Lunch with a Spectacular View of Florence at B-Roof at Grand Hotel Baglioni Firenze (Florence, Italy)
When I was researching my trip to Florence several moths ago, I have come to understand that food in Florence is fairly traditional. Tuscan food is based on the Italian idea of cucina povera or “poor cooking.” A concept that started very literally, it’s about simple meals that are inexpensive and could easily be made in large amounts. Today it remains largely the same – but by choice instead of economy. Tuscan cooking doesn’t use complicated seasonings or elaborate creations because they’re not needed. Instead it’s made using fresh, high-quality ingredients that bring out the natural flavors in each dish, simple or not.
Food doesn’t have to travel far in Tuscany, the region’s gentle hills are the perfect source and locally grown produce. The cuisine is traditionally hearty and made with simple ingredients – ones easily found in the countryside – with beans and roasted meats serving as the base of most traditional Tuscan meals.
At B-Roof at Grand Hotel Baglioni Firenze, their menu is deeply rooted in Tuscan cuisine but it does have a “wellness” menu where it is gluten-free and lighter dishes.
Of course, I’m not here to eat the lighter fare. My friends and I shared a delicious, hearty lunch at this restaurant. The interior of the restaurant itself is comfortable and elegant. It is a smart move since it provides a neutral backdrop toe the large windows that open to the stunning views of Florence.
We started off with fried zucchini blossoms filled with sea bass paste and red bell pepper sauce and caper dust that was light and delicious. The prawns, spinach in olive oil and melon balls was a lovely of the sweet prawns and melon to meld with the vegetal spinach. A bottle of traditional Chianti – Pietrafitta Chianti Classico 2013 – was drunk throughout the meal. It had good acidity and tannins that aren’t too overwhelming.
Pici with in tomato sauce, Calitteir olives, oregano and capers was a delicious bowl of pasta. Pici is a traditional Sienna pasta. The pasta are thick strands of pasta made with a simple dough of flour and water that is cut into strips and then hand-rolled. It’s cooked to a perfect al dente. The simple flavors of in the tomato sauce with olives, oregano and capers melded together beautifully.
For our main courses, we shared a traditional Florentine steak topped with slices of Parmesan and vegetables and seared local fish (texture akin to tuna or swordfish) with broccoli, tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. The steak was beautifully cooked to a rare-medium since it’s gorgeous, locally raised beef it makes sense not to overcook it. What surprises me, in a good way, is that the steak is on the lean side compared to the much fattier steaks I’ve had in U.S. The Parmesan cheese added some salinity and nuances of umami. As for the firm, meaty, seared fish was incredible and I liked the smokiness from the searing.
Though we were very full, we had to have desserts. The torta caprese is a dense, flourless chocolate cake that is very rich. It’s like eating a fudge brownie but had nutty flavors since there’s almonds as a flour replacement. The housemade tiramisu was very good. Light, creamy and lovely coffee flavors.
We were invited by our waiter to up to their outdoor, multilevel terrace. While I was expecting a view as good as what I’ve been seeing throughout lunch, I didn’t anticipate the breathtaking, uninterrupted 360-degree views of Florence. Thinking in retrospect of my trip in Florence, this restaurant has the best views of the city. While walking up the Duomo is an experience but you would be way too high to really get the details you’d want in your photos of certain buildings.
I highly recommend going to B-Roof. The food satisfied my stomach and craving for Tuscan fare. The service was very courteous and friendly. But the thing that really takes this experience to another level were my eyes being fed by the marvelous vistas from my table and the unparalleled views of Florence if you are able to go to the outdoor terrace.
For more photos, please CLICK HERE for the complete sets or see below:
B-Roof at Grand Hotel Baglioni Firenze
Piazza dell’Unità Italiana, 6
50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Phone: +39 055 2358 8560