What’s on the Summer Menu at Gusto in Newcastle?

Quayside, Newcastle
World Cup fever is everywhere, including my house for the next five weeks, so there was no chance I was blogging yesterday (or allowed to) instead I was cheering on the England squad. Let’s not talk about that…

I am sure many of you didn’t miss the #ScranSocial mentions on Twitter but if you did, a group of around 20-25 of us food bloggers headed down to Gusto, along the Quayside in Newcastle, to sample their summer menu and enjoy a spot of wine tasting.

Wine tasting at Gusto in Newcastle
Gusto's wine tasting afternoon

To my surprise (and rather pleasantly) the wine tasting kicked off [excuse the pun] at half two before any food tasting. Gusto’s Jonny took us through a red and white wine followed by a delicious dessert wine. The wines we sampled were 2013 Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon, Bastianich Vigne Orsone Friulano Colli Orientali del Friuli and The Stump Jump 2010 dessert wine. If I got any of those names wrong please let me know!

What did I make of the wines?

The white wine was light-bodied with a subtle zingy, citrus hint. I really enjoy white wine so will be keen to try this again. I think it is ideal for the warm summer months and would be well received at any barbecue.

I have to admit I do normally shy away from red wines as they are often overpowering in flavour or leave a sharp, pungent aftertaste. Oh how foolish I have been! I know the art of wine tasting is to be open-minded in order to find a bottle to suit you and this red was a winner in my eyes (or mouth as it were). You could tell from the pale red colour it was not too dense and I enjoyed the combination of berries and grapes. It certainly left my taste buds tingling!

Lastly but not least, we all enjoyed the glistening golden dessert wine. It was thick, syrupy and sweet with a hint of lemon, ideal in my opinion, for drinking on its own or else I would probably serve it alongside some blue cheeses; pairing the sweet and salt perfectly. Dessert wines always seem to remind me of Christmas however I could see myself serving this at a dinner party in the coming months. A small glass of this would cure any sweet tooth and at around £7 per 375ml bottle, it is affordable for most.

Gusto’s summer food menu

After a wonderful wine tasting we sat down to enjoy three courses off their summer menu. My reviews may be slightly different to some of the other bloggers as I am vegetarian. With this in mind, I would love for the other bloggers to leave links to their reviews in the comment box above though I will try to mention all the options that were available.

Bread board starter

For starter we enjoyed a bread board with a variety of cheeses and cured meats alongside a bed a salad and chutney. It was presented nicely on a traditional wooden board and I have a particular love affair with mezze boards in summer, they always go down a treat!

Pizzas from Gusto
Pasta dishes
Pizza and pasta from Gusto
Saffron and crab risotto from Gusto

The main consisted of a variety of mouth-watering dishes including rigatoni primevera, tagliatelle arrabiatta with pepperoni, saffron and crab risotto, asparagus and avocado salad, salmon salad and pizzas (napolitana, slow roast pork, quattro and formaggio). I am normally of the opinion that I will never order a salad when dining out due to it being a rather simple (and inexpensive) dish. However I really enjoyed the freshness of the avocado paired with the dressing and asparagus. It was crunchy, refreshing and just what you craved in the heat.

Italian mess and bombolini dessert from Gusto

I was feeling rather full after the first two courses however I managed to save a little space for the italian mess and bombolini. I am not normally a big fan of meringue however I enjoyed the chewy, nougat-like texture of the blueberry meringue which contrasted well with the bombolini smothered in warm, gooey chocolate sauce.

What did I think of Gusto?

I have to say all three courses were presented well and I was extremely impressed with the quality of the Italian food. I would definitely recommend visiting Gusto next time you are in toon as the prices are more than reasonable and the food is in one word, delicious. They have a varied menu on offer, so no doubt there is something for everyone.

I was lucky enough to win the blogger competition for a meal for two so I will be heading down next month and I can’t wait to try out more of their dishes!

Finally I must say a huge thank you to Scran on the Tyne and Gusto for organising such a superb, and not to mention tasty, food bloggers event in Newcastle. I can confidently say we all walked away well fed with a spring in our step (with no accountability to the wine of course). I am really looking forward to visiting again! Gusto in five words…delectable Italian food with style.

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