Hitting The Patio At Gusto 101

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I can’t believe that I’m back within a year of my first visit (I hardly go back to the same restaurant after the first visit). Going into the month of June, I just had to (I was really looking forward to this) come back; the vibe and of course the food go hand in hand!

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My friend, L and I, started off by to sharing a salad. I didn’t know that there were two kale salads but I ordered the wrong one. Ooops! L, I’m still so sorry! This is the Cavolo Caesar (still amazing though, photo above). Apparently Gusto is famous for the Cavolo Nero, which is a salad that includes organic lacinato kale, zante currents, toasted pine nuts, pecorino parmigiano and a lemon vinaigrette (although we missed out, other tables had ordered it and it is a big sized salad). NEXT TIME!

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I was originally going to get the Arancini (wild mushroom risotto, fontina cheese, tomato sauce) but it was a starter (the table beside ours had ordered it and there were only three balls). That’s on the list for the next visit. So I got a Margherita Pizze; I had this when I ate here last winter and loved it. We both had some house wine (it’s REALLY good). L ordered both red and white and I had her last sip of the red. Not bad on the pallet, I hardly ever drink red wine (cause some are woody and dry).

L had the Mafalde ai Funghi (portobello, porcini, oyster mushrooms in a truffle cream sauce; a popular item on the menu, photo above). I had a bit of it and I need to order it next time I’m there (there’s also a pizza version of the pasta?, not sure what it is on the menu)!

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It got chilly after we were seated and we were sort of in a rush to leave. It was a disappointment that we didn’t have much time to enjoy our time there. There still July and August, so hopefully the weather will cooperate with us (fingers crossed)! IN-LOVE THIS PLACE! Let me know if you’ve been here and what you ordered. I’m always tempted to try new dishes. : )

Gusto 101

This has to be one of the many few restaurants that I would highly suggest. I didn’t expect the food to be ‘wowing’ and I never should judge a restaurant before going in.

Mom and I were downtown Saturday and I asked K for suggestions. She recommended Gusto 101 and I’m glad mom made the choice in going there that night.

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They have house wine that they make and barrels are in the restaurant basement. I ordered the Vini de Gusto (white wine) and my my…it was my type of wine. I’m not into the woody flavours; it was sweet and light. The best part $1 for 1 ounce. I had six ounces, I was eating dinner with my mom though…even though she doesn’t mind me drinking…

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Everyone gets a clipboard with paper menus. Honestly the restaurant has five pages for their drinks. Wowzers,.

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Mom had to drive, so I ordered her a mint rhubarb lemonade. It was non alcoholic but we didn’t taste any rhubarb.  : (

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We got asked if we wanted bread. We got some..in a paper bag?

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After some drinking and eating, our food finally came. We shared all the dishes we ordered. We actually ordered a lot, considering we had taste tests during the day. Two mains and two sides for two hungry people. : P

First was baby winter beats. It was delicious, but so was everything else we had.

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I cannot stop telling people about this sea bass dish (called Branzino alla Griglia on the menu). The restaurant has several wood fire grill dishes that are outlined on the menu, so I think they are known for their fire grilled dishes. This was beyond anything and everything I could want fish to taste like. The fish had a light and sweet balsamic sauce that added that zing. I would eat at Gusto just for this dish.

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My next favourite has to be tied between this grilled butternut squash. It doesn’t look fancy but it had tons of grilled flavours when I took my first bite. Plus it was severed warm, not hot…added that warm feeling, as if you were eating your favourite comfort food.

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This margherita pizza was in second place next to the squash. Nothing special, but every bite had basil flavour. The dough and crust were the right thickness to my liking. I would order the pizzas again. Next time for sure!

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Mom and I devoured our food in a matter of 30 minutes. We were cold (from the autumn night) and the food was getting cold fast. Our waitress cleared our table and we just sat and drank some more. We figured that we wouldn’t be visiting Gusto anytime soon, so we went all out and had dessert.

We ordered the dolci platter that consisted of three little samplers.

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First was a pumpkin spice pannacotta. Mom liked it, but I passed the pumpkin. I really liked the presentation of the dessert platter. Very simple yet sophisticated.

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I think this had to be my favourrite from all three. Bread & butter pudding. Again, I usually skip the puddings at the family dessert table, but I think I need to learn how to make this.

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Lastly was the tortino ciccolato. Simliar to a cupcake but gluten free and made with quinoa. It tasted really light and unexpected. My cupcakes always turn out buttery/ oily. Maybe I should make one of these sometime.

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There were cute signs in the restaurant, on the way to the second floor and down the stairs to the basement. Oh, did I mention that the restaurant is a used car garage?

IMG_6429Nights like these come every blue moon. My mom is so lazy that she’ll never go downtown with me just to try a new restaurant. But I’m glad I dragged her out for the day. A nice mother-daughter bonding day. : )

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I wish they sold their house wine in bottles. I want to enjoy some ad spread the word of their wine. Oh and order the house made biscotti, they run out fast!