Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Gusto - Restaurant Review


Had a wonderful reunion here at Gusto with LM and her family. We hit the end of happy hour, which offered 25% off bottles of wine and a couple of dollars off of the appetizers.

The service was fine. Our server was training someone and he was a bit more talkative than expected. He was very nice, and they both did a good job with our service.

     
Three of us split a bottle of this Futurosa Piemonte Rosato (a rosé wine from the Piedmont province of Italy). It was listed at $40 per bottle on the menu before the happy hour discount ($30 per bottle afterwards) and is 50% Barbera and 50% Merlot. It was very a very pretty pink color, food friendly, light, and refreshing with slight hints of berry. We all enjoyed it very much!

We ordered a couple of orders of two different appetizers - Arancini Crispy Risotto (with mushrooms, mozzarella, parmigiano, and romesco - $10 per order dinner price, $8 per order for happy hour) and Crispy Brussels Sprouts (with balsamic - $7 per order dinner price, $5 per order for happy hour).

The Arancini were crunchy on the outside and cheesy on the inside with a delicate flavor and just a smidgen of sauce. The order came with 6 pieces which was the perfect number for our group to have one each. The Brussels sprouts were crispy almost to the point of being burnt (just the way I like them) and we gobbled them up!

I ordered the Cioppino (with salmon, shrimp, mussels, calamari, clams, spicy tomato sauce, grilled ciabatta - $23). It was decent, but I've had versions with a lot more seafood, which I expected for the price. The bowl was extremely shallow, so what you see is exactly what I got - a soup in a plate with a slightly deeper middle. The flavors were nice - I just expected a little more substance. The balance of seafood was slightly off, too - a bit too much squid and not enough shrimp, shellfish, and salmon. Not sure if I'll order it again simply because I wasn't sure it was worth the price.

Also had a bite of the Caesar Salad (heart of romaine, creamy Caesar dressing, focaccia croutons, parmigiano - $8), which was delicious featured full leaves of Romaine dressed lightly with the dressing and cheese. The croutons were perfectly crunchy and just the right size. I love a good Caesar!

For the six of us (1 bottle of wine, 2 beers, and 4 appetizers, at happy hour prices; 2 salads, 1 pizza, and 4 entrées at regular price), the bill came out to $200 before tip.

Gusto is a casual restaurant with consistent food and an excellent wine list. It's one of my go-to restaurants in Central Austin and remains amongst the easiest places to stop in with a group of friends for happy hour. Try it if you haven't yet!


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