After our girls night out at Gusto last month I vowed to return with Steve as I knew he would love the food as much as I did. My work schedule has been jam packed recently and I feel like I haven't really seen much of my poor husband so this week I cleared an afternoon in my diary and reserved us a table at my new favourite restaurant.
Any trip to Gusto always has to involve a lovely walk along the Quayside - the millennium bridge was looking majestic against the blue sky.
I started with a cocktail (it was after 12noon so perfectly acceptable!) The cocktail list is substantial and I could honestly drink them all. I was having real difficulty deciding which drink to choose so I asked for a recommendation. The staff were more than happy to help and asked what I usually ordered and what sort of mood I was in - they suggested creating a passionfruit mojito which wasn't on the menu but they said it was no problem at all for them to make. It is excellent service like this that makes Gusto so popular and a place where people will return time and time again.
The menu at Gusto has received an autumnal make over and is full of the seasonal flavours of butternut squash, cauliflower and beetroot which sit alongside warming soups, substantial salads and traditional pizzas and pastas. There is a reasonably priced lunch menu but we decided to go all out and order a la carte.
Polenta coated wild mushrooms with artichoke tartar
Cauliflower soup with taleggio, herb crumb and foccacia
Our starters were superb - I would never usually order soup and I'm actually not a huge cauliflower fan however Steve suggested I should give it a go as he thought I'd like it. He's usually right about these things and I am so pleased I did - I will seriously return to Gusto for this dish alone! Steve loved his mushrooms too.
Basil Pesto and Goat's Cheese Risotto with rocket leaves and sundried tomato
Pan roast duck breast with buttered cabbage, pancetta and amaro cherries
We chose well with our main courses - Steve's duck was served pink and I couldn't resist stealing a taste. It was well seasoned and beautifully tender. In hindsight we should have ordered a side dish to accompany and I wish we had tried the italian fried courgettes. There's always next time!
My risotto was sooooo good! We thought it looked a little overcooked but this wasn't the case at all - it was perfect. My only complaint would be that after my soup I couldn't finish it all, Steve didn't seem to mind helping me out though.
Panna Cotta with pomegranate, orange and homemade biscotti
To finish we ordered a panna cotta which was a lovely refreshing end to my meal and didn't leave me feeling over full. Steve went for the creamed vanilla risotto with amaro cherries which was delicious and had such a nostalgic rice pudding taste to it.
The service as ever was wonderful - we were well looked after and it really was a lovely spot for a lunch date. We ended our lunch with a stroll back along the Quayside and made plans to return with the children after half term.