Ratatouille is one of my favourite films, so I had high hopes for a restaurant called Gusteau’s. Even when I found out it was named ‘Gusto’, and was Italian American rather than French, I was still enthusiastic about visiting.
The website for Gusto suggests we may mistake their interior for having wandered into an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. It is beautifully decorated inside with a tree-like pattern of lights that create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The light radiates from the gold furnishings. Nobody refers to me as “old sport” though.
The maître d seats us and talks us through the menu. This seems unnecessary as it is very straightforward and she makes no recommendations. A for effort though. The drinks menu features alcohol free cocktails and milkshakes. We order both. My honey dew cocktail does indeed have a distinct taste of honey. Elina’s chocolate orange milkshake has a strong chocolate orange flavour too. A big enough straw to be able to suck it up would definitely improve the experience.
It takes a while for the waiter to get round to us. He takes the order on a tablet computer which makes the whole process feel rather clumsy.
My starter is a dish of oven-roasted ribs. They are reasonably easily to prise from the bone and come with a substantial base of spicy beans. Elina has the polenta mushroom which can most easily be described as calamares for vegetarians.
For my main I order the lamb. I find it disappointing. It is pink as ordered, but is not tender. It tastes rather chewy. Elina’s super-thin pizza comes with a pizza cutter but is still difficult to cut apart and eat. The topping is not very evenly distributed over it.
Gusto has a nice atmosphere. The drinks menu is excellent. However, it felt under-staffed and some of the food was a little disappointing. Other dishes get the thumbs up though, making it a mid-level performer.
Reviewed by Leeds Restaurant Guide.
10 Greek Street, Leeds, LS1 5RU
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