If only these walls could speak… they would be plenty of stories to tell! We are at the civic number 20 in via Gaetano de Castilla, right in front of the famous, tall and extraordinary buildings which create the Bosco Verticale. Right here, the Cafè Gorille opened one year ago. A place that, irony of fate, develops horizontally. And it vibrates. And it speaks. It seems it would like to tell you something as soon as you come in and… everyone can hear something different!
Emanuele Coronini, business partner of Paola Andreoni, and who, with his French partner Catherine, runs the place, once told me what used to exist here, between these walls. That is how I found the unconventional soul that still today seems resound and somehow tell something: association for gays and lesbians in the ’80, club Arci, cultural association to promote art and music, expositions place. In conclusion, a place that, since its construction in the late XIX century, has been collecting, telling and spreading a word.
Today is all about internationality and simplicity: a bistrot opened from dawn till dusk, where thrilling your taste buds, meeting with friends or even working thanks to the free Wi-Fi, I would say the owners hit the mark. The luxury in the high quality products, carefully selected and perfectly prepared in the kitchen, is combined with the cooking simplicity. The chef – who gained experience at the prestigious Noma in Copenhagen – realizes Italian dishes with international smells and inspirations. Moreover, are to be considered the many French sparks: salads with Roquefort cheese, fois gras, smoked salmon (these last two homemade, as all the baked products), the use of spices and herbs, sprouts and roots. It is possible to eat from sunrise till sunset: breakfast with homemade pies, fixed price lunch, aperitif rigorously without buffet and dinner.
The weekend – both Saturday and Sunday – is dedicated to the brunch. With vegan and vegetarian options too. The food menu is short but really well-finished just as it is the wine list, which is to me, as you know, really important. The cocktails are professionally made, the Gin selection is particularly rich and high profile. Lele is super friendly and always smiling, while Catherine is really sweet and elegant. The waiters fast and careful.
You can choose to seat in the first small room or to continue your trip inside the restaurant and take a seat at the social table, which overlooks the garden outside. The décor is a perfect mix between the modern design (like the beautiful lamps with carbon structure on the tables) and the retro details: from the potteries to the in view bricks. Bricks where you will find nestled hundreds of Gorilla shaped business cards… and, revisiting the De André’s song I would say “Attenti al Gorilla! Considerato un grandioso fusto, da chi l’ha provato assai brilla, sia per spirito che per gusto” (“Attention to the Gorilla! Considered a magnificent hunk, by someone who tasted it really tipsy, both in spirit and in taste” translator’s note).
Photo credit: Andrea Donetti