Ora D’Aria – Michelin star dining in Florence

My husband and I went to Ora D’Aria on our honeymoon in October and we were really looking forward to our meal there based on reading about the chef and the place in general. However, we were a little disappointed with our meal and I think that, for the money, we had better meals elsewhere at a better price.

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THE FOOD

We did the Tuscan autumn tasting menu and each course was good, but not great.

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I think the amuse bouche was actually tastier than the actual courses, which was really unfortunate because I think it set us up for disappointment.  It consisted of a pint-sized portion of steak tartare with caviar and truffle oil, tempura fresh cherry tomato and prosciutto “sandwich”.

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This was followed by a delicious beet carpaccio, also part of the amuse bouche.

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Beet carpaccio – part of the amuse bouche

The rabbit course was a bit weird.  I really appreciated the three different preparations, though.

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Chianti-style Rabbit

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Another shot of the rabbit

The mushroom soup was more like a mushroom sauce than a soup.

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Mushroom soup

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Mushroom Soup

The pasta was the high point of the meal for me. It may have something to do with the fact that it was stuffed with, and covered with, garlic.

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Tortelli filled with potato and garlic in black cabbage sauce

The suckling pig was tender and crispy, as promised. Maybe I’m just not a huge pork person, but I didn’t love it – it still had a lot of fat on it, which is a huge turn-off to me in large quantities.

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Crispy and tender suckling pig

The Tuscan cheese course was delicious and the brioche was amazing. I wish the portions for THIS course were a bit bigger!

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Tuscan cheese course with brioche

THE WINE

We really liked the sommelier, who recommended a bottle to us that was reasonably priced and paired really well with both our meals and our tastes. He gets an A plus!

We had a bottle of Campo Al Fico (“Field of Figs”) Bolgheri Superiore 2010 red blend, an 80/20 Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.  It was lovely.

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Beautiful bottle of vino.

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Service was really good but not overbearing and we never felt rushed.

Finally, we were sat in the basement and it was fine, but we actually had a great time because we were speaking with our neighboring table and ended up hitting it off; we’ve since exchanged e-mails and have kept in touch. So, I can say it attracts a nice crowd who are serious about food, but not overly fussy.

In the end, we were invited to meet the chef (Marco Stabile) and we thanked him for our meal. It was a good overall experience, and Chef Marco’s skills were evident, but for the very expensive price relative to some of the other meals we had while in Florence, we didn’t feel like it lived up to the hype. In fact, it was the most expensive meal I think we have ever had (other than, perhaps, Restaurant Le Fouquet’s in Paris). At 70 Euros per person, plus wine, it was over US $300 for the two of us.

I’m happy to check it off the list but don’t think we’d return.  Personally, comparing Michelin star winners, I’d take Casa Enrique any day for 1/3 of the price.

How to find Ora D’Aria:

Ora D’Aria is both easy and hard to find. It’s tucked away in the side of a building just north of the Arno river, very close to to the Palazzo Vecchio. Reservations are recommended, and ask for a table upstairs if possible. Dress is smart casual or nicer (button-down shirts for men, dress slacks or dress for women).

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Location of Ora D’Aria

Ristorante Ora d’Aria
Via dei Georgofili 11R
50122 Firenze (FI) ITALIA
Phone: +39 055 200 16 99

Totally disagree with me? Or have you had a similar experience, even? What are some of the best Michelin-starred meals you’ve ever had, and which ones left you wanting more? Dish it in the comments!

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