Coming from literally the word that means “tasty”; Gusto 101 has certainly made its mark in the foodie world that is Toronto. Ever since opening their doors to Torontonians and foodies everywhere they have been serving up modern takes on Southern Italian cuisine and I for one gusto mucho!
So what sets Gusto 101 aside from other Italian restaurants in Toronto? It’s simple, their desire and creativity to mix the old with the new that even an old school Italiano would find appealing and delicious.
The owner, of Gusto 101, Janet Zuccarini turned what was once known as “ Portland Auto body” into a modern, classic industrial dining space which makes having a meal at Gusto 101 memorable. If you are a people person you’ll find that there is always the sound of conversation buzzing through the air, because the place is always jammed packed full of people, which for me is a good thing.
Enjoying the wonderful food at this restaurant made the experience even better. Our server started us out with some focaccia bread to keep our tummies occupied while we were deciding on appetizers and entrees. The bread was also accompanied with a fabulous oil-based vinaigrette, which featured olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and fresh ground pepper.
As an appetizer, my friends and I decided to share the bruschetta which was composed of marinated mixed mushrooms (my favourite), herbed ricotta, taleggio, olive oil all on a finely toasted Tuscan bread. It was a unique and non-traditional bruschetta than is served at most other restaurants, but it was amazing nonetheless. It was very tasty and well made.
Entrees were also very well prepared and amazingly tasty. We ordered three types of pasta that are served at Gusto 101. The best part about going out to dinner with friends is getting to try what each person has ordered and also makes the experience that much more enriching for a foodie like myself.
We ordered the Ravioli Alla Norma, Mafalde ai Funghi and the Bucatini Amatriciana, and they were all amazing pasta that not only smelled amazing but tasted great.
Ravioli Alla Norma is a spinach and ricotta ravioli topped with eggplant, tomato sauce, ricotta Salata and basil. This ravioli was one of the best that I have had, the portion was small, but I felt like it was filling considering it was stuffed with spinach and ricotta. Plus with the amount of bread, we ate that night this ravioli was certainly enough to make my tummy feel content.
Mafalde ai Funghi is definitely the pasta you want to try if you’re a mushroom lover. This dish consists of Portobello, porcini, oyster mushrooms, truffle cream sauce. It was creamy and delicious and the mushrooms literally melt in your mouth. It is too good to be true.
Bucatini Amatriciana was such a simple yet delicious spaghetti. It consisted of house-made guanciale, tomato sauce, black pepper and pecorino. The pasta was incredibly fresh and the sauce was not too overpowering you could taste every ingredient and it was extremely satisfying to eat.
Head on down to Gusto 101 located at 101 Portland St to get a not so traditional take on Southern Italian cuisine, I am sure it will be an unforgettable experience!