Sunday, 30 April 2017

Gusto, Lytham St Annes - Spring Menu Launch evening

We were recently kindly invited to Gusto in Lytham for the blogger launch of their spring menu, on a decidedly unspring like evening we experienced a lovely dinner of gorgeous Italian food.

Gusto is situated on Dicconson Terrace in the  heart of the town and is in a tastefully converted period property, the decor and ambiance is a relaxed Milanese in style. The restaurant has a lovely bar area were you can enjoy a drink or cocktail before your meal and loads of cosy dining areas all of which are tastefully furnished, The soundtrack is laid back jazz and helps create a warm relaxed environment to enjoy the food and company. We particularly liked the eclectic mix of black and white photography throughout the restaurant.

We experienced the restaurant on a reasonably busy Tuesday evening and would imagine that at weekends you would be best booking to secure the table of your choice.

A lovely wood fired pizza oven was visible in the open kitchen from our table.

As this was a review evening a special menu had been prepared. 

To start the evening a delicious sharing platter - The Grande Board was placed on the table to share.

Featuring creamy goats cheese, smoked provolone and dolcelatte, humus, rocket, nocellara and black olives, sun dried tomatoes, prosciutto, salami sopressa , coppa and rosemary focaccia on an olive olive wood serving platter. A great to start to our evening, may only suggestion of an improvement would be to ditch the hummus and replace with some grassy extra virgin olive oil and some sweet and deep balsamic vinegar, to dip you focaccia in.

Our chosen starters were Gusto Dough petals with Garlic butter, enjoyed by Mr LF and novel twist on the standard garlic bread, my calamari was lovely, light crispy, tasty and not in the least bit chewy and accompanied by a tangy lemon mayonnaise. Our accompanying Garganega Pinot grigio a perfect balance to our choices.

Next up where our mains, a crispy pan fried sea bass for Mr LF, served on a bed of creamed spinach and as a side some crispy rosemary and garlic potatoes Mr LF really enjoyed his fish cooked to perfection and plenty of it, for me Baked Aubergine Milanese, served with rocket salad and a spicy tomato sauce, warning portion size was huge, two great slices of aubergine, soft and creamy aubergine in a crispy breadcrumb, and topped with cheese and slices of tomato. The rocket salad could may be have done with a little balsamic just to cut the cheese in the dish. Very enjoyable but the portion size beat me.

Our Dessert choices were a lovely light yet moist and creamy Tiramisu and a creamy wobbly traditional panna cotta served with balsamic strawberries.

A lovely meal in fine company, Gusto is a small select chain of restaurants who's aim is to make everyday exquisite.

They have a great a la carte menu which you can view here and they have a great value lunch , dinner  and Sunday set menus too. Plus they also have "create your own pizza" for the kiddies (complete with chefs hat).

The website is here, they are also active on Instagram, twitter and facebook too.

We dined on a complementary basis after being invited to give a review, all thoughts, views, opinions are our own. We were not expected to give a positive review.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Lunch at The Walton Fox, Bamber Bridge.

Just after the Easter break we popped in for lunch at the The Walton Fox, part of the Vintage Inns chain in Bamber Bridge for a spot of lunch after their recent refurbishment.

 The decor is a cool relaxed country style, ideal as an informal dining venue with friends or family.

The extensive menu provided lots of choice and I noted they also have frequent specials and offers throughout the year. They have in the week time a "fixed price lunch" of 2 courses for £10.95 / 3 courses £13.95

The welcome was warm and  friendly and the service attentive without being overbearing, We also experienced good sized portions, all the food was hot and attractively served and at good value prices.

I choose as my starter the Oven baked button and portobello mushrooms, served in a garlic and cheese sauce with rustic breads, a tasty dish , lots of mushrooms which I love and well balanced with the sauce. I shared my starter with Mr LF and he particularly enjoyed the bread.

For mains I chose the Smoked haddock kedgeree fish cake which was served with roasted vine tomatoes, broccoli, basil dressing and some delightful baby herby potatoes. The fish cakes were lovely with large chunks of smoked haddock and just a hint of curry flavours.

Mr LF chose a pie (he always does !) in this case the steak and mushroom one, rich slow cooked beef and mushrooms in red wine topped with a puff pastry top, served with creamy mashed potatoes and roasted carrots and braised cabbage. The beef was a little chewy but the sauce was very tasty. We do like to see cabbage served a vegetable, an unsung hero in my opinion.

To finish our meal we shared the "Pudding Tasting platter" a spiffing idea in in my opinion and one I am surprised you don't see on more menus, this one featured a handsome slice of apple pie with a dinky jug of creamy custard, Melba mallow mess , a delicious combination of meringue, cream, marshmallow fluff , peaches and raspberries. Classic vanilla creme brulee, creamy wobbly creme with a cracking burnt sugar top. Belgian chocolate brownie with smooth creamy vanilla ice cream and of course 2 spoons !!  Yummeee.....

A perfect end to the meal, we left pleasurably satisfied and very pleasantly surprised.

We dined on a complementary basis after being invited to give a review, all thoughts, views, opinions are our own. We were not expected to give a positive review.

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