Florence works really hard to maintain a stellar eating scene. There are new foodie places popping up constantly and small wine bars on virtually every corner. Where quality usually rings in well, the service is something to be discovered. I love being a critic, like a lot of people do. More and more legal action is being threatened against bloggers and journalists for publicly expressing their critical opinion. Yes, we have officially lost our rights to free expression. I admit that I have essentially allowed myself to be bullied. However, if you are looking for reviews on the best places to eat and drink in Florence and don’t find them on my site or around my instagram feed, that probably means that they suck. Most bloggers and social media fanatics love to sing the praises of a good eatery. If you aren’t finding a specific place online, that will now be what you can consider a silent critical treatment. For example, if you don’t see that I have written about wildly popular places like Lola aka Il Chicco di Cafe in Florence, there is a good reason why and you can definitely ask me about it one-on-one.
Moving on to criticize Gnam in Florence (kidding!)
Okay, so this place is really new and is positioning itself to make gourmet burgers and contemporary twists on Italian finger foods. Honestly, it is delicious but I suspect expensive for the everyday Italian. Italians make modest incomes. 8eu an hour for even the most skilled professional in a pharmacy is not unheard of. If a plate of pasta or a sandwich costs 8eu, that’s an hour of work. Most authentic eateries (outside the city center) should charge something like 4 euros for a plate of pasta or a panino. Most eateries in the center Florence are designed for either expats with money, tourists with taste or the few financially elite Florentines. I know this sounds critical, but this is not a criticism towards Gnam. It is a general criticism to a system that does not accurately represent a traditional lifestyle and culture. Nothing is wrong with tourists with money, nothing is wrong with the financially elite. There is just something wrong with overcharging for food or creating boutique versions of poor food- and allowing travelers leave with this impression that “this is Italy.”
I enjoy gourmet eating, but I realize and aware that I am indulging in a luxury. I have paid for an experience, not rustic authenticity or simply filling my belly. What I want people to leave this post knowing, is that Gnam (along with many other trendy eateries) is a sort of boutique experience and not the norm for eating real food in Florence.
For ten euros, you can have one of 3 very tasty Aperitivo personal platters. It will be interesting, it will be high quality. But considering what 10 euros means to most Italians, it is a luxury. They make all their sauces in house. They flavor their meat just right. There is a perfect amount of crunch and texture to their fried ricotta bites. There is a lovely presentation as you can see, and tasty beers to wash these gourmet bites down with. Mini-burger on foccaccia, lemon ricotta fritter bites and a beet and Parmesan flan on arugula.
That being said, I would much prefer this Aperitivo at Gnam than most garbage Aperitivo buffets around the city. I am happy to pay 5 euros more for quality, style and atmosphere. But those are my priorities! The staff was generally nice but not overly enthusiastic. Then again, I have a high standard for service. I love food and get really jazzed about it. I love talking about food so I personally get let down in an establishment when the staff doesn’t share a similar level of enthusiasm. To add, Florentines have a sort of reputation for not being the bubbly, outgoing and enthused type in the service industry. Although there are also people who have proven this stereotype wrong. I have been charmed by many Florentines and their enthusiasm for food and drink. Again, it comes down to a people thing- a set of social skills that one either possesses or they don’t. I personally choose the bubbly type. It takes more energy to be a grumpy, snarky person that to be jazzy and accepting to everyone.
That being said- I highly recommend Gnam for a gourmet, finger food aperitivo. They tout KM Zero which is a plus and probably a reason to their premium pricing. Very stylish ambiance and modern decor. This is a great spot for someone who would like a little variety and control over ingredients for those with food restrictions or dietary lifestyles. They have flavorful vegan and gluten free options.
Gnam deets: Website: http://www.gnamfirenze.it/ Address: Via di Camaldoli, 20, 50124 Firenze Phone:055 223952
In your appetite for Aperitivo,
The Curious Appetite
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