A new year, a new restaurant -- it just feels right. My friend and I went to Gran Gusto for dinner last night and it was so comfortable, so warm, so friendly that it was perfect for a cold snowy night.
Shared the special arugula salad, tagliatelle with mushrooms and sausage, and the pizza margharita. Bottle of the house wine (not on the list, but the Barbera d"Alba they also serve by the glass) was perfect. Everything was simple and delicious, with my favorite being the pasta, split in the kitchen and served in the Italian style, with just enough sauce to coat the homemade pasta. That pizza really is super too. Ricotta pie to finish on a sweet note.
Service was polished -- our waiter and what seemed to be the manager or maitre d were both genuinely happy to see us happy. That always scores big points for me.
** Note, an Italian patron came in with a group of friends and his own black truffle and after conferencing with the chef, they enjoyed it shaved over pasta with butter. As so many have posted here it's not a great year for truffles (not a lot of aroma coming off the plates as one would normally expect) but I still wished I was invited to join them. I asked the manager if they have tartuffo specials often and he explained that the patron is his best friend and sometimes they get truffles but they are done for now. I'd like to become best friends with that guy.
I really enjoyed the meal, the ambiance, the company. It's a great little spot just slightly off the beaten path but well worth checking out.