Gucci has always been a high-end, luxury brand with timeless pieces in the world of fashion. However, after appointing Alessandro Michele as the new creative director of Gucci back in 2015, the brand has transcended into a symbol for innovation and progression. As described by the brand itself, Gucci is eclectic, contemporary and romantic while representing the pinnacle of Italian craftsmanship. So, what happens when the rich history and fashion of Gucci become not only a museum gallery, but a world-renowned restaurant? In the heart of Florence lies the Gucci Garden; a collection of Gucci stores, exhibitions and a restaurant by three Michelin-star chefs that together house the Gucci museum.
Knowing the hype around the brand through social media influence I was skeptical when I decided to book a reservation at the Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura. Fears of being surrounded by pretentious, stuffy people while eating small-portioned, overpriced meals flooded my mind leading up. However, because of my long-living fantasy of one day owning my own collection of Gucci pieces (specifically a purse), I had to RSVP a table for four and not look back. Now the only question: was it worth the hype?
I suppose a good place to start would be with how the wait staff treats you. Upon sitting down, the waiter treated my family and me with pure respect and kindness while bringing out a table stand for our purses. He then waited for everyone to be seated and comfortable to start taking our drink order and explaining the menu. I was living my Disney princess fantasy within minutes of sitting down. Throughout the entire night, we were treated like pure royalty. After our drink orders were taken, we were served a watermelon sorbet to cleanse our palette (pictured below).
When it was time to order our meals, my family collectively decided to each order a different meal and share to get the full experience of the menu choices. This is something I highly recommend because you are likely going to want to try everything in sight. One of the managers took the liberty to explain the highly-rated choices while giving us an extensive backstory to each meal. Without giving too much away just yet, I never really knew how much detail and history could come from making a burger.
If you’re thinking about visiting the Gucci Garden, you MUST try the Emilia Burger and the Tortellini with Parmigiano Reggiano Cream. Weeks later and my mouth is watering just by typing the words on my keyboard. The Emilia Burger, in particular, has a very interesting backstory. The main chef, Massimo Bottura, was visiting New York City when he stumbled upon Shake Shack. Although a Shake Shack burger is an American staple, the Italian chef fell in love with the burger and decided to reinvent it at the Gucci Osteria. From the pink to-go packaging it comes out in (pictured below), to the indescribable flavor that would put any American burger to shame, Bottura uses local pork and beef, Parmigiano-Reggiano, salsa verde and balsamic mayonnaise to make a burger so good we had no choice but to order two! (And yes, we kept the boxes).
Overall, I think it is fair to say that eating at the Gucci Garden is an experience I will never forget (and it is, in fact, worth the hype). Although the meals fall on the pricier side (appx 25-30 euros per entree), you are not only paying for food cooked by one of the top chefs in the world, but you are also paying for the most exquisite dining experience. You are getting a deeper look into the world of Gucci through unique, world-class food. However, if you still want to dive deeper into the history and process of Gucci after you eat, you get free access to the 3-story exhibition filled with legendary Gucci pieces and collections. Whether you are a lover of Gucci, or just a lover of food, this experience will be one that you never forget.
All images courtesy of Daniela Rodriguez.