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A Day in Toronto: Gusto 101-Italian Cuisine

Toronto is a downtown city where financial industries thrive, yet its architectural culture is full of history. I have never lived in Toronto long enough to call myself a Torontonian, but I’ve paid enough visits there to be able to shop and eat like a local! As of now, I also travel to the office in downtown (right above Eaton Centre actually) to work, and I must say I love that.

I enjoy Toronto for its fast-paced lifestyle. And as much as I loved living in Vancouver, I did find a lot more unique and enjoyable food in Toronto. Even on a day alone, I would allow myself to indulge in dangerously delicious food if I am in Downtown Toronto. Let’s skip the jibber jabber so I can bring you on a day trip with me to Downtown Toronto (Mostly Food)!

CN-Tower

Here’s my view out the window from my office.

On a good day, the view definitely cheers me up. If I do work late, I even get to see all the pretty lights they put on CN Tower. Maybe next time I will bring you up with me to the 360 revolving restaurant where you can see 1,151 ft (351 meters) below. (:

My mornings working in downtown are usually very busy, so having a nice and relaxed lunch is not really an option. BUT, this is when I make up my bad eating habits with healthier choices.

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Eat Fresh Foods

I chose this salad place in the food court because it’s fresh, lets me customize my salad, plus it’s menu is adorable! To be honest, I am a meat person who also loves her carbs. A good tip I use to keep myself from craving for unhealthy food is to eat my salad until I am full and stop craving for anything else. Usually people would tell you to eat until you’re not hungry, but for salad, I’d have to eat until I’m VERY full. haha.

Like I said, I am a meat/crabs person, so a burger for dinner is inevitable. KIDDING! I really only got one because I want to share with you the amazing burger in food court. WHAT?! I know right. Eaton Centre has opened up a eatery that’s almost like the food court, but the food is more gourmet than fast food. Eatery-Burger The Motherlode (The Custom Grill, Richtree Natural Market Restaurant)

yummmy! I love fried eggs in my burger especially with runny yolk! You can even ask for heated cheese sauce with no extra cost. For a food court burger, The Motherlode is definitely a 10/10.

Now, you must think I already had my dinner… You’re Wrong!

For dinner, my friend, Jeff, brought me to an amazing Italian restaurant – Gusto.

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We decided to go on the day of, so reservations were full, but we were lucky enough go get a very nice table on the second floor. I actually preferred the second floor because they had glass window, and glass ceiling. The weather was decent and it still doesn’t get dark until around 8pm. Their interior decoration was industrial kitchen style which I thought was friendly and comfortable.

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The staff was friendly and knowledgeable about their menu. But most importantly, they have $1 wine per ounce! A glass of wine is about 6-8 ounces depending on your main course. I think it’s a nice way to jazz up the atmosphere without emptying your wallet.

Gusto-Menu

Their menu requires some knowledge on Italian food. Their options are mostly very unique and intriguing. There is even special entrees from Monday to Sunday. I really wanted to try their Lamb meat ball pasta but they only offer it on Tuesdays.

For appetizers, with went with something our waitress had recommended to try something different. The result…? AMAZING.

Mushroom-Risotto-Balls Anti Pasti

Each of these risotto balls are about a handful. I am not a big fan of mushrooms, but these were amazing. The texture of the risotto rice isn’t too hard, and the mushroom compliments the creaminess of the sauce that holds the balls together. I think the balls are either baked or fried but I can’t remember. The tomato sauce really compliments the risotto as well. I was surprised with how much I loved the appetizer. The only disappointment is that there’s just not enough!

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hmmmm, I would give the appetizers a 10/10 !

Next, our long-awaited entrees!

DSC_0039 Riganoti Lucani

Riganoti is the tube pasta as you may have heard. As of Lucani, I’m not sure… What I do know is that the shredded braised lamb shank is not only unique, but delicious. Along with some olives and olive oil, the strong smell of the lamb became pleasant and not overwhelming. Other ingredients include tomato, fresh herbs, and shaved pecorino cheese.

I would rate this dish 9/10.

I didn’t get a picture of Jeff’s Salmone Alla Brace because he was starving and I didn’t want to make him stab me with a fork for me hogging  his food for pictures! P: The salmon is cooked on a grill so you can decide the rareness of the it. The rapini puree under the salmon is a little bitter but really brings out the taste of the salmon. My only warning is that if you are hungry, either ask for bread or go for something else. The whole plate really only consists of a strip of salmon, and Jeff seemed pretty disappointed about that.

DSC_0044 Bread & Butter Pudding

 

No meal is called a good meal without desert. I fell in love with bread pudding back when I first tried it at my friend Vicki’s place. She made it with some leftover bread and even until today, it was the best bread pudding I’ve ever tasted! Vicki is an incredible chef/baker! You have to visit her blog for delicious recipes and food adventures! Click Me !

Anyways, back to the desert! The bread pudding at Gusto was almost as good as Vicki’s. The fresh blueberries on top really did take bread pudding to a whole new level though. I just wish it would be warm than chilled. The creme on top was new to me, it’s not the typical condensed milk. It is called Creme Anglaise I believe. Other ingredients include golden raisins, bay leaves, and amaretti.

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Overall, I would give Gusto a 8/10. The bread pudding did not have much wow factors, but everything else was a pleasant experience. I would definitely go back and give other things on the menu a try!

It was really an eventful weekend I had. Not only I got to taste delicious food while catching up with a good friend, but also finally got myself to unpack and clean out my clothes. Now with all the jackets hanging up, I am becoming excited about Fall!

Stay Amazing until next time,

– Little Ms. Everything

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