Put Some Gusto Into It | Gusto Cookridge Autumn Winter 2016 Menu Preview

A couple of weeks ago, me and Jamie were very kindly invited down to Gusto Cookridge to come and try out their recently launched Autumn Winter 2016 menu, and after having a fantastic evening stuffing ourselves full of delectable Italian food, I thought I would tell you all about it.

After wandering around Leeds for a little while, we eventually decided to order an Uber, as we weren’t entirely sure where the restaurant was, and we thought that it would be easier than getting lost trying to find it, and headed to Gusto Cookridge, which as the name suggests, is located in Cookridge Leeds. Once we had arrived and headed on in, we were greeted by an extremely friendly staff member called Becky, she was the woman who had invited us. She said hi, and told us who she was, then she asked if we would like a drink, of course we said yes, I mean I don’t have to be asked twice if I would like a drink, haha! She said that there was quite a few on offer, but if we were drinking, we should try their Passion Fruit and Peach Daiquiri, which contains Bacardi Superior Rum. Peach Liqueur, fresh Passion Fruit, Lime juice, and Gomme, so that’s what we went for. She then showed us to the table, and said that the barman would bring our drinks over.

A clear wide glass full of Passion Fruit and Peach Daiquiri, with a purple Passion Fruit garnish floating in the glass, on a grainy background.

A picture of the Gusto Cookridge Passion Fruit and Peach Daiquiri.

We were the first to arrive, so we just chatted for a little while and drank our drinks, whilst we waited for all the other guests to arrive. The Passion Fruit and Peach Daiquiri was gorgeous. It was a little on the strong side for my liking, but absolutely gorgeous, and I think that the added piece of Passion Fruit floating at the top of the glass added a nice elegant touch. After everyone had arrived, and we had all introduced ourselves to one another, Becky started to tell us a little about the company and her role. She also told us that they sometimes do themed nights which get booked up rather quickly, like their New Years evening extravaganza they are planning for the end of the year.

After finding out all about Becky and her role within the company, one of the other extremely friendly staff members started bringing out all the food for us to taste.

A green leafy salad with some orange Butternut Squash, on a white plate, on a white background.

A picture of the Gusto Cookridge Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad.

We started with all the starters, and the first thing to arrive was their Cheese Board, which was Goats Cheese, Dolcelatte, and Smoked Provola, served with two slices of Rosemary Focaccia, and a ramekin of Hummus, garnished with Olives, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Rocket.

Now as you all know, I can’t stand Cheese, so I obviously didn’t eat any of this.

Next up came the Meat Board, which was Prosciutto, Salami Sopressa, and Coppa, served with two slices of Rosemary Focaccia, a ramekin of Hummus, and garnished with Olives, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Rocket.

This was one of my favourite dishes of the night. All the meat worked brilliantly together, as they didn’t overpower one another, and the bread was great, as it was crispy but without being so crispy that it hurt my teeth. I’m a massive fan of Hummus, and i’ve eaten quite a lot of it in the past, but this had to be one of my top three favourites. It was absolutely packed full of flavour, and was so smooth it was like Butter

Next up came their Cold Smoked Salmon, which was Cold Smoked Salmon served on a bed of Celeriac and Apple remoulade, with Mustard Seeds, drizzled with a Tomato Caper, and Lemon dressing, served with a Lemon quarter.

I’m not the biggest fan of Salmon, as I find it a little too fishy, but I actually quite liked this, and the strange Celeriac and Apple concoction, basically it was a Coleslaw, was incredibly tasty and full of flavour. I wouldn’t have paired Salmon with Apple, but it strangely worked.

The last starter to arrive was their Roasted Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad, which was a salad of Chickpeas, Butternut Squash,Fennel, Pomegranate, Carrots, Spiced Pumpkin Seeds, Rocket, Lollo Bionde, Little Gem, Cucumber, Radish, Julienne Red Chilli, Spring Onions, Crispy Shallots, and Soya Beans. with a Lemon dressing.

To me Salads belong in Summer, but they had somehow managed to give a Salad a Autumn twist by using strong flavours, and Butternut Squash. I quite like Butternut Squash, but it’s one of those things you can easily overcook, but they had cooked it to perfection, and made the entire Salad extremely in season.

Some yellow coloured Pasta, with some green leaves, on a white plate, on a grey background.

A picture of the Gusto Cookridge Spaghetti Pesto.

We then moved onto all the gorgeousPasta and Pizzas.

First up came their Seafood Tagliatelli, which was Tagliatelli, served in a Mouclade sauce, with Mussels, Squid, and Prawns.

I didn’t have any of this, as I don’t like Seafood, but it did smell gorgeous.

Next up came their Speghetti Pesto, which was Speghetti, served with Rocket, Green Beans, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Black Pepper, and Pesto.

This was the only dish from the Pasta and Pizza menu that I actually ate, and it was gorgeous. It was basically like someone had mixed Pasta with a Caesar Salad. The Pasta was fluffy but not too hard, and the Pesto had a strong but subtle earthy taste to it that went beautifully with the Pasta.

Next up came their Funghi Pizza, which was a Mozzarella, Dolcelatte, Red Onions, Spinach, and Mushroom Pizza, topped with Rocket. Fried Oregano, and a Procini Mushroom Salt.

I didn’t eat any of this either, as I can’t stand Mushrooms, but I did have a little bite of the crust, which was cooked perfectly. It was fluffy whilst, still being nice and crunchy.

Next up came their Fiorentina Pizza, which was a Mozzarella, Dolceltte, Red Onion, Spinach, and Mushroom Pizza, served with Spinach dressed in an Olive Oil garnish.

I again, didn’t have any of this, as I don’t like Mushrooms, but Jamie said that it was delicious, and that he loved it.

Some dark coloured Pork, in a burgundy coloured sauce, with some white creamy mash, and a green garnish, on a white plate, with a dark background.

A picture of the Gusto Cookridge Fillet of Pork.

We then moved onto all of their gorgeous main courses.

First up came their Lamb Cacciatore, which was Lamb Shoulder, Pancetta, Red Wine, Carrots, Celery, and Onions slow cooked in a Tomato Sauce with Bay Leaves, and served with two slices of Artisan Loaf.

This was delicious. It was essentially a Stew, which I think is perfect to eat during the colder months, especially with a couple of slices of crusty buttery bread. I’m not a massive lover of Lamb, as I usually find it incredibly dry, but it was that moist that they may have converted me. I also thought that the Tomato Sauce added a nice rich texture to the overall dish, and the Bread was just perfect for dunking.

Next up came their Fillet Of Pork, which was a fillet of Pork, wrapped in Prosciutto and Sage, served on a bed of Mashed Potato, with a Red Wine sauce that has been mixed with Tomato Bruschetta mix, and Masala Wine.

This was another one of my favourite dishes of the night. I’m a massive lover of both Pork and Mashed Potato. The Pork was delicious, and incredibly moist, and I thought that the added Bruschetta and Sage added some nice textures and flavours to something that can sometimes be quite bland. I absolutely loved the Mashed Potatoes, they were extremely creamy and full of flavour, and I think the creaminess actually counter balanced the saltiness of the Prosciutto. I did like the sauce, but I thought it had a little bit of a strange taste to it. I’m not sure wether it was the Bread mix or the Masala Wine that they added, but it just tasted strange to me.

Last came their Oven Baked Fillet Of Cod, which was a Cod tail wrapped in Tuscan Ham, served on a bed of Pepperoni spiced Puy Lentils, and garnished with Pea Shoots, a Lemon quarter, and Lemon dressing.

This was another of my favourite dishes of the night. I wouldn’t have ever thought of wrapping a fish tail in ham, but strangely it actually quite worked, and it was delicious. The fish was cooked and seasoned to perfection. I did think that the Ham would make it a little salty, but it just added the right amount of saltiness. The Pepperoni Lentils did sound strange to me at first, but after one mouthful I got the idea behind them. The Pepperoni actually added a little spicy kick to the Lentils, which went beautifully with the meaty fish.

A creamy white wedge of cheesecake, with a tan base, and some red sauce circling the plate, with some red cherries, on a white plate, on a brown and white background.

A picture of the Gusto Cookridge Vanilla Cheesecake.

Last, but by no means least, we moved onto all of their indulgent desserts.

First up came their Basil and Mint Panna Cotta, which was a  Basil and Mint Panna Cotta, served with a Plum compote, and a Basil garnish.

now, i’m not the biggest fan of Panna Cottas, as their texture just feels weird in my mouth, but this was extremely creamy and more like a Custard than a Panna Cotta. The only thing I would say is that it was supposed to be a Basil and Mint Pana Cotta, but unfortunately I couldn’t taste either the Basil or the Mint.

Last, but by no means least came their Vanilla Cheesecake, which was a  slice of Vanilla Cheesecake, served with five Amara Cherries, and Cherry Syrup.

I’m absolutely addicted to anything Cherry, so I was very much looking forward to trying this, and it didn’t disappoint. The Cheesecake base was crumbly without being so crumbly that it fell to bits on me, and the Vanilla filling was rich and creamy without being too heavy. The Cherries and Cherry Syrup were the perfect acumpliment to the rich creamy Vanilla filling as their sharp flavour cut through all the sweetness of the entire Cheesecake.

Once we had finished all the delicious food, we just sat and chatted, but after a while the evening started to come to a close, so we said our goodbye’s and thank you’s to Becky and all the staff, and ordered another Uber to take ups back into Leeds.

I had an amazing time checking out Gusto Cookridge and all of their delectable food, and if you would like to check out either Gusto Cookridge, or their Autumn Winter 2016 menu for yourselves, then you can find all the information you need, including how to book your table, online here.

I would just like to thank all of the staff at Gusto Cookridge, including Becky, for having both me and Jamie, and for hosting a fantastic evening.

Have you checked out Gusto Cookridge? What did you think? What did you have to eat? Please let me know down below.

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Luke x

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