Our first visit to Florence, and based on reviews on here, hotel recommendations, michelin guide, etc, we also ate at Olio e Convivium, Enoteca Pinchiori, Il Cestello, Il Fagioli, amongst others. Ora d'Aria quite simply put the rest to shame, primarily in terms of quality of dishes, but also with regard to service, atmosphere and pricing. We were the only tourists/non-italians in there.
I can quite honestly say that even compared to some of the best restaurants (michelin starred and otherwise) we have visited in London, Paris, elsewhere in Italy, Switzerland, New York, etc, this restaurant very much holds its own. At the time of this review, the restaurant holds one michelin star. I would be quite surprised if this is not two stars in the very near future.
I should note that we reserved well in advance, were a party of two, visited for lunch, and were seated upstairs. This gives you a full view of the kitchen through glass doors, with the (charming and clearly immensely talented) chef personally stepping out to deliver each course to your table and to describe precisely what he has placed before you. This no doubt enhances the overall experience.
We each enjoyed starter, main and dessert, with a couple of amuse bouche thrown in for good measure. The bill came to approx 170 euro inclusive of a 50 euro bottle of prosseco. Given the quality of the food and overall experience, we found this to be very reasonable, particularly when compared to other restaurants in a similar (and even lesser) category.
The food itself was simple, using locally sourced and seasonal ingredients, to create final dishes of an incredibly high quality. I cannot recommend Ora d'Aria highly enough.
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