Gusto is a restaurant that I had been meaning to try for quite some time, but until recently I never really got round to trying it. Last Wednesday my husband and I went for a spontaneous meal and following my friends recommendations and some of the blogger reviews I have previously read, we both decided to finally pay the Gusto a visit.
Gusto is an opulent Italian themed chain bar situated on Leeds' most popular dining hotspot, Greek Street. The restaurant features a copper and bronze colour scheme with soft lighting and plush leather booths, all of which evokes a sense of warmth and luxury. The menu offers an eclectic mix of traditional and modern Italian cuisine and caters for many dietary requests, such as gluten free which can be quite difficult to find in Italian themed restaurants.
For starter I opted for the tomato and basil bruschetta, which I found really enjoyable. I really enjoyed my little bruschetta, it was light and crunchy and the tomatoes were incredibly fresh. If I'm honest, it was so nice that I would have liked a little bit more of it - after all, this is supposed to be an Italian restaurant and I don't think it was that representative of true bruschetta which is usually hearty, chunky bread, but at £3.50 it was a fair price and it also tasted great.
When it came to selecting the mains, I really struggled to chose what I wanted. It was nice to be presented with a menu that had a variety of vegetarian meals and not just 'Penne Arrabiata', the standard pasta with tomato sauce. I love veggie meals with a lot of texture and nice fresh vegetables, so with this in mind, I chose one of Gusto's newest dishes that I saw advertised on Facebook a few weeks beforehand, the 'Garganelli Primavera with summer vegetables, pine nuts and Grana Padano'. Pasta and I have a love-hate relationship. I love eating pasta, but it doesn't always agree with my stomach and leaves me feeling bloated and sore, despite not being a coeliac. However, both my stomach and my appetite enjoyed this meal. The pasta was really fresh and not too carb heavy, the sauce was more of a pleasant drizzle that kept you wanting more rather than the dish being drenched in it and the vegetables were a summers dream - slightly al dente and very flavoursome. I've been dreaming of this dish since I left the restaurant and it definitely made up for only slightly above average starter.
My first experience of Gusto was both satisfaction, yet slight disappointment. I loved the meal, the atmosphere was incredible and I would happily go again, but I just felt that I was left wanting more and I'm not entirely sure what was lacking. Nevertheless, I would still recommend this restaurant to others and I will be going back in the future - I know it won't be long until I'm craving that pasta again.
Have you been to any of the Gusto restaurants?