10 June 2015

Summer Menu at Gusto

On the evening that I'll be telling you about, I had a discussion over dinner about the difference between' eating out' and 'going for a meal'. I eat out a fair bit - quick Nandos before the cinema, pub food while out and about. It's less often I go for a meal - this might involve dressing up a bit, it certainly involves more than one course, and is equally about good company and good food. One of my favourite places to go for a meal is Gusto in Cookridge, Leeds.

Gusto Cookridge Summer Menu

I've been here a few times and was delighted to be invited back to try out their new summer menu. My 'good company' for the evening was my awesome brother, who came with my on my very first visit to the restaurant and was eager to return!

The warm evening and sunlight still pouring in through the windows at the time of our visit left us feeling very summery, so one of the new seasonal cocktails seemed like just the thing. I opted for an Elderflower and Peach Martini (peach puree, elderflower liquour, Grey Goose, lemon and gomme) - doesn't that sound like the most delightfully summery drink ever? It really was too - light and bright and very tasty! Little Bro went for a bottle of Peroni Red, which he enjoyed very much.

Summer Cocktails Leeds

The amazing array of starter options left us with some big decisions to make, and we decided that ordering two that we both liked the sound of and sharing was the best way forward. Out first choice was the Bruschetta with sweet pepper compote and goats cheese. Generally anything with cheese makes me really happy, and this was no exception - the tartness of the goats cheese and the sweetness of the peppers making for a wonderful combination - rich in flavour but still light and fresh.

Gusto Starters Summer

Our second starter was the small sized portion of Oven Baked Gnocchi, with spicy salami, caramelised onion, red pepper and tomato (a number of dishes - pastas, salads etc - are available as both starters and mains). I'd had the other gnocchi dish on a previous visit and it was honestly one of the nicest things I've ever eaten so I definitely wanted to give this one a go. While I didn't love this one quite as much as a stand alone dish, it couldn't have been more perfect to share alongside the bruschetta. Be warned though, that spicy salami really does have a bit of a kick to it, you might want to make sure you have a drink handy!

Gusto Leed Gnocchi
After sharing the first course, we headed our separate ways for the main courses - he chose the summery sounding White Crab, Chilli, Garlic and Fresh Lemon Spaghetti. My general dislike of seafood meant I pretty much left him to this one, but it sounds like a perfect selection of flavours for a light meal on a hot day - there's something about this dish that screams 'al fresco dining by the sea'. He did make a point of saying how perfectly cooked the pasta was though - I think his exact phrase was 'bob on'...

Summer Dining Leeds

My main was the Pan Fried Chicken Breast, with spiced lentils, 'nduja salami, and tomato dressing. I would have usually considered spiced lentils as more of a winter dish than a summer one, but as I'm far from an expert I thought I'd bow to the superior knowledge of the folk who put the menu together and to our lovely waitress who recommended this dish highly. They know what they are talking about! The chicken was glorious - tender and tasty - and the spicy lentils actually worked perfectly.

Gusto Leeds Summer Meals

We had a couple of side dishes too - asparagus with red pepper oil, and baked rosemary and garlic potatoes. This was actually my first experience with asparagus, and having nothing to compare it to can only really say it was 'ok', but then I am a bit rubbish with vegetables! My dining buddy was a fan though and ate the vast majority of our shared portion to himself!

Side dishes gusto cookridge leeds

After this it was nearly time for dessert - but not before another cocktail! This time it was the Grape and Cherry Spritz - fresh grapes, cherry preserve, Ketel One and lemon, topped with Prosecco. This was crisp and refreshing - a great palette-cleanser between courses!

Grape and Cherry Spritz Gusto

Eton Mess is pretty much my ultimate supper dessert so it's usually my first choice if I see any variation of it on a menu. The one available from Gusto at the minute is a gorgeous Strawberry and Passion fruit Mess. This was another taste triumph as far as I'm concerned - the zesty passionfruit giving this English classic a tropical twist!
Gorgeous summer desserts
My brother, who isn't usually must of a dessert person, got all giddy when he read the words 'Flaming Baked Alaska' - his dessert was doused in rum before being set alight. Unfortunately you can't see the flames in any of the pictures but it was pretty dramatic when done right in front of us! I pinched a bit of the gooey meringue, which was delicious, and the rest of it seemed to go down a storm with the guy with no sweet tooth.

Rum soaked dessert

Another amazing meal at Gusto that has only helped cement this as one of my 'going for a meal' go-to spots! Special mention goes to the starters - unusually, my favourite course of the evening, thought to be fair it was all pretty brilliant! I definitely hope to get back and try a few more dishes (and cocktails!) before the menu changes again, but I have faith that the next seasonal shift will be just as impressive!

*Meal provided free of charge in return for review.

No comments

Post a Comment

Comments are like tea and cake, they sustain me