A little while ago I sampled the delights of Gusto Didsbury, the food was nothing short of delicious and a cracking evening was had by all. I was therefore excited to be invited to Gusto Cheadle to try some dishes from their new summer menu.
Being one of those vegetarian types I took along my trusty sidekick and eager carnivore chum Bob, who had the difficult task of eating all the meaty and fishy things. A tough job, but someone’s got to do it!
Due to a mix up we arrived two hours early, but nevertheless we were made to feel welcome. We shared a bottle of the Banchetto Rosso, a light, easy-drinking red and nibbled at a couple of new dishes from the menu. It was a not unpleasant way to while away an afternoon.
First up we tried the fried Pecorino cheese with tomato chutney. Two thick wedges of Percorino in a fine polenta crust, served with a good dollop of lovely tomato chutney and some dressed leaves. It was a hearty starter, Bob felt it a was a little dry, but I enjoyed it and thought it made a nice alternative to halloumi.
We shared a small portion of the hand made artichoke tortellini with sautéed mushrooms with parsley and butter. This dish divided us, we both loved the tortellini and enjoyed the mushrooms, but I felt the sauce was too salty and overpowering, whereas Bob thought it was just “well seasoned”.
Thankfully before we devoured the entire menu by ourselves, the others arrived and we could begin the tasting proper. We began by having a selection of starters wafted in front of us. We tried the Bresaola with home pickled mushrooms and rocket; Home cured salmon tartare and quails egg; Crisp baby gem and Speck ham with tonnato sauce; Cannellini bean dip with cucumber and baby leaf salad with fennel crispbread and Bruschetta with avocado and tomato.
All were popular; I particularly loved the Bruschetta with avocado which was simple but beautiful. Good ingredients treated with respect. Bob was very fond of the salmon tartare. I thought the cannellini dip was lovely, very light very summery, like hummus but light on the garlic.
Moving on to the new main courses on offer at Gusto we sampled the Saffron risotto with a white crab salad; Home cured salmon, shaved fennel, orange, radish and radicchio with a crème fraiche dressing; Baked fillet of seabass with roasted pepperonata, drizzled with lemon purée; and Roast lamb rump on a courgette, aubergine and tomato galette with a salsa verde dressing.
There wasn’t a lot of veggie types like me to sample, but I managed to gobble down some of the excellent saffron risotto. Bob loved the seabass, it being perfectly cooked and the roasted pepperonata offering a welcome zingy hit to the dish. His personal favourite was the lamb rump, which came out perfectly pink and as soft as butter.
Next up, as if we had room (but we somehow managed) were the desserts. One of my favourite things about Gusto is their puddings are by no means a menu afterthought. They’ve created some new summery puds, we tried the Gusto Bellini – a peach and Prosecco jelly with a Prosecco foam. This was a light and fruity end to the meal, the Prosecco jelly being an excellent palate cleanser and the fruit helping to fool you into thinking it was an almost healthy option.
My personal favourite was the Italian Mess. A Gusto twist on the famous Eton Mess. A light berry meringue, filled with vanilla chantilly cream, raspberry coulis and topped with summer berries. It looked and tasted like perfection on a plate. My only grumble was I dislike the leafy stalks being left on my strawberries, but otherwise this was as perfect a pudding as I’m likely to find.
There were some real gems on the new Gusto menu, some I’m literally salivating at the thought of trying again, and try again I will.
Disclaimer: We were invited guests of Gusto Cheadle and we were not asked to pay for our food or drink. These are my honest opinions of what we ate on the day.