Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Summer menu at Gusto, Cookridge, Leeds

Well I landed back from my holiday in Zadar (Croatia) this morning and have a serious case of the holiday blues. However the horrendous delayed flight and missed train connections back home may steer me away from planning more holidays for a little while. Luckily I can still experience a little taste of summer as one of my favourite Italian restaurants in Leeds, Gusto,  have just launched there new summer menu. 

No summer lunch would be complete without kicking of with a round of cocktails, I think it's safe to say over the past few weeks, I've sampled more than my fair share.

I went for the dessert peach which was something more unusual than I have tried before and I wasn't exactly sure what to expect with a mix of wine and gin but the flavours worked in a way I wouldn't expect. I'm not sure the mix would be great for a hangover though. My friend opted for a classic Martini which included fresh thyme. 

Gusto, Cookridge, Leeds

Lemon and thyme Martini (Bombay sapphire, limoncello, dry vermouth, lemon bitter, sugar syrup, fresh thyme)

Dessert peach (sweet wine, peach purée, lemon juice and Bombay dry are built in a glass, with a touch of soda and a float of red wine)

Starters are always my favourite part of meals as I've said so many times before. Plus the cheese lover in me jumped for joy when I spotted goats cheese on the menu. 

I ordered bruschette with the sweet pepper compote and goats cheese. I can't quite think of a more summery food combination I like more then the mix of sweet roasted peppers and tangy goats cheese. Hayley went for the chicken salad with again the goats cheese and red pepper, I never order salads on menus as I always find them a bit boring and bland but it Hayley said it was nice and had a nice amount of chicken etc in for a starter. 

Gusto, Cookridge, Leeds
Gusto, Cookridge, Leeds

Bruschetta with sweet pepper compote and goats cheese

Romesco chicken salad, with goats cheese, red pepper, rocket and aged balsamic

Next was the main course or "star of the show". I ordered the roasted duck breast and was certainly happy with my choice. I love duck but always panic it will be fatty or not cooked right. I can confirm the duck was cooked pink in the middle exactly how I ordered it and was certainly not fatty at all. The carrot purée was maybe a little too creamy however and wasn't the best of accompaniments for the rich duck. The pickled radicchio worked a little better for me.

I didn't try Hayley's gnocchi, although she seemed fairly quiet whilst eating so I will take that as a good sign.  
Gusto, Cookridge, Leeds
Gusto, Cookridge, Leeds
Gusto, Cookridge, Leeds
Gusto, Cookridge, Leeds

Main course:
Pan roasted duck breast, 
with carrot and star anise purée, pickled radicchio and red wine jus.

 Oven baked gnocchi, 
with spicy nduja salami, caramelised onion, red pepper and tomato. 
Gusto, Cookridge, Leeds

Before desert it was time for another round of cocktails. I ordered the Milk and honey cocktail, although unfortunately I didn't enjoy this too much. The vodka and Bacardi combined make the cocktail far too strong for me and the taste of cream was lacking so all I could just taste was the milk and vodka, unfortunately no flavour of honey.  

Dessert peach (as above)

Milk & Honey (Krupnik honey vodka, Bacardi ora, milk and cream, stirred down then strained into a Martini glass with fresh raspberries to finish) 

Gusto, Cookridge, Leeds
Gusto, Cookridge, Leeds

Desert however could not be faulted. I was pretty full by this point so opted for a refreshing lemon sorbet. Hayley couldn't resist and choose the strawberry and passion fruit mess. I must admit I couldn't resist digging my spoon into Hayley's desert and having a taste. Fresh strawberry and passion fruit, cream and crisp meringue....I think I've said enough. 

Lemon sorbet

Strawberry and passion fruit mess

Gusto, Cookridge, Leeds

I ended my summer evening with a delicious amaretto coffee. 

Amaretto coffee with a cream float

Have you been to Gusto?
You can check out my previous reviews of Gusto here & here
Gusto Cookridge - 151 Otley Old Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS16 6HN

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*Meal provided free of charge, in exchange for my honest review*

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