You may remember me visiting the Cookridge branch of Gusto last year, and although enjoyable it wasn’t half a trek to get to in rush hour Leeds (after 2 accidents had blocked the way) so it’s not somewhere I’d go to regularly, however it’s sister branch in central Leeds is much better for me, as it’s only a ten minute walk from work- much easier than a hour fraught drive!
So I was looking forward to a more relaxed dinner when I was invited to walk along to Gusto Leeds for dinner and that’s what I got. Joined by some bloggers and press were were taken to a very Beauty and the Beast themed table (well it had candelabras and that’s enough for me!) There had been a special menu with lots of new dishes on it made just for us I really did feel like a special ‘Guest’.

After the sharing platter which had the Goats Cheese of Dreams on it- I have never had nicer Goats Cheese it was just so creamy and had the best taste! We went onto starters.

I went for the Plum Tomato and Basil Tart, this was really refreshing and a great way to start off a meal. I was tempted by the deep fried Toma cheese which is basically a gourmet version of mozzarella dippers. I was informed that they were amazing.

Sticking to a veggie theme I then went for the Baked Aubergine Milanese. I love melanzane which is Italian for aubergine but also describes the lasagne like dish made with aubergines, so based on that I figured baked aubergine would be lovely. When it was presented to me I was very glad I’d chosen a lighter starter as it was massive! It was also so filling, I couldn’t eat it all by any stretch and I’d say I managed about a third of what you see here. It was a surprisingly hearty dish and had a comfort food vibe about it which is definitely recommend if you visit when really hungry!

This was Ellenor’s main, the Beef Fillet Carpaccio Salad¬†which was somewhat lighter than my main dish!

After that I didn’t really fancy dessert but I opted for Vanilla Flavour Panna Cotta. This isn’t something I’d normally got for either but again as it’s light and refreshing i gave it a go. It was so nice too! I would of course always choose a chocolate dessert if I had the option, but I don’t think I’d even bother having a dessert after that main usually! The strawberries in the ‘aged balsamic’ sauce were really delicious and added a bit more flavour to the vanilla.

It was a lovely evening, surrounded by great company and beautifully lit trees and I’d recommend it for a chilled evening out with well made Italian food. Luke is already keen to go so it’s on our list to visit next time we are in Leeds!

*I was invited to Gusto to taste their new menu offerings, as always thoughts and words are my own.