Tuesday, November 26, 2013

REVIEW | Gusto 101 - tasty Italian fare in Toronto's King West including a sweet potato pizza!

We absolutely love pizza… and not just the fast food pizzas that you can get but restaurant quality pizzas that make you feel like you’re sitting at a restaurant in Italy. There are classic pizzas such as  Margherita or Funghi but each restaurant will usually have their unique take with toppings that you are unlikely to find anywhere else, like the C’T Mang pizza from Terroni (read the review here). Gusto 101 is no exception and I finally decided to pay a visit!

Image from Gusto 101 website

A few minutes’ walk from the busy Portland and Queen St W intersection it’s located in a quiet area in a rustic little building. Although it’s getting a big cold outside to sit in the patio, it looked very spacious and would be perfect on a warm summer day.  

Gusto's owner, Janet Zuccarini, also owns Yorkville's popular Italian eatery, Trattoria Nervosa, which Monica enjoyed before, so I had high expectations for this new spot!

They don’t take reservations and it’s mostly walk in unless you want to make an online reservation at 12:00pm or 6:00pm. It wasn’t busy at all around 5:30 but started to pick up as we were leaving around 7pm. 

Love the bread wall right by the kitchen!

 To start, they give you a little burlap bag with fresh bread and olive oil. The bread tastes so good with the olive oil that you'll forget all about the butter!

I ordered the Da Dee pizza ($15.50) with sweet potatoes, lacinate kale, local fior di latte, carmelized Spanish onions, pecorino and rosemary. It had the perfect amount of sweet and savoury from all the different components of the pizza. As in most restaurants, the pizza crust was very thin allowing the flavours and texture of the toppings to really stand out without having overwhelming amounts of dough. 

Classic Arancini ($9.95) with Arborio rice, wild mushrooms, fontina and tomato sauce. 

Escarola salad ($12.95) with escarole, toasted walnuts, roasted red onion, pecorino, truffle vinaigrette. I’ve never had escarole before and I found it to be a bit bitter even though it’s not as bitter as kale or other greens in the endive family. 

Wild Boar Ragu

I enjoyed my dining experience at Gusto and will definitely be back to try other things on their menu. The only thing was that the the main dining hall was a little bit loud as there were quite a few tables but the overall ambiance was great! 

Gusto 101 on Urbanspoon
Gusto 101 on Foodio54

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