Leaving the house on that stormy night took a lot of courage. But I had to eat, and my kid got a good grade on her Geography exam. She loves Italian food so much, she doesn't mind walking in the rain to a good Italian restaurant. So when it stopped raining for one minute, we rushed off towards Gusto. It turns out that not only does a quick walk in the rain stimulate the taste buds, it also gets the endorphins running high. And so when we got to the restaurant we were cheerful and hungry.
Gusto is located in the strategic corner of Chen Blvd. and Frishman Street, where it enjoys the benefit of the quiet avenue near the adjacent Rabin square. In spite of this strategic location, it seems that Gusto concentrates on making good food rather than practicing PR.
Gusto is an Italian restaurant that offers good, sophisticated, inexpensive food. It does not serve fish or seafood, and there are very few meat dishes on the menu: scaloppini, milanese, spinach and bolognaise lasagna, Italian mixture, meat balls and rice, and that wonderful calzone I saw my neighbors having, which I plan on coming back for.
Gusto's space includes several sections, and we put our money on the aquarium – a sitting area surrounded by glass walls on the Frishman sidewalk. This turned out to be a great bet: from our sit inside, under the heating stove, we could only see the storm outside.
We started with Arancini – risotto balls with mushroom and cheese mixture in a crispy coating, which were served on a bed of tomatoes and mayonnaise. I cannot say this enough: the risotto and its bustard son the arancini are the best accumulative state the rice could aspire to. Gusto's arancini has garlic stinginess, and the arugula bed on which the balls were placed kept it balanced, which was very nice.
We also enjoyed a mozzarella bruschetta: each toasted bruschetta was covered by tomato, buffalo mozzarella, basil leaf and reduced balsamic sauce. This is a simple precise dish, colorful, aesthetic and tasteful. Then the kid had the homemade lemonade and I ordered the beautiful rich Alon Galilee wine composed of Cabernet-sauvignon, Syrah, petite verdot and cabernet franc. We made a note to return to try the eggplant involtini and the cheese-spinach cannelloni, as these were some painful reductions that we had to make.
But we did continue with a main course of pancetta pizza and artichoke, avocado and mozzarella cheese salad. Gusto's pizza is my favorite – it is made of thin, crispy, tasty dough that leaves enough room for sauce, cheese and toppings. Pancetta is the Italian version of bacon, with portabella and champignon mushrooms, and feta cheese. The toppings were rich and merged perfectly with one another. The salad was a true surprise. Usually I don't order salads in restaurants, but in this case, the kid made an excellent choice – the artichoke, avocado and mozzarella together compose a healthy, rich, filling dish, while the red onion, kalamata olives and sundried tomatoes twist is all up.
We had Milkito for dessert – bitter chocolate mousse with whipped cream, and cheese cake with white chocolate cream. Doing well on the Geography test was worth it.