Gusto Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar

Gusto Italian Kitchen is located on Burnet Road a few blocks past 45th St. in the Rosedale neighborhood. I did a walk in a few weeks ago and was told the wait was an hour with the bar being completely packed. This intrigued me and left me wondering what was so wonderful about a little neighborhood eatery. I made sure to make a reservation for my next visit.

I arrived around 7pm and most of the tables were already occupied. We were shown to a table in the middle of the restaurant which was a bit difficult to get too. There seemed to be a few too many tables as we were scooting chairs to the side to walk thru. Once we got settled it was nice and cozy. There was a wide array of people of all ages which made it a true neighborhood eatery that you may find in Italy. It was casual with a fun and “Austin” atmosphere. Many neighborhood bars in Europe have the same vibe.

The wine menu was a nice selection of Italian favorites along with French, Spanish, Argentine, and a few Californians thrown in for those that want something familiar. I love Italian and Spanish wine so I ordered the Bodegas Mana y Mano Manon Tempranillo. Unfortunately, they were out of that particular wine and we were served the Luzon Verde Monatrell from Jurnilla, Spain.  It was a nice wine to start with as it was light and fruity with blackberry, plum, baking spice, and pepper undertones. It tasted like a new bottle so it was a little stuffy at first, but after airing for 10 minutes it was open and well-rounded. It was also $6 a glass which was a great deal!

We proceeded to order the tomato basil bruschetta as well as the parrardelle with bolognese and gemelli pollo. All were delicious and the sauces were fantastic. I especially liked the bolognese sauce which wasn’t too greasy and tasted like the traditional version with a hint of cream and cinnamon. The noodles were cooked correctly which is always a nice surprise because so many kitchens over cook their noodles.

At the end of the meal we ordered the Postales Oak Aged Cabernet Sauvignon from Patagonia, Argentina. It was spicy, smooth, with distinct notes of plum and tobacco. This wine was $7 a glass.  It went very well with the bolognese and brought out the herbs in the sauce. I thoroughly enjoyed the glass!

We were too stuffed to order anymore wine or food, but I will definitely go back for happy hour! The wine list is worth further exploration as there were some nice Pinot Grigios and Chardonnays on the list. Just get there early or be prepared to wait!

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