Branca Midtown

4.6
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478 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Top tags:
  • Good for a Date
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Special Occasions
Branca is a neighborhood Italian eatery in downtown Rochester, New York, located in Tower280. Branca honors the storied culinary history of Italy by offering simple yet flavorfully complex dishes; in short, we serve fresh and hand-crafted food that makes you feel good. Our bar showcases interpretations of classic cocktails, allowing us to share our creative process and passion, and also offers all the warm and familiar spirits we’ve come to love. Branca also features a full Italian Coffee Bar. In the vein of Old Hollywood watering holes, Branca is a home away from home for our guests: a place for family, a place for friends, and a place to be known and loved. Branca Midtown is open lunch Tuesday through Friday, and dinner Tuesday through Saturday.
What 478 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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R
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on 14 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of our favorite restaurants in Rochester! EXCELLENT food in a gorgeous setting! *Superior* service! And right in the heart of it all in revitalizing downtown!

FG
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on 14 September 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Service was spotty. Took a while after being seated to be noticed. Then drink orders took longer than seemed appropriate. But sever was super knowledgeable and outgoing. It’s good food and fun atmosphere.

OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on 13 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was our first time at the midtown location and surprisingly it was a very pleasant evening. The noise level was tolerable and our waitress was great and the food was amazing and so was our drinks! Definitely a place to go for date night, not so great for kids I would say for sure (have 2).

E
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on 13 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent!

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N
1 review
Dined on 6 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I’ve had a few experiences here and every occasion has been phenomenal! Service is excellent attentive and welcoming. I enjoyed the tuna tartare (sushi lover) and pasta, also the by the sea cocktail was full of flavor with the right amount of kick. Perfect place for a night out with loved ones on any occasion.

OT
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on 6 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Easily our favorite restaurant in Rochester! Always have such a good meal here. I’m literally addicted to the pepperoni and honey pizza!

LM
New England
1 review
Dined on 6 September 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Very nice Italian spot with above average cocktails and great service.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 6 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I don’t even know how to describe the food in a way that would do it a justice! Each bite got better and better, and it was worth every dollar!

LW
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 31 August 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 4

The mushroom pasta was delicious!! BUT we did not appreciate asking the waiter for the specials and he said they had none left but when people sat down next to us 5 minutes later, their server said they did have specials - something about trout. Also, we used a $50 Visa gift card towards the bill - you charged us $5 to use it!!!!

CO
1 review
Dined on 24 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great atmosphere and amazing service! Made my birthday very special.

OT
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on 23 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Great food. It was a bit disappointing not to find french fries and burger on the dinner menu

C
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 22 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always, the food, service, and atmosphere were A1.

n
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on 21 August 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

A bit pricey for Rochester but food was great. Great spot for outside eating

MR
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 10 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We told them it was our anniversary. Our table was set with flowers and they gave us a complimentary half glass of champagne to toast. The food, drinks and service were excellent! We highly recommend!!

m
Tampa
5 reviews
Dined on 9 August 2019
Overall 3food 5service 5ambience 2

It's fun to dine in the "new" improved downtown Rochester, and Branca is an especially good place to enjoy the new urban atmosphere. The food is great. Staff is attentive and friendly. On a recent Friday evening the noise was deafening. It's hard to enjoy the fine cuisine with everyone yelling at the top of their lungs. A lot of this is behavioral -- people feel less restrained by social conventions than the used to, so shouting your head off to reach the person at the end of a large table of guests is now OK. However, surely Branca could do "something" with their decor and fixtures to soften the reverberation. I wish they would. I suppose some people don't mind mind-numbing noise, but for me in particular it is problematic. Otherwise, this place is great. At lunch the noise is not a problem.

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on 9 August 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Should expand menu a bit to include other sides, FF, grilled veggies, etc.

MC
17 reviews
Dined on 9 August 2019
Overall 4food 2service 4ambience 4

The food would have been great but it was so salty it couldn’t be eaten

KV
1 review
Dined on 9 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Food was good; a little pricey. Service was very good! We ate outside apparently their location could use some type of barrier, as the wind is a constant problem. Staff was very accommodating to make it as nice as possible outside. Would go back & likely dine inside.

AC
New York Area
44 reviews
Dined on 8 August 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

Our last dinner at Branca Midtown was a little letdown. On the positive notes, the food and the cocktails were consistently good, even though one of my favorites (the Milanese veal cutlet) was not on the menu. The service was also professional and friendly. On the negative side, the prices of the drinks have gone up considerably since our last visit, especially the wine bottles, with markups between 3x and 4x over retail prices. The noise level is always very energetic, but this has always been the case. However, parking is now considerably more difficult, possibly because of the new residential units in the downtown area.

MN
1 review
Dined on 8 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was delicious. Good wine list. Our server was superb, patient with all our questions and requests.

MB
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 2 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent, attentive service. Wedge salad was delicious and different than a typical wedge. Mushroom pizza was great with a thin crust. We also enjoyed their house made ricotta as an appetizer. It's a little pricey but we really enjoyed our dining experience.

t
Pittsburgh
17 reviews
Dined on 31 July 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Good food, service. Price reasonable. Sat outside. Needed more umbrellas, otherwise great.

d
1 review
Dined on 30 July 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

have been there often, just a bit loud this time. Would definitely recommend and visit again

OT
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on 27 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

All was great!

LZ
1 review
Dined on 26 July 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Chose Branca because we could walk from Hyatt. Great service & food. Scallops were done just right. Loved the marble bar and many windows. Was an upbeat atmosphere and surprisingly quiet for all the people at the bar and seated in the restaurant. Would highly recommend.

T
1 review
Dined on 23 July 2019
Overall 2food 3service 3ambience 3

A little pricey, for 2 people your look at about 100 dollars. But food was good.

R
1 review
Dined on 19 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was amazing and the service was very exceptional.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 19 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was amazing! The burrata appetizer was phenomenal and the pasta and clams were even better. My only critique is offer bread with the main course. Who doesn’t want to sop up that sauce??

AS
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on 16 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The place was modern and clean. The food was fresh and delicious. I had the lobster bisque and pizza. Cheese was fresh. Would return again!

JV
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 16 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Very comfortable atmosphere.

JQ
1 review
Dined on 6 July 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Very nice evening out with friends. Food and service were great!

SG
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on 6 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

BRANCA MIDTOWN - always excellent ! One suggestion - why not branch out from your Italian wine list and offer some of our outstanding local FINGER LAKE WINES on your menu ?
Only one criticism - it is sometimes hard to hear your own conversation due to the acoustics in the restaurant ,but otherwise a truly outstanding restaurant in every way !

J
1 review
Dined on 3 July 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Branca is a great place for any kind of casual meal. First date, client lunch, family get together. The staff is attentive and the food is great.

m
Tampa
6 reviews
Dined on 29 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Rochester finally starts to
feel like a city again after the ravages of urban renewal, with a smart, stylish, airy spot such as this. They could turn down the background music. But not much they can do to improve the menu or the quality of the food and service.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 29 June 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Dinner before Jazz Fest!

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PM
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 29 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience overall, from the friendly hostess to the attentive server to the beautiful outdoor seating. The star is the food!!! My husband and I sampled the roasted artichoke and the antipasto tray and finished with the mushroom pizza. The light breading and lemon infused sauce made the artichokes delightful. The antipasto tray with salami, prosciutto, capicolla, parmesan, bleu cheese, and perfectly warmed brie, as well as crusty slices of Italian bread and a sweet/sour dipping sauce was both rustic and refined. The wood fired pizza was crisp and flavorful with wonderful fresh made cheeses. Bravo, chef Ken! Menu is a little pricey but worth it! You won't be disappointed.

JS
1 review
Dined on 28 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great meal and service at Branca!! We had four guests who each enjoyed their meal and cocktails. The server was present and polished. The atmosphere was clean, updates, and relaxed. Would go again!!

J
1 review
Dined on 26 June 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

My wife's meal was very good. My first course (calamari) was cooked well but was too salty. I had the Gnocchi Bolognese as a main dish. The Gnocchi were light and tender, as they should be but the meat sauce was not close to what Bolognese should be. I realize that there as many recipes for this dish as there are cooks but this version was tasteless and ground to the texture of sawdust. I am a chef and have cooked this countless times in restaurants and at home and would be ashamed to put my name on your dish.

The wine selection by the glass is irritating in a couple of ways. Being someone who purchases a large amount of wine at retail throughout the year and also knows the wholesale costs, I find it offense to pay more for one glass of wine than I can buy a bottle at retail for (not what you paid at wholesale). I helped set up wine programs for restaurants and we never wanted to get our money back for a bottle with one glass! The wines, in my opinion, could also be better selected.

LN
1 review
Dined on 26 June 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Food was delicious. Love homemade pasta. Portions were so small for the price. I think if you broke it down I paid $1.50 per gnocchi.

OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 22 June 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

My family went here to celebrate my daughter’s birthday. Great outdoor ambiance and the food was very good. The only “issue” was my daughter had the gnocchi at the other Branca location and the Bolognese sauce at that location was better.

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