We can't all be in Italy all the time.. (the dream!), but luckily for us here in Taipei, tucked away in an alley in the bustling district of Zhongshan, we have Gusto Market of Taste 好食多有限公司. This little slice of heaven offers plenty of goodies to tie you over when the cravings for fine Italian products hit you. Owned by the super talented and passionate chef, William Di Nardo, this unassuming spot offers a market section and a few tables where customers can feast on high quality and fresh Italian products.
Gusto Market of Taste 好食多有限公司 brings Italy to Taiwan, by offering fresh meats and a huge variety of gourmet cheeses (brought in from Europe), along with a wide selection of Italian wines, olive oils, balsamic vinegar and other hard-to-find-in-Taipei products. I must say, I was like a kid in a candy store with all those cheeses surrounding me, especially as the prices are very reasonable compared to what we usually have to pay for cheese in Taiwanese supermarkets.
Deli and Market Section
During their business hours (listed below), you can visit their deli and market sections to shop from (and snack on!) all the quality products they stock. William and his staff are very knowledgeable and friendly (and generous with samples), so don't hesitate to ask their advice or strike up a chat.
Weekly "Spritz It Up" Lunch
On weekends, they offer a 3-hour "Spritz" lunch event, which you have to book a table for. These are very popular events, so make your reservation in advance to avoid disappointment. During their "Spritz" events, you can expect a cured meats and cheese plate, a main meal like risotto, and a spritz drink; all for 588nt per person.
Monthly "Mingle" Party
Once a month, they also host a "mingle" party, which is what I attended recently. Another event that you should reserve a table for in advance, and perfect for a group of friends to go and enjoy delicious food and wine together. I highly recommend it! There wasn't an empty seat in the house, and the combination of excellent food, tasty wine and friendly people added up to a lively vibe and a very memorable experience. Below, you can see an image of the menu that day.
We kicked off with a buffet-style selection of cheeses, cold cuts, smoked Provola skewers, a tomato, cucumber and cuttlefish salad, sott'olio (vegetables in oil) and olives for appetizers. This spread was so impressive (and mouthwatering!), that all of us went back for seconds, and some of us for thirds... We enjoyed this with a glass of Soave Spumante, a delicious sparking wine that seemed to be many people's favorite that day. (We even bought another bottle of it later on in the afternoon!)
As we were snacking on our appetizers, the air filled with a heavenly aroma as Chef William was cooking up a pumpkin risotto with cheese. It wasn't long before our plates were filled with generous helpings of this hearty dish, and our glasses topped up with tasty Italian wine. Bliss! As if this wasn't enough, he also whipped up rigatoni with beef, which we devoured. It even got a little quiet in there for a few minutes as we were all eagerly eating, which we all know is what happens when the food is really, really good. (Hats off to the chef!) And guess what, even more food followed after this, which I admit I didn't have any more space for. According to the menu, it was "pork ribs in tomato sauce and beans", and according to The Husband, it was "ahhhmazing!".
By this point we had all finished our three glasses of wine included in the price, so we purchased a couple more bottles for the table. The Husband and I shared a bottle of lovely sparkling wine, and our friends got another bottle of red. I can tell you, it's really hard not getting more wine at this point, as the atmosphere was lively and we were surrounded by bottles of temptation.
With our bellies and wine glasses full, we noticed William working on the desserts. I didn't think it was possible to eat any more, but as they say, there's always room for dessert! As expected, it was delightful and the perfect way to end this perfect day. All of this food, including three glasses of wine, is included in the price of 1000nt per person, which we all agreed is very reasonable and totally worth it.
I can't recommend Gusto Market of Taste 好食多有限公司 enough, especially joining in on one of their weekend events. Get a group of friends together and go and enjoy some delectable dishes while sipping on fine Italian wines. It's truly an experience, and a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Don't forget to make a reservation if you'd like to attend a "Spritz" or "Mingle" event, you can find their contact details below. Even if you don't have time to join in on an event, go pop in for a deli sandwich, and grab a bottle of Italian wine to go.
We recommend following them on Instagram and Facebook, where they regularly share info on upcoming events, and images that are sure to make you salivate! @gusto.taiwan
Business Hours: Tuesdays to Saturdays 09:00 to 17:00
Sundays 09:00 to 15:00
Phone: 02 2518 0458
Nearest MRT: MRT Zhongshan Junior High School (Brown Line)
Address: No. 6, Alley 23, Lane 410, Minzu E Rd, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, 104, Taiwan