Fast forward to Greek Street two years later and the transformation is remarkable, arguably surpassing its former noughties glory days and positively buzzing with action. So, with every hot bar and restaurant brand under the sun now eager to move in for a slice of the action, we were keen to see if Gusto could still cut it with the unveiling of their summer 2017 menu.

Before we get to the food, I must give kudos to the extra effort our host put into the décor. Gusto is a plush looking joint to begin with, all dark leather booths, coppery tones and soft lighting, but our table was decorated with vintage candle wicks and flowers, which got a lot of attention from the girls around the table. But, as I’m not Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen, let’s drop the interior design talk and cut to the chase.

To kick things off, we enjoyed the Grande Board – a selection of cured meats, cheese and crusty bread, which were all very moreish. I was also impressed by the presence of the Kermit-green Castelvetrano olives, which are my personal favourite.


Bold and robust

As we waited on starters and mains, I headed to the bar to pick out a bottle of wine and struck gold with one of the best reds I’ve had in a long time. At £23, the Villa Montes Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile is on the lower end of the price scale at Gusto, but it really packs a punch. Rich, bold and robust, which is the best type of red as far as I’m concerned.

For starters, I couldn’t resist picking out the delicious Deep Fried Toma Cheese, which came with a spiced tomato coulis that packed a bit of a kick.



My companion was a little more adventurous, opting for the Smoked Salmon and Mascarpone, served with pickled cucumber and fresh lemon. This dish looked almost too good to eat, and despite not being a huge fan of salmon, it turned out to be as tasty as it was Instagram-worthy. The fish flavour was mild, toned down by the creamy Mascarpone and complemented by the zesty freshness of the lemon and cucumber.


Asian twist

Taking a bit more of a risk on the mains, I chose the Beef Fillet Carpaccio Salad, which was served with pickled radish and a maple and soy dressing. What really made this dish work for me was the addition of the crispy beef. Mixed with the carpaccio, maple and soy dressing, it presented a bold Asian twist on an Italian staple.


To my left, my friend was tucking into the Garganelli Primavera, which blended chicken with spring vegetables, pine nuts and Italian cheese. Whilst a definite safe option, it was done well and would go down well with a glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.



Now almost fit to bust, we were given some welcome respite before dessert arrived. If you happen to have a sweet tooth, then you’re in luck at Gusto. First up was the Vanilla Panna Cotta, which was served with strawberries, garnished with basil and drizzled with aged balsamic. Again, a tiny twist on a much-loved classic can elevate a dish from the norm into something more memorable. To cap things off, we enjoyed an espresso with the Gusto Tiramisu, which was the perfect end to the night.



Final verdict: As regulars to Gusto, they were kind of preaching to the converted with their new menu, however constantly reinventing classic Italian cuisine is never easy and they delivered it with great ease and aplomb. A resounding thumbs up for the spring/summer preview, we’ll most certainly be returning to check out the full menu.


Words by Jordan Fletcher


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