Italian restaurant in Didsbury
756 Wilmslow Road, Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2DW
Based on 1 review. Write your own review
This contemporary Italian restaurant and bar has abandoned the bright and clinical look of its former incarnation as a branch of Est Est Est in favour of a much darker and more seductive ambience. The style has been influenced by 1950s New York. An unkind soul might point out that that such an inspiration has been plundered before, and view this as being simply a sexier version of Frankie & Benny's, complete with the battery of framed prints and high street location. Dim lighting, dark wood furniture and some burnt orange paint create an elegant look but any restaurant should be judged on the service and food before its décor.
Warming up with drinks, we find that the beers are regimentally pricey, with everything except the alcohol free priced at £3.35. Looking at the spirits prices, we see that Gusto are selling them by the bottle, for example Bombay Sapphire for £85.00. Such pricing borders on the lunatic, until we remark that Gusto is a chain from Living Ventures. This group spawned the Living Room (now under new owners) and began Manchester's unhealthy obsession with charging the self-conscious for style over substance. 'More money than sense' is the phrase that springs to mind, but drinking isn't the main focus so let's move on.
For the starters we fancied skewered chicken in a lemon and honey marinade (£5.95) or the beef carpaccio if you're feeling extravagant (£7.95). The idea of lobster spaghetti in a chilli and garlic tomato sauce appealed and satisfied (£18.95). For an Italian restaurant, it was surprising to find only eight varieties of pizza, and none of them leapt from the menu page crying out to be tested. What also surprised was the inclusion of an Italian cheeseburger with fries (£10.50). It doesn't fit the image of the restaurant, or even Didsbury, and is the kind of meal that was best left to the aforementioned Frankie & Benny's to handle. The oven cooked dorado isn't a fish that we have encountered on a regular basis and it came with potatoes, spring onion, olives, tomato and rosemary. We're actually grateful it wasn't served with chips. For dessert, the polite and swift service brought lemon tart (£4.95) and sticky toffee pudding (£5.75).
The customer reactions to the quality of the food, which varies wildly, the blatant overpricing for a menu that lacks that touch of haute cuisine which would justify it and the fact that Felicini is already doing the same thing but better, leads us to decide that you should approach with something less than gusto.
Your Gusto (Didsbury) reviews:
Manchester.com is not responsible for customer reviews. These reviews are submitted by members of the public and as such reflect the opinions of the individual authors.
New menu? by Alan R
I think the menu has changed recently. Whilst what we had recently was good enough, I can't help but feel the older menu was superior. Plus ca change!
Write a review of Gusto (Didsbury)Though we welcome honest reviews, we cannot publish libellous ones.
Thank you for submitting a review! Reviews are checked manually and it should go live shortly.