Restaurant: Gusto 101
Location: 101 Portland Street, Toronto, ON M5V 2N3
Price Range: $$
Is it bad that I wish Gusto 101 was slightly less popular so that it wouldn’t be so hard to get a seat..? Seriously though, they are always booked out for dinner and it’s not easy making reservations either – thus I recommend booking weeks in advance if you want some Italian goodies!
Love love the old industrial auto garage vibe and decorations here! It sort of had that rustic hipster feel to it and if you are looking for an intimate date night, the first floor is the best choice though it can get quite loud at times. However if you want a more casual feel, head to their heated rooftop patio :).
All their pizzas are thin-crust wood oven pizza and there are quite a few options to choose from. W and myself opted for the prosciutto and arugula pizza as you can never go wrong with this classic combo! The pizza was scattered with a generous amount of arugula, which softens a little at the edges and lend a spicy bite that cuts through the salty prosciutto – delicious.
My love of bolognese all started back when I was still living with my mom, and despite being a traditional Asian cook, she made a pretty dam good bolognese! In fact, I loved it so much that this was the first dish I learned how to cook.
The rigatoni bolognese at Gusto 101 was exactly what I always looked for in a bolognese, hearty and perfect for a cold winter day. A combination of lamb and pork along with the parmigiano creates layers of rich, meaty flavor. Each strain of noodle was evenly coated in a velvety smooth and rich sauce, and the salted ricotta added a welcomed salty edge to the dish.
To be honest, my initial impression upon the arrival of this dish was “that’s it?!!” The portion was definitely small for the $18 price tag, however don’t be fooled. The pasta was quite a heavy dish and I can assure that you will have a hard time finishing it!
I actually don’t like portobello mushroom but oh boy, the malfalde ai funghi is officially my newest addiction. It was freakingly delicious and I literally have cravings for it on a regular basis. The cream sauce was rich and creamy, and I loved how the truffle wasn’t too overpowering and enhanced the lovely earthiness of the mushrooms.
Italian food is my weakness and Gusto 101 is easily my favorite Italian restaurant in the city now. If dining alone was more socially acceptable, I’m willing to dine here everyday! The overall service was lovely and not pretentious – our server was extremely attentive! Why the -1 though? Because she didn’t tell me about their $1/ounce house wine (and you can order at any increments) :(. I’m not an alcoholic, but come on, who wouldn’t get excited about $1 wine!