New Opening – Branca
The team from The Revelry, one of the hottest new restaurants in Rochester, has been working on a couple of new projects either open or opening in the very near future. The newly renamed Buffalo Proper (prior name Blood & Sand) will be officially opening their doors to the public on Friday 8/15 with Jon Karel duplicating his role from The Revelry as bar manager and Ed Forster finding a more permanent spot following his successful run of events under The Workshop moniker. The food situation there is especially interesting to me after the fantastic and creative Exploration of Grain event I was able to attend last September. Really looking forward to stopping out in the near future to see what he has in store!
Shifting to the Rochester based opening, Branca (taken from the popular bitter digestif Fernet Branca) officially debuted Wednesday after some previews and a soft open night on Tuesday that I was able to attend. The focus of this venture is Neopolitan style pizza and a modern cocktail bar along with a yet to be released menu of what I expect to be mostly Italian themed dishes. I was able to try the Margherita pizza on Tuesday night and, while I appreciate the VPN concept and the simple toppings were pretty good, there were definitely some aspects that needed to worked on. This is Rochester’s second Neopolitan style pizzeria and one I’ll be following closely over the coming months to see how their pizza making skills and consistency progress before writing an evaluation of their pies.
The interior and environment of Branca is not surprisingly very well thought out and classy along the same lines as The Revelry. The tile clad red oven corners the room and white tile walls contrast the more rustic elements nicely. The exposed wood and marble topped bar is serving up craft cocktails and the modified Daiquiri I sampled was pleasantly strong and on point flavor wise. You should expect high level service and attention to detail at the bar with quality ingredients and I’m confident this will be a solid outpost for drinks on the east side of town.
For anyone that is a fan of their sister restaurant or looking for an oasis away from the Eastview Mall area, I’d say it is worth stopping in for a drink or to check out how the pizza is progressing.