The Gusto restaurants in Manchester and Didsbury have been reliable favourites since I first moved to the city in 2009. From catching up with friends, to hosting family or on a romantic date, the chic Italian venues can always be trusted to deliver delicious food, a buzzing atmosphere and great service. So when I was recently invited to visit the newly-refurbished Didsbury branch I jumped at the chance.
When we first walked in I was pleased to see the same intimate, inviting vibe remains. Gusto opened in Didsbury in 2006 and a recent investment has allowed it to be completely refurbished, but the management wanted to retain the homely neighbourhood feel that makes the restaurant so popular with the community. They’ve certainly achieved that and the regulars must be satisfied, as it was completely full when we arrived on a bustling Friday night.
We started the evening with a cocktail, I went for an Aperol spritz while browsing the menu, which is centred around Italian classics. We nibbled on some warm focaccia before making our decisions, which was pretty difficult with such an extensive menu!
I eventually decided on a dish I’ve enjoyed many times before – the garganelli primavera. All the pasta dishes are available as half portions, which is ideal for a starter, or just for those who find it hard to make a decision (ie me!). The pasta was delicious and the summer veg went perfectly with the creamy sauce.
My main course was the pan fried fillet of seabass on a bed of creamed spinach, which was light and full of flavour. A special shoutout goes to the Italian fried courgettes that I can’t resist ordering every time I visit. I could live off those beauties! I must also mention the peppercorn sauce which I stole from my date (who had the chargrilled fillet steak, which I’m reliably informed was just perfect). But back to the peppercorn sauce… I was advised to dunk a chip in the sauce and it was amazing. As a pescetarian, I don’t think I’ve ever actually tried peppercorn sauce so I don’t know if it’s always this good, but I literally couldn’t leave it alone!
Of course, I kept some room for dessert. As recommended by our fantastic waiter, we shared the tiramisu and the bombolini – bite-sized sugared donuts with cream and dulce de leche. The puddings were just as tasty as the rest of the meal and it was the perfect end to a great evening. Gusto have restaurants all around the UK so we’d definitely recommend visiting if you’re looking for classic Italian food with a glamorous edge.
Gusto is part of the Living Ventures chain that owns our much-loved Manchester House restaurant. Check out our review from our last visit by clicking this link.
Thank you to Gusto Didsbury for inviting us to review the restaurant.