On Saturday 15th February 2020 the infamous Storm Dennis was peaking, the strength of the winds and rain was very intimidating being connoisseurs of fine food my good lady and I decided to venture out to eat for another one of our popular reviews. On our interactive Facebook page, we have been running surveys to let our viewers decide where we go and dine, the winner of this poll was the Gusto Restaurant which is located smack bang in the heart of Lytham Square (3 Church Road). Their Lytham branch is one of 17 across the country and they model themselves on Italian fine dining.
We arrived at the restaurant, and we brought our nearly 3 year old son with us, they showed us to our table. Given the horrendous weather outside, the restaurant was quite busy, there were plenty of staff and the waitress was very friendly. The tables were clean, and the whole shop-fit of the place was good – you could tell there was a huge financial investment into this establishment. A lovely added touch was they gave my little boy colouring pens, which he absolutely adores! It was nice to be inside as it was cold outside, and I noticed that they had a huge multi fuel stove installed. Being a lover of solid fuel, I asked the waitress why it wasn’t running given the current weather and the punters who would need warming up, the waitress just looked at the stove and said “it was on before it must have gone out!”. I then asked would it be relighted for the evening, and she just shrugged her shoulders. I was flummoxed at why the fire wouldn’t be lit on a winter’s evening as this is always a huge draw for customers.
After I had got-over my fire disappointment, I decided to order the drinks. My partner ordered a Piña Colada cocktail, my sweet little boy ordered an apple juice, and I went for an Italian Peroni pint. The drinks arrived promptly and my beer was perfect, you could tell they looked after the lines here and served a lot of this beer as it was fresh and crisp. My partner’s cocktail was perfect and it was even decorated with a blue flower which was super-cute! Unfortunately my partner then decided to sing the Piña Colada song, which caused me a great deal of embarrassment. After a small telling off by myself she ceased singing, so I could carry on enjoying my Italian Peroni in peace and savoured every moment.
After studying the menus thoroughly I decided to opt for the Porcini Mushroom Arancini Rice Ball, my good lady chose the Crispy Lemon & Pepper Calamari. For our mains I ordered the Spaghetti Carbonara, and the other-half chose a Lasagne. The waitress gave my little boy the option of making his own pizza, which bless him he jumped at the opportunity. They came over with the base and the ingredients, including a little chef hat (which he refused to wear, and then made me wear it!) and he loved every second of it.
The starters promptly arrived, the Rice Ball had been handmade as advertised. It was piping hot and very scrumptious! My partner also enjoyed her calamari too. At this time, my son’s pizza arrived, unfortunately as he had made it himself it didn’t quite look like a picture-postcard pizza! Obviously this is no fault of the establishment! He is only just learning to speak and all I could hear him say about the meal was “I don’t like it”.
Our mains arrived, the Spaghetti Carbonara was good, not the best I’ve had but it was very enjoyable all the same. It could have done with being a little hotter as I found it rather luke-warm. My partner’s lasagne was the winner, she loved every single drop of it, it was a three meat, five hour cooked ragu and finished in the pizza oven. You could tell it was their signature dish. She let me try a small spoon of it and it was heavenly to say the least. My son refused his pizza despite being hungry which was frustrating. He had a small ice cream to follow and he ate the lot.
On inspection of the toilets they were satisfactorily clean. The bill arrived and it was a very reasonable £65.35
I enjoyed my evening here, the food was good, and the atmosphere was fantastic!
The only matters that let it down were the following:
- Staff didn’t seem to be “in love with the place” like you would expect. There were a few staff that came across incredibly miserable. This is often the case in the more corporate chain restaurants as opposed to family run ones like other venues in the area. I didn’t see any Italian staff!
- I was a little disappointed the multi-fuel stove wasn’t running on a cold winter’s night, despite them having it on when the place was empty earlier on in the day.
- If I was working here and saw a child didn’t like his food and was upset, I’d have offered an alternative. The child’s pizza costs the restaurant absolutely nothing to make (it was TINY) and when a child is upset then it spoils the food for the adults there. My son usually eats anything, including curry!
Therefore, based on the above I would definitely come back again! but the score is ……….