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Branca breaks bread in midtown 

If you've ever worked downtown, you know that options for grabbing something to eat are limited. If you're looking for a drink after work with your co-workers, the choices are even fewer. And while there are plans (and many construction vehicles) in place to breathe new life into downtown, it's hard to picture what it will look like.

Branca Midtown (280 East Broad Street, Suite 100) is bringing that picture a little more into focus. Josh Miles and SCN Hospitality (Branca Basin, The Revelry, Buffalo Proper) opened the new eatery with the desire to be the first restaurant to take the plunge and be part of downtown's resurgence.

Even though the midtown location is the sister restaurant to Branca Basin (683 Pittsford Victor Road), the menu has been adapted to meet the needs of those that work and live downtown. "We've aimed at the business crowed, but we are approachable for all," says Chelsea Felton, SCN Hospitality director of operations. Branca Midtown features an Italian coffee bar, with grab-and-go options for breakfast and lunch. All pastries are made in-house, and salads and sandwiches are put out at 10 a.m. for those just popping in on their lunch break.

Asa Scohy is the executive chef for both locations and has created new items for the midtown location, such as the Branca Burger ($15), a 10-ounce beef burger stuffed with gorgonzola and topped with smoked pancetta onion jam, tomato, onion, and baby arugula (an egg or bacon can be added for $3). The mozzarella is pulled in-house and tops the Branca pizza ($16) along with basil, house-made spicy pork sausage, Pecorino Romano cheese, and tomato sauce.

The bar program at both locations is run by Abby Quatro, and it has been a welcome addition to midtown. The Caprese Daiquiri ($9) combines milk washed rum, basil, and tomato water. Branca Midtown's happy hour, "Triple Sixes," is from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and features wine, boilermaker, and call drink specials.

Live in Tower 280? Lucky you — Branca Midtown offers delivery to your door. There are several parking options in the area, including the midtown garage and a free parking lot to the right of Tower 280. There is also free street parking after 6 p.m.

Branca Midtown is located at 280 East Broad Street, Suite 100, and is open for lunch, Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and for dinner, Tuesday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. The coffee counter is open Mondays, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Tuesday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. 434-5243; brancamidtown.com.

Quick bites

RocCity Brewfest will take place on Saturday, January 21, from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center (123 East Main Street). The event is split into two sessions, one from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and the other from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets are $36 per session. A wine festival will occur simultaneously in the same area, tickets for that are $26. Designated driver tickets are available for $11. Visit roccitybrewfest.com for more information and to purchase tickets.

ButaPub (315 Gregory Street) will host "The Remedy: Brunch Redefined" on Sunday, January 29, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Music will be provided by DJ Alykhan and Chef Asa Mott will cook up a gourmet brunch. Call 563-6241 to make a reservation.

Woody's Café (2375 Route 332) in Canandaigua is adding a dinner service for one night a week starting on Friday, January 27, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Each week will feature a different menu that will be posted on its Facebook page, facebook.com/cafewoodyscafe.

Muller's Cider House (1344 University Avenue) will host "Tim Fisher: Punk Rock Dinner" on Friday, January 27, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This is the first in a series featuring guest chefs at the cider house. Tickets are $20 for a table and $18 to sit at the bar, and are available on eventbrite.com.

Closings

Southpoint Restaurant and Bar (1400 Empire Boulevard) has closed.

Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery (1175 Jefferson Road) has closed.

Chow Hound is a food and restaurant news column. Do you have a tip? Send it to food@rochester-citynews.com.

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