The Living Ventures group owns a collection of very very good restaurants in Manchester, some of them being amongst my favourite in the city. Australasia, Artisan and the newly opened Grand Pacific are just a few of them. I walk past their Gusto restaurant on Deansgate most evenings after work and have wanted to visit for ages. I finally got to go earlier this week to try out their new Spring/Summer menu.
The building is beautifully grand and elegant from the outside and the dark wooden furniture and high ceilings inside are equally so. It’s a really warm and inviting venue with lots of space for dining and for having a few drinks.
The new Spring/Summer menu has a lot of great things to offer. I love how light the main dishes are, perfect for when the weather starts to warm up and you don’t fancy something overly huge. The beef fillet carpaccio salad for example was delicious. The maple and soy dressing gave the dish an almost Asian flavour which worked really nicely with the beef. The seared lemon and pepper tuna also was really lovely. The fish was cooked perfectly and it’s accompaniment of asparagus and olives made the dish really summery and Mediterranean.
Before trying a starter we tasted the Grande Board. This is essentially a platter with cheese, meats, salad, olives and humous – my favourite! It’s ideal for sharing and goes great with a glass of wine.
To start, there are some delicious cheese options so obviously I was very happy. I went for The Fondue Board because I can’t turn down a fondue! It was beautiful. The truffled toma melted cheese was so creamy and the truffle flavour came through so well. It came with Spring onions and carrots as well a bit of bread. At first these seemed strange options but they actually worked really nicely and it was a great Spring twist on a dish often associated with winter and skiing.
To complete the meal I opted for tiramisu. The sponge and cream was so moist amd fluffy. Other choices were a vanilla pana cotta with strawberries and glazed balsamic – such a great flavour combination and one to definitely try if you haven’t already! There was also a cheese board. As much as I adore cheese I always fancy something sweet to end a meal though. The portion sizes also were very good. Not too big and overfacing but enough to satisfy your sweet tooth.
The food was really lovely and the Spring flavours that run throughout this new menu are perfectly seasonal. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’ve not been yet 🙂