Have I mentioned how obsessed I am with food? Recently? Well, ok, I still am. This fact most likely will not change anytime soon.
While hanging out at Bar Gallo in Panicale this past March, we were introduced to some wonderful folks from Great Britain. Richard, Kat, and their pal Jill, if my memory serves me. Really nice people we hope to connect with again next spring. After meeting and chatting with them a few times, they told us about this place nearby, GMB. They told us we should check it out... great pastries, savory and sweet, and a fun place to have an aperitif, or a meal. They told us it was in an odd area, and that we wouldn't believe there would be a cafe there. Hmmmm. Sounded good to us...
GMB is located in an area we would call "light industrial", I guess. Really off the beaten track. First, you have to pay attention for the little sign that points out the little side road, then you take a left into an area of warehouse looking buildings. We passed right by GMB the first time, and had to start over. We did find it, and we were glad we did.
Walking from the parking lot, you pass through the wonderfully hidden outside seating area. I bet this place rocks when the sun goes down. It just has that vibe. Once inside, it's like a big, wacky, jewel box. We had to just take a long moment to take it all in. Kind of shabby chic, kind of elegant, very bizarre- in a good way. The front room has a full size giraffe in it, along with an odd "80 Days Around The World" balloon, hanging front and center. There are tables, but also big, stuffed couches, and slip-covered easy chairs. A great place to just spent some time with a cappuccino or glass of wine.
After going through the front dining room, you are in the main cafe/pasticceria. The little sweet treats looked amazing, and more French than Italian. There was a nice selection of savory little bites, too. We came for lunch, but I am going back next time to indulge in the small bites of pastries, maybe at happy hour with vino. While we were looking at everything, several people came in and left with pretty boxes full of mixed delights, all done up with ribbon. Nice touch.
We took a seat and were served by a nice young man. The menu didn't have much for we vegetarians, but he was certain that the chef would be happy to create a nice lunch for us. Great! We ordered 2 glasses of the now favorite Grechetto, a nice white wine from the area. The waiter came back in a little while with a salad for me, and a sandwich for Johnny. These were both amazing. My salad was gorgeous, full of greens and fresh veggies, cheeses, and served with 3 different types of bread, all fabulous. Really, I can't believe we didn't go back for bread to have at home. GMB has some of the best whole grain bread I've ever tasted. Johnny's sandwich was full of grilled veggies, mozzarella cheese, and we both had the most beautifully colored hard cooked eggs included on our plates. Man, the colors on these plates were so fresh.
|A lovely feast for me. The dark liquid in the jar in back is a fruit and balsamic reduction, to be drizzled on whatever.|
This was one of the best salads I've ever eaten... so simple, so pretty. Notice the color of the egg yolks.
|Johnny's sandwich was amazing. The roasted pine nuts added some nice crunch, and the bread|
was a dream. Again, so very simple.
|GMB front dining room. The door to the right leads to the cafe area..|
|Entrance table at GMB- I love the decor, slightly elegant, slightly shabby chic... very fun.|
We couldn't leave without trying some sweet treats with espresso, so I went and picked out 3 little bites of heaven. Johnny trusted me to pick well, and I did. I don't think you could go wrong.
|Sadly, I don't remember, but one had hazelnut cream..all were too yummy. A very nice way to end the meal.|