Saturday, March 31, 2012

EATING IN FLORENCE - BRAC & ORA D'ARIA

The bar at Brac with tables outside on the terrace
I recently had lunch at Brac, located between the Uffizi gallery and Santa Croce in via dei Vagellai 18r. It was something I'd been putting off for a while as, even though I had poked my head in and been really impressed by the lovely relaxing atmosphere that they've created, a vegetarian and vegan menu doesn’t really excite me too much.

Carpaccio di avocado at Brac
However, I ate those words when they served me my carpaccio di avocado, misticanza, pomodoro, sesame, cedano, mandorla e succo di limone, which was absolutely delicious. It was basically half an avocado with sesame seeds sprinkled on top, seated on a bed a mixed green leafy salad with a blended paste of celery, tomatoes and almonds. My friend ordered a pasta chitarra aglio, olio e pomodori secchi (chitarra pasta with sundried tomatoes, oil and garlic). We ate at the bar as all the tables had been reserved, but it was, however, comfortable and nice.

Pasta chitarra aglio, olio e pomodori secchi at Brac
To access the tables for a seated lunch from where we were and where the kitchen is located, there is a small open roofed wooden floored terrace, with comfy armchairs and little coffee tables – an ideal place for some personal R&R or a tête à tête with a mate. As my friend said upon entering Brac, here it seems like you are not in Florence at all! 

It is open 10am-10pm, Monday – Saturday.


Ora d'Aria Restaurant
In the last few days I have also tried the chic restaurant Ora d’Aria, located behind the Uffizi in via Georgofili. The direct translation of the name is ‘Air Hour’ and this is the expression used for the time allocated each day to prisoners in gaol when the are permitted to walk around in the allocated outside zone. This explains the empty birdcage at the entrance, with the door open, as if the bird has flown the coup. 

The decor is lovely, crisp and white, but not sterile. The menu is not overwhelmingly large and is centred upon typically Italian fare such as tripe, baccalà and suckling pig, though served in a modern context with nouvelle cuisine parameters. The assortment of breads was interesting also, and the service was good. 

Suckling pig with garlic, lavender and black cabbage
I enjoyed it very much, and though I must admit I am a real lover of the more familiar and intimate restaurants, and typically shy away from nouvelle cuisine as it is often a bit too precious for my taste,  this was a nice experience. For a starter, I chose the braised tripe and baccalà with chickpea purée and celeriac, and as a main course, the soft crispy suckling pig, with garlic, lavender and black cabbage sautéed with black mustard. 

Open Monday – Saturday, via dei Georgofili, tel.0552001699.

3 comments:

  1. Hi there! I will be looking forward to visit your page again and for your other posts as well. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about Florence Italy tour in your area. I am glad to stop by your site and know more about Florence Italy tour. Keep it up! This is a good read. You have such an interesting and informative page.
    Starting from the late Middle Ages, Florentine money—in the form of the gold florin—financed the development of industry all over Europe, from Britain to Bruges, to Lyon and Hungary. Florentine bankers financed the English kings during the Hundred Years War, as well as the papacy, including the construction of their provisional capital of Avignon and, after their return to Rome, the reconstruction and Renaissance embellishment of the latter.
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  2. Hello! Thank you for sharing your thoughts about Florence Italy Tour. I am glad to stop by your site and know more about Florence Italy Tour. Keep it up! This is a good read. You have such an interesting and informative page. I will be looking forward to visit your page again and for your other posts as well.
    During World War II the city experienced a year-long German occupation (1943–1944) and was declared an open city. The Allied soldiers who died driving the Germans from Tuscany are buried in cemeteries outside the city (Americans about nine kilometres south of the city, British and Commonwealth soldiers a few kilometres east of the centre on the right bank of the Arno). In 1944, the retreating Germans blew up the bridges along the Arno linking the district of Oltrarno to the rest of the city, making it difficult for the British troops to cross. However, at the last moment Charle Steinhauslin, at the time consulate of 26 countries in Florence, convinced the German general in Italy that the Ponte Vecchio was not to be blown up due to its historical value.
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  3. I have been to both of these places and I think they are both awesome. I recently tried again Ora d'Aria and I have eaten one of the best Codfish ever.

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