This week I have decided to review an old favourite of mine, Gusto’s, an elegant Italian restaurant on the Quayside. You will find it right behind Pitcher and Piano, which is next to the Millennium Bridge. If you can, specify that you would like to sit upstairs next to the window. The walls are glass from top to bottom and offer a striking view of the river. In the summer you can sit outside, amongst the fairy lights and olive trees.
Gusto’s is the perfect place for when the parents are up and you want to escape the student hub of Jesmond and exploit the fact that they, unlike you, are not knee-deep in their overdraft. It is also the ideal place for a special date, for example an anniversary dinner or if your boyfriend just wants to spoil you (give him this to read and hopefully he’ll get the hint). Some tables are circular booths, which offer a cosy and romantic atmosphere amidst the busy restaurant. I’d recommend dressing smart-casual/smart, depending on the occasion.
"Gusto’s is the perfect place for when the parents are up and you want to escape the student hub of Jesmond and exploit the fact that they, unlike you, are not knee-deep in their overdraft"
In terms of the food, I suggest trying a meat or a fish dish. They are bursting with flavour and offer a quality that cannot be rivalled. You have to order sides separately. My personal favourites are the green beans with shallots, which are served crunchy and delicious in a garlic sauce. I always struggle choosing between the creamy mashed potato with pesto and the baked rosemary and garlic potatoes, but to be honest you could not go wrong with either of them. However, if you’re into crispy buttery potatoes with the perfect level of crunch, the latter is for you. Having to order sides separately does obviously boost the cost of the bill. If you are dining on a budget, the pizzas, pastas and risottos are very reasonably priced so you can still enjoy the fine dining atmosphere at a lower cost. However, I would say that you can find similar and equally tasty pizza/pasta dishes elsewhere for a slightly cheaper cost, which is why I would recommend not missing out on the meat or fish if you go to Gusto’s.
Onto the most important thing – pudding. Gusto’s serve a Nutella and Mascarpone Calzone, which is a chocolate-lover’s dream. A river of melted Nutella and thick creamy mascarpone pours out from the sweet, warm dough as soon as you pierce it with your fork. As if it isn’t sweet enough, it is served with a light dusting of icing sugar. Make sure you try some, even if you have to steal it off the nice lady sitting next to you! It is so indulgent- forget about calorie counting and tuck in.
"The elegant atmosphere coupled with superb food will ensure you feel spoiled rotten by the end of the night"
Gusto’s is the ideal restaurant for a special occasion, but equally perfect if you just want to treat yourselves to a romantic meal for two. The elegant atmosphere coupled with superb food will ensure you feel spoiled rotten by the end of the night. The service is flawless and you will feel extremely well looked after. I would definitely recommend booking on a Friday or Saturday night, as you are unlikely to get a table otherwise. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
The Quayside, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 3DX