Martina Fracchia's first memories of food revolve around her grandmother's stove and the meals shared with family and friends when she was growing up in her native Argentina.
"I remember going to my grandmother's house and the smell of dulce de leche cooking on the stove, then the conversation, all the laughing, and the time we took to appreciate our meals," Fracchia tells New Times.
Her Midtown restaurant, Ol'Days Farm to Table, pays homage to those memories; it's the first U.S. location for the concept, which she created in partnership with her sister Juliana Fracchia and friend Camila R. Basigalup.
Fracchia notes that the original Ol'Days, which opened in Buenos Aires in 2014, started as a coffee shop, evolving into a full-service restaurant owing to customer demand.
"Customers wanted to sit back and linger over not only coffee, but also their favorite food, so my sister and I made use of the recipes handed down to us by our great-grandmother and grandmother and transformed ourselves into something beyond just a restaurant," she elaborates. “We want our guests to feel that coming to Ol'Days is like arriving home — there is always someone waiting for you, and there's always something in the oven."
Ol'Days opened its doors in Midtown on November 13, a year after the trio of entrepreneurs set their eyes on Miami for international expansion.
"We decided we wanted to develop the project to the next level and eventually grow along the U.S.," Fracchia says. "Miami for us is the perfect place to start because of our familiarity with the Latin-American community. And it also offers a direct flight into Argentina, where our families are."
With seating for 60 guests and a sidewalk terrace, Ol'Days is outfitted in a neutral color palette, recycled and new woods, and white stone tabletops, complemented by whitewashed antique brick, terracotta, and rusty irons. The blend of rustic and natural textures lends a pleasingly homey vibe, as do the plants that hang from the ceiling and the living wall.
Importing an ingredient-first philosophy from her hometown of Corrientes in northeast Argentina, Fracchia says she sources fresh-farmed produce and artisanal products as much as possible from regional names, including Mr. Greens, Zak the Baker, and Gaucho Ranch.
"We can't always only rely on them due to seasonality, but we want to embrace their work and the community because we know how hard it is for local farmers, going against climate and many other obstacles to keep their business going," she says.
The menu, which Fracchia prepares daily with her team, includes all-day brunch items, including the traditional Argentinean cheese bread called chipas ($6), and oats-and-yogurt pancakes filled with banana mash ($12). A hearty entrée of grass-fed short ribs is slow-cooked for 12 hours and served alongside mashed country potatoes and organic broccolini ($30), while a flavor-packed "Buddha Bowl" mixes together wild quinoa, adzuki beans, tomatoes, seeds, sautéed spinach in kiwi vinaigrette, with a roasted hummus duo, goji berries, and cashews ($14).
Shareable sweet options at Ol'Days range from handcrafted tapioca bites served with spicy honey ($9) to carrot cake filled with cream cheese ($10). The signature choco cake is layered with chocolate mousse and homemade dulce de leche ($10).
The beverage list features Arabic coffee from the Ethiopian Sidamo region, along with teas, infusions, cold-pressed juices, and wine and beer selections.
Ol’Days operates an onsite boutique market offering a line of homemade products, including the marmalades, granola, and coffees served at the restaurant. The products are packaged in recyclable, eco-friendly, and reusable materials.
Ol'Days Miami. 3301 NE First Ave., Miami; oldayscoffee.com. Sunday through Wednesday 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Thursday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.