I realised during my recent visit to Gusto to sample the new Aperitivo menu that I hadn't visited for dinner in months. So to brighten up an otherwise miserable Monday I made plans with my friend Katie for a proper catch up over some delicious food.
Browsing the Gusto menu is a bit of a mission, it's a little like someone designed it just for me. It's so packed full of amazing dishes I usually find I can pick out a pretty big list of things I want to order. To make our decision making process a little easier and to keep our rumbling tummies quiet we ordered some Baked Rosemary Focaccia Bread served with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and Katie also tucked into some Mixed Olives.
Settling back in our chairs we noticed how busy the restaurant had got. Despite being early evening on a Monday, when I'm sure a lot of restaurants are pretty quiet, every table at Gusto was full and it was like that the whole evening. It's such a popular place which makes for a wonderful warm atmosphere.
Turning our attention to food I ordered one of my favourite Gusto dishes. Despite having had it a lot and always telling myself I should try something else I just can't resist the Peking Pizza - roasted crispy duck on a hoisin base with spring onion and coriander.
I love duck and hoisin and it's a pretty special combination on a pizza. The base was thin and crispy, just how I like it and the toppings were really generous.
Katie ordered Roast Chicken Breast with creamed leeks and butter fried gnocchi with some spinach on the side. I will admit I didn't pay much attention to what she was doing as my head was firmly buried in my pizza but she said it was delicious and I wasn't rude enough to swipe any off her plate to try.
By this point we were full but we weren't going to let that put us off ordering dessert. Gusto serve my favourite dessert in Newcastle so I was eager to order my usual, Chocolate and Coffee Mousse. I was slightly disappointed when it turned up as it used to be served with Bombolini (although never mentioned on the menu so it was an amazing little secret!) but it seems donuts on the side are no more. I mentioned it to our waiter who immediately offered to get me some, but I then realised that I was actually pretty full and maybe eating donuts with such an indulgent mousse is a little greedy.
Dish of the evening went to Katie who ordered the Nutella and Mascarpone Calzone served with vanilla ice cream. If ever there was a time to hate my hazelnut allergy this would be it. Her dessert looked absolutely amazing and I was so jealous that I couldn't try any. A perfect naughty treat she was one very happy lady!
Gusto remains one of my favourite restaurants for any occasion. With its floor to ceiling windows offering views across the Quayside, dark wood furniture and twinkly fairy lights whenever I visit I think to myself how it's the perfect date night restaurant, yet Simon and I have never been there together! Anyone thinking we really need to arrange a date night?