Gusto specialises in classic and contemporary Italian food in elegant but relaxed settings on Edinburgh’s stylish George Street. I was very pleased to accept an invite to try their new menu. Despite this being a complimentary meal please rest assured that I will always give an honest and unbiased account of my dining experience.
The restaurant is on two levels, both of which are large and spacious. The kitchen is positioned at the back of the ground level where you can see the chefs busy at work while large chandeliers adorn the ceilings giving a very grand effect.
To start with I opted for ‘Warm Asparagus with a Creamed Truffle Dressing with Rocket and Grana Padano Cheese’. The asparagus was very juicy and still had a slight bite to it. The creamed truffle dressing was not too overpowering and was a perfect match for the asparagus while the cheese added seasoning to the dish. Overall a good start to the meal.
Warm Asparagus with a Creamed Truffle Dressing with Rocket and Grana Padano Cheese
The other starter at the table was ‘Deep fried salt cod ravioli with tomato and caper dressing’. I was tempted by this also as I have never had deep fried pasta and was interested to see if it works. Unfortunately in this instance we felt the dish would have been a lot better if the pasta was not fried. The deep frying seemed to dry the pasta out making the texture rather unpleasant. The filling in the ravioli was lovely however, but didn’t really get the chance to shine. The tangy dressing was very tasty and fresh but there could have been more of it. Overall this dish didn’t really work but I feel that it could easily be transformed into a winner if the ravioli had been cooked in a more traditional way.
Deep fried salt cod ravioli with tomato and caper dressing
There are a lot of choices for main courses at Gusto; pizzas, pastas, meat and fish dishes. There is also a specials menu which we both chose our mains from ; The ‘Six bone rack of Lamb with Pea Puree and Minted Onion’s’ and ‘Monkfish with a Pine Nut, Pomegranate and Fregola Salad with a Lobster Sauce’.
The Lamb was cooked to perfection, crispy skin and perfectly pink lamb. The pea puree was smooth and acted as a sauce for the lamb. The mint in the onions was a good addition and a nice idea that I will replicate at home. This dish was very tasty and the portion of lamb was large, however, we felt that for the price (£29) a side dish should have been included.
Six bone rack of Lamb with Pea Puree and Minted Onion’s
The Monkfish, again, was cooked well and the salad was very fresh and vibrant with many different textures and flavours. The sauce was smooth and brought the dish together. There was one complaint; the whole dish for me lacked seasoning. Once salt was added the dish was transformed from being ok to pretty good. Again for the price I was still left hungry as the portion was on the small side.
Monkfish with a Pine Nut, Pomegranate and Fregola Salad with a Lobster Sauce
Next up was the highlight of our meal; the desserts. As a couple we have never been good at sharing food but these were two great puddings that we both really enjoyed and swapped half way.
I had ordered the Chocolate and Coffee mousse after the waitresses recommendation. The mousse was light and smooth. There was a surprise layer of caramel at the bottom which had a slight saltiness to it. I couldn’t taste the coffee but the chocolate and caramel mix was lush.
Chocolate and Coffee mousse
The Nutella and Mascarpone Calzone was a triumph. The dough was sweet and light and oozed with warm, creamy Mascarpone and gooey chocolate. This was served with vanilla ice cream which was a great accompaniment. I was in Chocolate Heaven.
Nutella and Mascarpone Calzone
Throughout our meal the waitress was very friendly and attentive. For a midweek night the restaurant was busy and had a good vibe. I thought it was quite noisy at times but I think it is ideal for both couples and groups alike. Despite some minor faults I will definitely go back to Gusto Edinburgh. Next time I would go for something on the regular menu but one thing is for sure I will definitely be getting a dessert!