La Pergola … beautiful food and bizarre music

When I visited: June 2019

Location: Italy, Sorrento (within Bellevue Syrene Hotel)

Rating in the Michelin Guide: Not in the Guide

Dining Owl Hoot rating: 4/5

What to wear: Men – jeans or nice trousers and a shirt; women – jeans and a smart top or a smart dress

Ambience: Beautiful views, romantic

Course of the meal: Scampi risotto

If I could change one thing: Less weird music


La Pergola is an awesome restaurant with awesome food and, at least on the night I was there, really really weird background music. We’re talking classical (with a strange violin synth sound underneath a Chopin Nocturne), jazzy (but sounding like me playing with the effects on a keyboard when I was in Year 10 music class) and modern (but again with interesting twists). It wasn’t performed badly, it was just a little distracting. However, the beautiful views, friendly and helpful staff and delicious food left a great impression.

We had breadsticks and bread rolls with local olive oil to start with, and a ‘welcome’ glass of Italian sparkling wine and a bonus mini margarita pizza with pesto before we had even started our listed choices. We also shared a bottle of 2015 Chianti Riserva, a bargain at only around £45, which was gorgeous and soft.

We opted for a velouté of courgette and prawns to start with, followed by mains of macaroni with anchovies and tomatoes and one of the best risottos I have ever sampled. It was a scampi risotto and bursting with flavour from the first bite. La dolce vita.

The desserts, as you’d expect from a high-quality Italian restaurant, were amazing as well – an arancia (orange) chocolate mousse with orange sorbet and berries, and a deconstructed tiramisu with mascarpone. We got bonus petits fours to finish as well – mini beignets and mini chocolate and pistachio cakes. La dolce vita.

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