New menus are launching everywhere! It’s the time of year when restaurants and bars tidy up their menus, bringing them into the warmer weather. Lightening flavours, bringing in seasonal produce, as I look at the sunshine outside, it’s time to finally think about the S-word. Yes summer.
This time it’s Gusto in Alderley Edge, with some tasty little tweaks to the menu. I was invited along with a number of bloggers to head over on a blossom soaked Monday evening to sample the new dishes.
To whet our appetites, we had a selection of charcuterie and cheeses on a sharing Grande Board. Fat crisp green olives, proscuitto, salami, dolcelatte – classic flavours, great quality and devoured far too fast. I think we had all ‘saved ourselves’ for the evening ahead.
Onto starters themselves and the new dishes are lighter and fresh in flavour.
Even the fondue on the fondue board – with bread and crudites – was more like a bechamel sauce than a fondue, keeping it light in texture, and flavour, whilst keeping the creaminess that you’d expect from a fondue.
The plum tomato and basil tart featured a thin pastry base, red pesto and fresh sliced tomatoes – but while the pastry was light and crisp, the richness of the pesto made it an intense mouthful – the opposite of the salmon with mascarpone, which was summer on a plate with crisp pickled cucumber and capers.
My own dish was the deep fried Toma cheese. Think mozzarella sticks but for grown ups. Gently stringly creamy cheese, with a crisp crunchy outer and a rather moreish tomato coulis.
Onto mains, and I knew what I wanted as soon as it was mentioned. Seared lemon and pepper tuns steak with cherry tomatoes, black olives and asparagus. The capers and olives provide and strong salt laden background to the tuna, and vegetables.
Summer flavours in a somewhat hearty dish (and barely a carb in sight) it was just what I needed. Salty, crunchy, meaty.
The carpaccio beef salad was also a definite hit, as was the creamy garganelli primavera (tried both with and without chicken) fresh summer vegetables, a creamy cheese sauce and pasta. A simple option if you simply can’t do without a pasta dish.
Onto desserts and we were definitely split.
The heavier options for pud included the classic Nutella Calzone, and the Bombolini – little doughnuts with Chantilly Cream and a chocolate sauce for dipping.
The Tiramisu appeared to fall a little short of expectations – being a little too dense in texture.
Whereas there were no such complaints about the ice cream. My own dessert, a vanilla panna cotta with strawberries, mint and balsamic vinegar was the last in the kitchen!
Obviously a popular choice, and despite it’s slightly misshapen appearance, it was easy to see why. There’s a reason it’s a classic.
Overall, the dishes are totally in keeping with the Gusto vibe, getting them ready for the summer. Personally? Of all the dishes we sampled, I think I might need that tuna steak again.
Dinner on the front terrace anyone?
With thanks to Gusto for the invitation to dine.