The reopening of Ora d'Aria in Florence
Via dei Georgofili comes back to life, and so does the whole historic centre of Florence. After a long wait, the restaurant Ora d'Aria of chef Marco Stabile reopens to the public (only for dinner, for the moment), at a stone's throw from Ponte Vecchio. It's one of the most popular places in town, and returns in great shape, with a tout-court renovation to celebrate the restart. Beginning with a new menu, presented on September 19th, the day on which all the other businesses in the area will also open their doors in an open day designed to bring Florentines closer to the city centre, which has suffered as never before in the last two years due to the pandemic. A party for everyone, returning to share a place that has always been significant for the city.
Biscalchin's work at Ora d'Aria
To accompany Ora d'Aria in this adventure there will be 'Ino, Alessandro Frassica's gourmet sandwich shop, and Hotel degli Orafi. But let's go back to the restaurant: the biggest novelty concerns the decor, redesigned by the Milanese illustrator with Florentine origins Gianluca Biscalchin, to whom the chef asked to draw inspiration from the unique heritage of the Tuscan capital to create a work of art specifically for the dining room at Ora d'Aria. "The fresco has a double inspiration: the cuisine of Marco Stabile and the nearby Uffizi," explains Biscalchin. "I used, with all possible irony, the grotesques that decorate the ceilings of one of the most famous museums in the world. Here I entered Marco's gastronomic world with its four kingdoms: fish, meat, vegetables and pasta." There is also the solid gold of the historic Battiloro Manetti company, in Florence since the 16th century, in a black and white design: in short, "a synthesis of Florentine excellence: cuisine, art and crafts."
Marco Stabile's menu
A project born "from the esteem and friendship with a chef who has always favoured solidity in the kitchen mixed with poetry." And now ready to move on, "I really want to make my customers enjoy dining out again," he says. And to work as a team again, "to develop (my) new Tuscan cuisine, bringing to light old traditional recipes, mixing past and future that turn into emotion and pampering for people, my guests." He will do it through a new menu divided into 3 tasting journeys, the past, the present and the future, two for tasting and one à la carte. There will therefore be iconic dishes such as "ultrapappa al pomodoro" with basil gelato (2012), crispy soft suckling pig with turnip tops, garlic and lavender (2006) or even "the egg, eggs and hen" (2010). The imagined future is instead focused more on vegetable dishes, such as "risotto, il bosco" or "sliced ribollita," as well as a reference to the glorious past of the city through a recipe by Caterina de' Medici: pezzole della nonna, smoke, onion, herbs and ricotta cheese.
Another novelty is the ownership of the restaurant, which after 16 years is totally in the hands of the chef. He welcomes this honour (and burden) with great enthusiasm, eager to restart and increasingly develop his vision of dining. "I want to welcome my guests and make them feel part of something unique, a place where art, food and wine come together: the beauty around them, the art that surrounds them and the goodness in their plates." Always with the same goal in mind: to find "his" Tuscan cuisine, "which then becomes a path to follow and to imitate for those who want to get closer to the flavours and aromas of these wonderful territories."
Ora d’Aria – Florence – via della Mercede, 52 - oradariaristorante.com/
by Michela Becchi