La Bettola del Gusto

Dinner at La Bettola del Gusto

Earlier this month, I was in Italy and visited Rome, Pompei, and Naples (with a day-trip to Tivoli). This and upcoming posts will revolve around these places, so stay tuned 😉

“La Bettola del Gusto” roughly translates to something like “hole in the wall of enjoyment” – odd, considering the restaurant’s central location across from Pompei Train Station, yet somehow fitting, because one can hardly believe that such a remarkable restaurant experience is found in the small Italian city of Pompei.

The food in Italy is generally delicious, but what stood out about La Bettola del Gusto was the cosy atmosphere, complemented by outstanding service – perfect for date night or just to wind down after a day of exploring the ruins of Pompeii. The simple dishes – typical of the Campania region – are thoughtfully prepared to bring out exquisite flavours and craftily presented in hearty portions. The extensive wine list and complimentary appetiser and dessert (served in addition to those you order) make this the best value (money- and taste-wise) dining experience I had the entire trip.

Eirik and I had dinner here our first night in Pompei. We initially planned to spend the second night dining elsewhere, but after an exhausting day of exploring the ruins, the only adventure left in us was to try a different cut of beef followed by a different dessert – our wish was graciously granted by the attentive staff at La Bettola del Gusto.

Complimentary appetiser at La Bettola del Gusto
Complimentary appetiser

If you are heading to Pompei – whether for a day trip or for several nights – make a reservation at La Bettola del Gusto. I am already looking forward to having dinner there again on my next visit to the city! 🙂

Review of #SoundofMusicOslo

Standing ovation for Scenekvelder’s The Sound of Music

I bought tickets to see The Sound of Music at the Folketeateret in spring (six months before it even premiered!), and had been anticipating it ever since. Scenekvelder does not disappoint in this production and, through shrewd storytelling and extraordinary set design, managed to blow me away with their delightful retelling of this beautiful classic.

Under the direction of Lars Jacobsen, the audience is given fresh look at this family favourite. We are able to penetrate the icy, authoritative exterior of Captain von Trapp (portrayed by Håvard Bakke) in a touching scene where he is alone in his office, drinking Scotch and thinking of his dead wife (whose portrait stands in the living room). Lena Kristin Ellingsen shines splendidly in the role of whimsical, carefree Maria – the nun-turned-governess who brings love and music back to the Von Trapp household. Ulrikke Brandstorp adds a cheeky, playful side to Liesl (who is more often portrayed as sweet and subtle). Opposite Lars Henrik Aarnes as Rolf, she sings forebodingly (English translation mine):

Jeg vet at verden endrer seg
Og her er mitt poeng:
Den som behøver hjelp av deg –
Du henger med feil gjeng!

Det du trenger
Er en god venn som
Lytter og vet for seg.
Du er 17, skal bli snart 18
Du bør følge… med meg!

I know the world is changing fast
And here's my point of view:
What really needs some help from you –
You're friends with the wrong crowd!

That which you need
Is a good friend who
Can listen and can judge for herself.
You are 17, going on 18
You should follow... my lead!

Without a doubt, Scenekvelder understands musical theatre and how to put on a show – I greatly look forward to their production of Chess next spring!

Until then, take your entire family to watch The Sound of Music before it is too late! 😉

XOXO HONG PHUC