It's always good to reconnect with old friends, especially when they are food people too. And when they suggested trying Gusto for Austin Restaurant Week, I jumped at the chance to try a new place. Located in the old La Sombra & Sampaio's spot at 4800 Burnet, Gusto has both indoor and outdoor seating. I was the first of our party to arrive, and picked indoors; I was immediately struck by how light-filled the decor is. There are fun spray-painted stencils of Italian notables such as Sophia Loren, Mona Lisa, and Frank Sinatra on the walls and ceiling.
I ordered off the ARW menu, choosing the bellini (they make their own white peach puree), the frittata, and the olive oil cake.
The fritatta was quite good, could have used a little more goat cheese, but overall tasty.
And my friends from the regular brunch menu, and we also asked for the polenta fries as an appetizer; the Breakfast Plate was completely devoured.
And the grits (ham and grits with eggs) were one of the best things we tried. Great, great flavor and creaminess to them.
The food did seem to take a bit of a long time to come from the kitchen, and they were only about half full. When our food came, we still hadn't received the polenta fries, and mentioned it to our waiter. He apologized, and took full responsibility for the error. They were delivered to the table a few minutes later by the manager, who immediately said they would be on the house. Good customer service! And you know what? The polenta fries were amazing! They pour the polenta in a thin layer on a sheet pan, and let cool. They're cut into french fry shape, lightly battered, and fried. Piping hot, but really a killer dish.
The olive oil cake was okay.... a bit dense and dry, and to me it just didn't have any great flavor to it. The people next to us had the chocolate crostata, which I regretted not getting.All in all a good time was had by all, and I look forward to going back.