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Gusto Italian Resto & Bar

My Magazine 2022/11
8 min
It was the decision of three friends, each having long experience in the hospitality industry and sharing a love for good food and drinks, to open a restaurant in October 2017. Mehdi & Marc, who run the popular El Sol, took over the role of taking care of the guests with their team, while Emiliano, coming from an Italian family, pours his passion for cooking intertwined with the knowledge and secrets of the old family recipes, from the pots and pans to the well-assorted plates, leaving guests of Gusto with a smile on their face and wanting to return again.

And we believe them when they say: "We are more than just a restaurant". To be honest, food is probably everybody's first association when talking about Italy. An Italian restaurant can never be just a restaurant, especially if it was founded in The Gambia.

Gusto Italian Resto & Bar is well situated in the heart of the most popular resort area in Kololi, diagonal to the Senegambia strip, just opposite El Sol. Open every day from 4 pm on with closing time at 11 pm from Sunday to Wednesday, while on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Gusto stays open up to 1 am. The main kitchen closes at 11 pm, but you can enjoy pizza until 1 am.

Gusto is about food and about you. It is a comfortable and inviting space to enjoy authentic Italian traditional dishes with a creative touch. It is a place where you can experience exquisite fine dining through a long and wholesome menu offering appetizers, salads, primi, pasta, pizzas, main courses with creative side dishes and, of course, desserts.

The drink menu hosts a vivid selection of mixed drinks, with a quality choice of wines being a lovely accompaniment to a pitch-perfect dinner. Naturally, the drink menu is not short of selected spirits, soft drinks, and hot beverages, of which real Italian coffee is the highlight.

Savour your favourite Italian delicacy on a breezy terrace, under bantaba, in the elegant indoor sitting arrangement or grab a snack in the cosiness of the sofas set throughout the restaurant area.

Gusto invites for a romantic dinner in the evening atmosphere of dimmed lights, yet is also a great choice for business meetings and gatherings, family night out, private celebrations or just a light snack or evening aperitivo. Come to Gusto with your friends to chill, play pool and enjoy authentic pizza partnered up with draught beer.

Now let's talk food-the main focus of Gusto; satisfying even the most demanding gourmets.

It already starts with appetizers. Vitello Tonato, smoked salmon, salted beef carpaccio, shrimp cocktail, and calamari alla griglia are flaunting on the menu. They also prepare daily soup creations made out of the freshest and finest ingredients. We got to taste a heavily built flavour of Shrimps Bisque and of a sweet corn soup. Who knew a soup could be so satisfying?

Salad lover? You won't regret tasting any of the selected salads, which can be served as a starter or main course.

Traditional Primi course, served between the starter and the main course, boasts risottos, gnocchi, lasagna and ravioli with complementing ingredients matched to perfection.

Italian pasta is science and is love. So many different methods of preparation, types and intentions that need to be achieved with, that one should nearly accomplish research to understand the relationship Italians have with it entirely. It is so much more than putting the pasta in boiled salted water and leaving it on fire for the minutes said on the package. Every stir in the pot, every second and drop of water is important when it comes to preparing perfectly cooked home-made pasta.

Gusto offers an endless selection of your favourite pasta, amongst which is also gluten-free penne, with sauces varying from popular Carbonara, Bolognese, Formaggi and Arrabiata to the more delicate combinations of matched-in-heaven sauces.

And, of course, one of the most popular foods in the world: wood fired Pizza. Although pizza has been popularized and is prepared through various methods and with different toppings, the classical Italian pizza is made with the right dough, baked in a brick-built dome wood-fired oven and topped using only the finest ingredients. That is the way it is done in Gusto.

Again, we are astonished by the selection of almost 30 different pizzas, served in one size of a generous 33 cm, amongst which, naturally, we find the famous Margherita, Quatro Stagioni, Capricciosa, Formaggi and Calzone. Yet the selection is there also for a more delicate taste, as toppings vary from seafood, mushroom, cheese, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, rocket, and the list goes on and on. Gourmands will be delighted with pizza with truffle oil. And even Hawaii pizza is available – some love it, some resent it. But it is there because Gusto is a place of tradition but also a place of creativity.

Another Italian classic is Focaccina, served with five different proven combinations of fine ingredients.

The menu offers an extensive selection of seafood prepared in enticing combinations and upgraded with the exquisite composition of complementing flavours. Meat and poultry lovers, do not worry. You will enjoy Pan seared Gambian filet with your selection of top-end sauce, thinly sliced grilled filet, topped with rocket salad and tastefully decorated with parmesan shavings or Beef Wellington. Chicken is prepared in a Scallopini or Milanese way, with all the right components to take it to the next level.

Last but not least—dolci. A good Italian meal is only complete with a dessert and coffee. We enjoyed the highlights of the sweet menu; home made Italian classic—Tiramisu, Torta al Formaggio and Flan al Cioccolata. This flan is a sweet delicacy which needs skilful preparation to ensure the melted heart of the chocolate cake pours to the vanilla ice-cream as you break the gentle crust with the fork. The taste is exceeding.

The wholesome experience of the pleasant dining is topped with the friendly and professional service and the ambience, which glows up in the night to create a magical and welcoming feel of the passion project.

Did we mention that we got to taste some awesome cocktails and mocktails as well? You should try them, especially between 10 and 11pm during Gusto Happy Hour: buy 1 get 1 for free.

Don’t have the chance or time to come to Gusto? No worries, you can order their food online on their website and before you know it, your delivery man will call to say they are at your home or hotel with your order.

Take a seat outside in the evening breeze, or choose a cosy atmosphere indoors. Gusto aims for the highest standards to satisfy even the most sophisticated palate. Our dining experience was nothing less than perfect.

Buon appetito.

We tasted:

  • Shrimps Coctail (Served with lettuce & citrus in a cocktail sauce)
  • Smoked Salmon (Slices of smoked salmon, served with tomatoes, onions, capers, lemon, & Greek yoghurt)
  • Vitella Tonnato (Thinly sliced beef in a light tuna sauce)
  • Shrimps Bisque (Classic shrimp soup)
  • Pasta Puttanesca (Spicy tomato sauce, capers, anchovies & olives)
  • Pizza Pepperoni (Tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, broccoli & cherry tomatoes)
  • Lady Fish in Saffron (Baked Lady fish in a velouté saffron sauce and veggies)
  • Beef Filet (Pan seared Gambian filet served with a black pepper sauce)
  • Tiramisu
  • Torta al Formaggio (Cheesecake with strawberry coulis)
  • Flan al Cioccolata (A chocolate flan served with vanilla ice cream)

Gusto Italian Resto & Bar

Authentic Italian Food served al fresco under our Bantaba or inside in our lounge bar. Fresh pizza's, pasta's and much more. Cocktail bar with pool ta...
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