April 21st, 2015

Gusto, Knutsford Review

Gusto, Knutsford Review

By Lucy Walton-Lange, Female First.

Gusto is an Italian restaurant located in the heart of the historical town of Knutsford and is clearly the place to be on a Friday night, judging by the popularity of the venue.

We arrived a little early, while it was still light outside, however we were offered a seat even though it was already filled with people. By the time the sun went down the restaurant looked elegant and beautiful- edged in twinkly lights any passers-by would certainly notice, beckoning them in.

The restaurant also boasts a bar so it invites people looking to dine, have a few drinks with or without a snack; as a result the atmosphere is energetic and welcoming.

The menu is extensive so we had some drinks, Marintaed Olives and Baked Rosemary Focaccia Bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to begin with as we poured over the options for starters and mains. Having never had bread soaked in the vinegar and olive oil mixture, I was keen to find out how the two tasted together. The oil gave the fresh bread a little more moisture and the vinegar flavoured it with a welcome zing- a delightful combination that I will be trying at home!

To start with, I had the Houmous- served with pesto stone baked flatbread and crudites. I must warn you this is a starter for the big eater as the flatbread is large and pizza width- folded in half- so be mindful of this if you are ordering a carby main course!

My mother in law had the Roast Leeks Wrapped in Prosciutto Ham- with a creamed truffle dressing. Leeks on their own have a very strong taste, however the saltiness of the ham had seeped into the vegetable, which made its flavour more subtle. Two foods I would have never thought to put together, but they were the perfect match.

Hannah, who served us for the night kindly let us have a little break between courses as we expressed our surprise at how large the starters had been. She, very rightfully, said that it's wrong to assume people's appetites so if you are unsure of portion sizes- just ask!

For our mains we had Spaghetti- tossed in a light tomato and basil ragu;. I have no idea what the chef's secret is to this seemingly simple dish- but it was the best I have ever tasted. The tomato sauce was bursting with flavor and the pasta was creamy against the tangy dressing. If you have any intolerances then just ask the staff- Hannah kindly advised me on another dish I was tempted by which contained cheese but confirmed that the Spaghetti was dairy free with the option of parmesan.

My mother in law enjoyed the Tagliatelle with prawns, garlic and sweet chilli sauce finished with fresh lime and rocket. The sweet chilli gave the dish a wonderful kick and both of our mains were just enough after our previous two courses as they often come in large quantities in other establishments.

We managed to squeeze in a dessert too; a Sticky Toffee Pudding (without the vanilla ice cream) and the Bombolini- homemade mini doughnuts, whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Despite no accompaniment, the sticky toffee pudding was moist and light, with a drizzle of the toffee sauce to soak into the pudding- the perfect end to a perfect meal. The mini doughnuts were playful and added a unique twist to the dessert menu- great for kids and adults alike.

I would recommend this restaurant to anyone who enjoys good food, excellent service and a welcoming atmosphere. Hannah was the perfect host- she gave us time between courses, advised us on the dishes and was a genuinely lovely person to talk to. You will be lucky if you meet her on your visit.

My mother in law was discussing how she could convince her husband to bring her back some time soon- which I believe is testament to how much she enjoyed her night.

Thanks to Hannah and the rest of the ream for making our experience of Gusto one to remember!


Tags: Gusto, Knutsford, Review
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