Gusto a chain of restaurants that have eateries all over the UK including Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester and Edinburgh. Specialising in Italian cuisine. The Edinburgh restaurant is located on George St. David, myself and my cousin John and his wife Judith went there for dinner and drinks on Saturday during our visit to The Edinburgh Fringe.
To save from having to wonder the streets looking for somewhere to eat that had tables available we decided that it would be best to book prior to our visit. Which I was able to do online. I booked a week in advance, receiving a confirmation email and SMS with our booking details. The website was fairly easy to navigate and booking the table was simple.
From the outside Gusto doesn’t look very big but looks can be deceiving. Inside the restaurant goes quiet far back, has a mezzanine and out door seating, which has been expanded more due to the festivals.
We arrived a bit early for our reservation and were told that the table wasnt ready just yet and was advised to sit on the bar. The cocktail menu was the first thing that Judith and myself looked at. I had a little look online whilst booking and knew that I was going to try the Passionate Fizz – it is described as Passoa, passionfruit syrup and lemon juice. Topped with prosecco. Promising to be both sweet and sour. The drink is presented in a flute like glass and was garnished with a little flower. It was delicious. Judith opted for the classic Bellini. The guys order a Perone each. We were sitting at the bar for about 5 minutes when we were show to our table.
We were seated in a dimly lit alcove that had velvet wallpaper and ornate mirrors that I wish I could have in my massive foyer when I win that lottery jackpot. David and I looked out to the main dining area which had a long table going down the middle with candelabras dotted along it. I was reminded of a large dining room that you expect to see in movies or period tv shows. It was modern and chic. Hanging from the ceiling were beautiful chandeliers that wouldn’t look out of place in a stately home. On the wall facing us was at least one hundred black and white framed pictures hanging on a black wall, I guess you could say that the theme of the restaurant is monochrome with splashes of gold, in the candelabras and menus.
The menu was varied with what you would expect from an Italian restaurant. There were sharing platters, starters, pasta, pizza as well as other mains. Thankfully the menu wasn’t so vast that you could be overwhelmed with the amount of choice. There was a specials menu as well as a wine list.
Creamy Garlic Mushrooms, which was delicious. The mushrooms were quartered, I’m guessing that they were sautéed in some way, then covered with the creamy garlic-y sauce that wasn’t too heavy or sickly, and garnished with what could have been crispy croutons. There was also some bread on the side which came in handy for soaking up the rest of the sauce.
White Crab, chilli & garlic spaghetti. I wouldn’t describe myself as someone who is adventurous when it comes to dining out. I tend to go for foods that I know I would like as I am in the thinking that if I don’t like it I’m paying all this money for something that I’m not going to eat. Having said that though I decided that I would try something a little different and opted for the crab. I had tried crab once before but wasn’t that fond of it. However I am glad that I choose the white crab, chilli & garlic spaghetti as it was incredible. Garnished with lemon for squeezing over and some parmesan cheese, the taste was mild and not overpowering as I thought it would be. There was the right amount of chilli and garlic running through the dish. I will definitely be trying crab again.
While we were eating we ordered a few more cocktails I had the Cherry Coconut Sour which was so nice. Although the cocktail list was a good size we asked if we could order off menu and were told that it wouldn’t be a problem. Judith had an espresso martini which I tried, it was nice but for me a little too much coffee, although I had a white russian but the coffee liquor in that didn’t taste as strong to me.
Overall the service was great, the staff were very attentive, giving us time to make our choices without us feeling like we were being forced into a decision. The restaurant was busy, when we were sitting 2 large parties came in which I thought would effect the time of us getting our meals. It didn’t though we had our starters five to ten minutes after ordering. Then our mains were brought out within ten minutes of the starters being cleared away. We did have to ask twice for water but thats not something that would stop me from recommending the restaurant or going back. Price wish I would say that it is fairly reasonable. With the main meals ranging from about £12 up, obviously if you were opting for steak then you would pay more like any other restaurant. When we asked for the bill it was brought to us quickly and we were able to leave in time to catch a show we had booked for.
I would absolutely go back to Gusto in Edinburgh and may be tempted to go to one of their other establishments.
Have you been to Gusto, what did you think of the food?