-by-side comparison with wild caviar, there’s no doubt that the pristine waters and feed of the farmed variety make it the cleaner tasting, more esteemed choice across the board.

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For novices developing their caviar palates, Calvisius  Caviar Lounge offers tasting flights called “solamente,” seven-gram portions with all the necessary accoutrements for extensive tasting. The beverage list—a comprehensive menu with the most high-end names in Champagne (we loved the fruity Ruinart Rose’NV  and complex Krug Grand Cuvee NV) and vodka (Check out Roberto Cavalli from Italy) —gives ample choices for diners to find the perfect pairing for their chic culinary experience.

Should a visit to the lounge be too far a ride for the fix, Calvisius sells their caviar worldwide through their e-commerce site, www.calvisiuscaviar.com. Its direct-to-farmer relationship not only ensures freshness and quality control, but allows Calvisius to pursue the most affordable price point for their gem-like product.  calvis 3 spoonsorologio

If caviar’s consumption has traditionally been seen as a culinary pinnacle and a celebration of life, there’s no question that Calvisius, with its ecologically sound practices, pristine standards, and top recognitions, is at the threshold of caviar’s new era: one that preserves the flavors and textures that make the pearls so very fit for a king, but with the sustainable practices and accessibility that continue to broaden the delicacy’s unique appeal.

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Calvisius Caviar Lounge, with its caring service (orchestrated by the charming General Manager Tommaso Mazzarella), personal touches and divine excesses, is one of NY’s most romantically-elegant indulgences. Perfect before theater (or skip your first course if you are going out to dinner and enjoy it here). We’ll take it for breakfast, lunch, dinner or anytime we get the craving for caviar …  caviar …  and … caviar … Delightful in every way! 


Copyright 2010 By Punchin International, All Rights Reserved.

Disclosure

Menu

Calvisius® White Sturgeon Caviar

Solamente
Seven grams of Calvisius with blini and toasted bread

"The Italian Way"
Warmed potato puree topped with 10 grams of Calvisius

Calvisius Oscietra Classic® – Russian Sturgeon Caviar

Solamente
Seven grams of Calvisius with blini and toasted bread

"The Italian Way"
Warmed potato puree topped with 10 grams of Calvisius

Calvisius Carpacci

Smoked Cold White Sturgeon
With seven grams of White Sturgeon Caviar
With seven grams of Oscietra Caviar

Calvisus Caviars To Take Home

Calvisius® White Sturgeon Caviar
Extraordinary “creamy” tasting caviar with a delicate nutty flavor, featuring a medium-large sized roe.
28 gr. • 1 oz
50 gr. • 1 3/4 oz
125 gr • 4 3/8 oz
250 gr. • 8 3/4 oz

Calvisius Oscietra Classic® –
Russian Sturgeon Caviar

Its intense aroma with unmistakable flavor will satisfy the most demanding caviar connoisseurs.           
28 gr. • 1 oz
50 gr. • 1 3/4 oz
125 gr. • 4 3/8 oz
250 gr. • 8 3/4 oz

Drinks

Champagne
Cristal 2002
Krug Grand Cuvee NV
Dom Perignon 2000
Ruinart Rose’NV 375ml
Louis Roederer NV
Gosset Brut Excellence NV
Charles Heidsieck "Brut Reserve" NV

Franciacorta – Metodo Classico Italiano
Bellaviata Vittorio Moretti 2001
Bellavista Brut Gran Cuvee 2004
Bellavista Cuvee Brut NV

White Wines
Sancerre ’07 "Eric Montintin"
Pinot Bianco ’07 "Alois Lageder"
Chardonnay ’07 "Stags’ Lleap Winery"

Red Wines
Cabernet Sauvignon ’08 "Los Vascos"
Pinot Noir ’07 "Plozner"

Vodkas
Roberto Cavalli (Italy)
Stolichnaya Elite (Russia)
Russian Standard Platinum (Russia)
Grey Goose (France)
Belvedere (Poland)

Water
Fiji
Pellegrino

Espresso
Lavazza Espresso

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Stores

NEW YORK

UPPER WEST SIDE

Citarella
Broadway and 74th St.
Tel. 212 874 0383

Salumeria Rosi
Amsterdam and 74th St.
Tel. 212 877 4800

Zabar’s
Broadway and 80th St.
Tel. 212 787 2000


UPPER EAST SIDE

Citarella
3rd Av. and 74th St.
Tel. 212 874 0383

Marche Madison
Madison Av. and 74th St.
Tel. 212 794 3360

Nicola’s Speciality
First Av. and 54th St.
Tel. 212 753 9275

Todaro Brothers
Second Av. and 30th St.
Tel. 212 532 0633


DOWNTOWN

Barbarini Alimentari
Front and Fulton St.
Tel. 212 227 8890

Buon Italia – Chelsea Market
9th Av. and 16th St.
Tel. 212 633 9090

Citarella
Av. of Americas and 9th St.
Tel. 212 874 0383

Di Palo’s Foods
Mott and Grand Street
Tel. 212 226 1033


LONG ISLAND – HAMPTONS

Citarella
Bridgehampton
Tel. 631 537 5990

Citarella
East Hampton
Tel. 631 324 9190

Citarella
Watermill
Tel. 631 726 3636


BRONX

Tino’s Delicatessen
2410 Arthur Avenue Bronx
Tel. 718 733 9879

OTHER REGIONS

Idylwilde Farms
366 Central St.
Tel. 978 263 5943

Acton, MA 01720

Marty’s
675 Washington St.
Tel. 617 332 1230

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The story of the Agroittica Lombarda farm begins, curiously, with a steelworks plant. In the 1970’s, environmental regulations encouraged its partners to find a balanced ecological way to cool their metals without disturbing the ground water table, and the heat exchange solution they devised resulted in waters whose temperature would be ideal for sturgeon farming. With worldwide sturgeon populations deeply in need of rehabilitation after commercial over-fishing, Agroittica’s sturgeon farm became a genius result of environmental—and industrial—need. Today, Agroittica’s operations are recognized by the international organization, Friend of the Sea, as meeting the top standard in eco-friendliness.

With over 25 years of caviar production under their belt, Calvisius is still a young company—their sturgeon are allowed to mature for at least twelve years before harvesting—but already, their caviar has been hailed as Europe’s best and most sustainable by a variety of culinary and environmental organizations, ranging from the International Travel and Catering Association to the Italian Academy of Cuisine and the European Centre for Agricultural Promotion. In addition, Agroittica has garnered the top accolades and certifications in the field, including the ISO 9001, the IFS and the BRC.

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