Italian food with gusto

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To do something with gusto means you do it with enjoyment, enthusiasm and pleasure.

To say I ate with gusto at Gusto would be an accurate definition of my dining experience there last week as we awaited the Street of Light show right outside the George Street venue.

Gusto is an upmarket Italian joint and was full to bursting. We had a short queue even though we had booked, but once at the front we were seated promptly in the upstairs area.

To get there you have traverse through the downstairs restaurant which gives you the opportunity to take in the surrounding opulence which is reminiscent of a scene from The Great Gatsby.

Staff are attentive and efficient with the same two chaps serving us throughout which I found reassuring.

There were four of us – my daughter Louisa, Karen and her sister Lisa. For starters they ordered two garlic pizza breads with rosemary and sea salt and mozzarella, while I had the bruschetta. The pizza breads were large and very tasty although the edges had little flavouring. The bruschetta was fine if you like it traditional and rustic, but I like mine with a few extras, however, Gusto’s is perfectly acceptable.

For mains, Louisa had the spaghetti meatballs which she raved about for a while. The rest of us had pasta dishes with pizza. My choice of pizza reflected my mood – the carnivore – to go with the tagliatelle with smoked salmon and dill starter pasta, which was a good size to accompany my pizza.

The carnivore is again large and consummately thin with chicken, slow roasted pork, meatballs, pepperoni, prosciutto and caramelised onion and is superb. Any of the ingredients could make their own pizza and they complement each other on this one.

Gusto can be a little pricey, but you can get a decent meal on a budget if you search the menu and the food is good Italian done simple and really well.