Wednesday, 8 February 2017


Gusto in Liverpool has been around for a few years now so this isn't the first time I've walked through their doors and I'm sure many scousers could say the same. It's in such a handy location for people heading off to the arena or for those you have taken a leisurely stroll around the docks for the day. I've never had a bad meal in Gusto but  the food has been better on some occasions then it has been on others. As part of a large booking, we traveled down to the waterfront one Sunday afternoon to see this visit has going to be one of those better trips or if we were going to leave still wanting more.

Gusto's motto is "Con Amici" which means eating with friends and walking through the doors on quite a blustery afternoon you could feel the warmth of the atmosphere created by the groups of people enjoying an afternoon treat give you a hug as you head over to the bar for a pre dinner drink. Gusto is great if you are looking for somewhere to eat for a large group. They have plenty of bigger tables and seating areas which are perfect for special occasions

 For our first starter we went for a classic choice, the tomato and mozzarella salad (a Caprese salad if you will). When your serving a dish like this which is essentially just three components on a plate then the quality of the produce on offer needs to be spot on. Yes, it's not as good as the Caprese salads we had when we went on holiday to Sardinia a few years ago but then again it was never going to be really was it. Having said that, the tomatoes were vibrant, the basil fragrant and the mozzarella was beautifully soft and totally the star of the plate. Simple but effective!

My starter was the cauliflower soup. This was a brilliant little bowl of food and I totally want the recipe for it! Immaculately presented with a drizzle of chili oil and a sprinkling of crispy onions on top, this soup had a fabulously punchy creamy flavor to it. The baked rosemary focaccia served alongside the side was warm which is a plus and the rosemary came through just enough to have impact but not to overpower the cauliflower when dipped into the soup. Yes, I know it's just a bowl of soup but for me if I can get excited about a soup then there must be something special about it!

Onto mains now and Gusto dedicate a whole section of their menu to pizza so it seemed silly as pizza lovers not too choose one of their offerings so we went for the Diavola. The menu says that this pizza is hot hot hot and they weren't lying, this bad boy packed a right old punch. The pizza base was super thin and crispy which is just how I like it whilst there was enough tomato sauce on the base to keep it moist without turning it into a soggy mess. There were big chunky pieces of mushrooms alongside a couple of slices of pepperoni all adding up to create one mighty fine (and mighty hot!) pizza.

For my main I went for the pan fried chicken breast with wild mushrooms and tarragon cream. The chicken? Spot on! Perfectly cooked plump and moist breast with a layer of crispy skin which we all know is the best part of a chicken. The mushrooms and tarragon cream complemented each other perfectly while for me the absolute star of this plate was the fried polenta. I've never eaten polenta like this before and I'll be doing it again that's for sure. It was beautifully golden brown and crisp and was flavored with a selection of herbs that once again complimented everything else that was on the plate. An amazing plate of food, I couldn't fault it.

Onto our desserts now and for those looking for a little bit of Italy on the cold and windy Liverpool seafront can look no further than Gusto's desert menu where you can order a classic Affogato. This traditional Italian dessert consists of a good strong cup of espresso coffee which is then poured over a generous scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream which is then topped off with a shot of boozy Amaretto for good luck. Much like the Caprese for our starter, it's simple but it's also another delicious little dish. For those not wanting a heavy pudding but who love a bit of coffee this is the perfect choice.

I only fancied something light myself but as I'm not too fussed on coffee, my choice of pudding was the basil and mint pannacotta. For me this is the only part of the meal were I could say I was slightly disappointed as I didn't really get any mint coming through in the pannacotta. Having said that the pannacotta texture was spot on, light and creamy with its trademark wobble. The basil leaf on top added a burst of herbiness which compliments the fruitiness of the plum compote served on the side. A delight little pudding, just needed a bit more mint in my opinion.

But let's not get bogged down with the pannacotta as everything else about our visit to Gusto was spot on. The friendly staff, the fabulous wine and tasty food all added up to what I can honestly say was the best meal I've had in Gusto Liverpool. It was like meeting up with an old friend after a long time and slipping straight back into good conversation. If you have reservations about going to Gusto Liverpool due to past visits I suggest you give them another shot because at the moment, they are on glorious form!

Want more information or fancy booking a table? Head on over to Gusto's website and make a reservation today by clicking here!

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