Had an awful experience at Gusto yesterday. Every review calls the restaurant a west village neighborhood joint. Maybe, if you consider a bunch of stuffy upper-east-side types "slumming it" a neighborhood joint. The servers and busboys were like buzzards constantly humming around our table and watching us consume each bite, making for an unpleasant dining experience only made more unpleasant by the food itself. We had to ask twice for bread, which arrived stale and overcharred. The grilled octopus app was too chewy and came in an overwhelming mound of unexciting chopped-up celery swimming in olive oil (the chef must have been phoning it in on this one). There wasn't even any lemon to take the edge off the blah. The salt cod, which sounds delectable on the menu, was hardly even noticeable (tastewise and sizewise) under an overbearing mountain of what could've been puttansca sauce--the whole mess floating overtop a tasteless pond of what seemed like Cream of Wheat prepared right from the instructions on the box (the menu failed to even mention that inedible concoction, which leads one to believe the chef herself isn't even proud enough of it to list it). The $38 lamb chop itself was tasty, but in another lazy twist, also came with the side of the Cream of Wheat blandness, this time slightly firmer, cut in a rectangular shape, and equally inedible (and this comes from a lover of polenta, people). We were so irritated, we didn't even look at the dessert menu that the vulturish waitress tried to shove into our hands. Never going back.