If you’re looking for the hip place, the “place to be” or the latest in town, you’re not necessarily interested in this post. However, if you’re into seriously good food, seriously served wine and a decadent aperitivo, read on.
Gamberini is one of those rare places that never changed with time. It has been there for more than a century: it was born in 1907, in full Art Nouveau era, a period that we in Italy call “Liberty”. Old fashioned charm and a slightly uptight atmosphere, it is located at the end of Via Ugo Bassi, impressive windows and massive chandeliers declaring its unapologetic, if slightly out-of-time, fanciness.
What you expect to find here (and do find), is the local lawyer or accountant having his macchiato or her frizzantino, served with distinct, impeccable manners. What you don’t necessarily expect, but invariably find, is some delightful, creative, mouthwatering finger food.
Because, my friends, if the little masterpieces of patisserie weren’t enough (and boy, they are great), I recently found out that the aperitivo also is a-ma-zing. Forget the massive bowls of soft pasta and fried frozen veggies served in the Uni area, forget the much more palatable but still of lesser status “assiettes de charcuterie” with tigelle of the Quadrilatero. We are talking excellence here. In the shape of dear, old fashioned canapes.
Combinations are creative and taste marvellous: my favorite is the mini tart with a first layer of cream cheese, covered with big crumbles of dried apricot, one hazelnut, one pistachio and the final addition of a saltier, drier, tastier cheese (may be toasted parmesan, but I’m just guessing).
Pairing a black berry with a rolled mini slice of salami and a touch of mayo also took some courage, but the result pressed me to take another one, so this one was approved, too. Flavors and textures are combined in intelligent, tasteful ways and sipping aperitivo here is a real experience for the palate, a way to detach yourself physically, energetically and philosophically from the mainstream of Via Belvedere. Are you ready for it?
Gamberini is on Via Ugo Bassi 12,
All photos are taken from its Facebook page with the owners’ permission