|Nary a youngster to be seen at Gusto Italian Cuisine!|
|When in downtown Stuart I wouldn’t say you MUST go to Gusto
But if you only speak Italian, it’s probably a plus though..
Though the decor was heavy, the food was quite a delight,
But clientele was mostly over the hill, nary a youngster in sight!
Thus, in summary, my overall opinion is only: “so-so!”
So here we were again in downtown Stuart, looking for a place to eat supper. My friend Mike has the misfortune to have a bad tear of the plantar fascia and thus his walking distance is limited. Therefore, our choice of restaurant is often made for us by where we are able to find a parking spot. Mike’s special ‘ boot’ has a similar effect to the one they clamp on cars in New York City: You can’t go very far! On this particular evening, the parking gods were smiling upon us and we were able to pull into a spot right in the center of town within a stone’s throw of a plethora of eating establishments.
Where we went: Since we had nothing particular in mind, we ambled up to the first place we happened upon and perused the menu posted at the door. It happened to be a place called Gusto Italian Cuisine. We both liked the look of what we saw, so we ventured inside! Some how, I had the feeling of being transported back half a century. Although the outside of the restaurant looked fairly bright and modern, the inside was more like a movie scene from the fifties. One somehow expected to be able to look across the dining room and see Ginger Rodgers gazing lovingly into the eyes of Fred Astaire. What we saw instead was a clientele, most of whom would never again see the South-side of sixty! This other-worldliness was heightened by the fact that the wait staff insisted on peppering their language with Italian, even after we had consistently made it patently obvious that they were not dealing with Guido and Enzo here. Some might indeed find this cute and quaint, but personally, after a while, I found that it became trite and contrived. I knew we were entering an Italian establishment, it said so on the wall outside!
What we ordered: Usually, when we go to an Italian restaurant, Mike will tend towards either Osso Buco or Veal Parmigiana. This particular evening, we were both tempted by the same special of the day. I also selected a glass of Chianti, something that I had not enjoyed for quite a few years. While we waited for our order to arrive, we were also offered fresh, crusty bread accompanied with a pesto or spread which I did not recognise (and forgot to inquire about) but which I thoroughly enjoyed to the extent that I did not miss the butter which I would normally have slathered liberally upon it.
What we got: I must admit that if I were to rate this restaurant solely on the quality of the food, it would get a much better rating than when taking the entire dining experience as a whole. The veal was tasty and tender and the red wine sauce with mushrooms perfectly complemented it. The vegetable frittata, which may look uninspiring in the photo but was a real delight filled with a perfect blend of mixed veggies still slightly crunchy just the way I like them. Some reviewers have taken Gusto to task for the quantity of food served in their mains but I found the amount to be just right. This left me with some room to try their Tiramisu which is another Italian standard and it passed muster even if it did not exactly blow me away.
All in all, I came away with very mixed feelings about this particular restaurant. This is also in line with some of the reviews that I have read which vary widely in their praise or lack of it.
- Positives: Definitely authentic Italian. Quality of food is above average
- Negatives: Prices are maybe more than one would expect! Apparently, not a favourite with the younger crowd
- Recommendation: If you like Italian food and you don’t mind mixing with the seniors, you might like this place.
|Food Quality||****||Above average|
|Price||$$$$||A bit too Pricey|
|Overall Rating||***||Some good – Some Bad!|
|Frivolous Foodie Facts|
|What’s the appeal of veal?
•On average, a trimmed, cooked three oz. serving of veal contains 166 calories and only 5.6 grams of fat.
•The leanest cuts of veal are the leg cutlet, arm steak, sirloin, rib chop, loin chop, and top round