Above the soft lulls of the river in Florence, there is a restaurant near Pointe Vecchio that has the most beautiful views of the river front. They have aptly named this restaurant and bar, Golden View Open Bar. If you have a dining table by the massive windows then you will be stunned by the setting sun and twinkling lights of the city. You can watch the steady stream of tourist and locals meander over the bridges that connect each river side to each other. The whole atmosphere is of peace and tranquility. I see why this was a strong recommendation from Giada De Laurentis. Now onto the food!
I started off with two crostini. One was topped with basil, tomatoes, and olive oil. The other was topped with prosciutto, arugula, olive oil, and goat cheese. The tomatoes were sweet and juicy. They lack the punchy and decadent flavors you can sometimes find in food, but for a starter to lack this punch I was not upset. It was a good basic start.
Next I tried the beef carpaccio topped with truffle. The crust around the carpaccio was peppery and meaty flavored. However, the amount of truffles was overwhelming. Others in my party had no problem with the amount of truffles. I just found it too overpowering and killing the flavor of carpaccio.
Next was the main dishes that we were all starving for. Grilled octopus with cheese foam and several sauce reductions that add elements herby, and powerful seafood flavor. This was fantastic as the octopus was not like rubber. When octopus goes rubber-like, it is the most unpleasant thing to eat.
The prawn ravioli were ok. The filling was texturally chewy. The broth was somewhat on the salty side. When mixed together, the overall dish improved but was not a knock out. Compared to what we had before, I was not that impressed.
I have a confession to make … I love duck but finding good duck is hard. I was so thankful that Open View Bar has it mastered. The duck was cooked to medium rare perfection with a flavor packed reduction over the top. It is followed by a carrot puree that was creamy and yummy. However, the vegetables did not impress me. They were oily and not cleaned how I liked to clean my vegetables.
Now to wrap up the night, a piece of chocolate decadent delight. The salted caramel sauced and whipped cream cut the dense chocolate cake. The chocolate was the dark chocolate that had the punch of bitter chocolate but with the sweetness that gives the sweet notes one expects of a dessert.
Giada knew what she was talking about when she recommended this restaurant. And I highly recommend that you go to Golden View Open Bar for the view, but stay for the food. Maybe a glass of wine or two.