Bella Gusta (West Hartford)

Finally made it to Bella Gusta!

Located next to Grant’s in West Hartford Center, it’s smaller than I imagined (having O’Live a Little in S. Windsor as my comparison point) but still has many high quality and interesting-to-the-tastebuds olive oils and balsamic vinegars from around the globe.  Prices seem to be a bit lower than O’Live, too.  I adored the richness of the Fig Balsamic, the sweet notes in the Strawberry Balsamic and the complex flavors and heat of the Harissa oil.  The Blood Orange olive oil would probably be wonderful with fish or in salad. Will probably be back for those soon.

Today I purchased a bottle of the Cranberry Pear White Balsamic ($12.95) for myself as well as a bottle for my boyfriend’s momma for Mother’s Day.  It had a nice sweet tartness to it and seems just a bit milder than the dark balsamics.  Also, they were beautifully gift-wrapped free of charge!  There’s also a section of lovely packaged presents that you can give to others (or to yourself!) that include the sampler of six trial bottles of different oils/vinegars and also prettily packaged products wrapped in bows for a nice presentation.

I went in there with the full intent to purchase truffle salt but they were out.  At $6.99 that’s a bit more affordable than the $29.99 truffle oil.  I recently had a truffle butter that was so good I find myself craving that flavor from time to time (or, more like all the time).  Will likely back for this very soon.  (Update 5/18/12 – went back to get it today and it’s phenomenal.  Used it on roasted potatoes and also on eggs and it just brought these foods to a whole new level.  Can’t wait to find new uses for it!)

For the dog lovers: I met the owner’s new puppy today, Bella, a 14-week-old Wheaton terrier who just melted my heart.

This store is a fantastic addition to West Hartford Center.

981 Farmington Ave
West Hartford, CT 06107
(860) 216-3961

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