Not your typical Italian restaurant
Locanda de Gusti used to be at the bottom of Broughton St in the New Town, but being Glaswegians we weren’t aware of it until its recent re-location to Dalry Rd near Haymarket, where a number of other interesting-looking restaurants are popping up.
The restaurant is situated on a corner, is bright & spacious and looks the ideal spot for a casual lunch.
We both love Italian food and have done a wee bit of travelling in northern Italy but since discovering Cafe Smile in Glasgow, Cafe Sicilia in Dundee & Mira Mare in Helensburgh, we’ve been trying to seek out more Italian restaurants that specialise in something a bit different, and by that I think we mean food originating from south of Rome, and not the usual ragù alla bolognese, lasagne or tortellini (sorry Bologna!) so imagine our surprise when we sat down to an Italian tapas lunch in Locanda de Gusti and discovered that there were no pasta dishes on the menu and just a single pizza!
We shared 2 slices of delicious homemade bread with good quality kalamata olives and balsamic before having 3 tapas (for a tenner) each.
Fresh ingredients on their crisp homemade bread – Peppers, courgette, mushroom, all of these little morsels were devoured rather quickly!
Gnocchi in a classic Italian tomato & basil sauce.Wonderfully light potato dumplings and not overly doughy.
Really really zingy lemon. Chicken can be quite bland but this was moist & flavoursome.
Not your usual mozzarella ball or stick here, no this was a huge gooey slab of the good stuff – buffalo mozzarella in batter. None of that shop bought nonsense here!
Peppers, courgette & aubergine in a light (tempura) batter, chickpea flour, nicely salted and very moreish.
Not stodgy but still really filling with a lovely fragrant rosemary taste.
A classic with a twist – very creamy and lovely & smooth with a warming burn from the secret ingredient – chilli!
A selection of Matteo ice cream fruits – we’d never seen these before but we were told that they’re quite popular back in Naples.
You can choose from 25 fruits/nuts, the innards are scooped out , mixed with ice-cream and then filled back into the skin/shell to create a naturally fruity and sort-of healthy dessert
We went for date, strawberry, apricot & walnut and they were all lovely.
To finish off our lovely lunch we both had a shot of this delicious espresso-coffee liqueur called Caffè Borghetti.
Locanda de Gusti is a homely, unpretentious restaurant with a focus on getting the simple things right using good quality ingredients and flavours that you can actually taste without getting lost in the mix, as can happen with many pasta dishes covered in sauce. If you’re looking for a bowl of bland cheese & tomato pasta flung together in a few minutes then this isn’t the place for it!
Their menu changes weekly, keeping the food fresh and different for each visit, they also do gluten free pasta and cakes and almost all the dishes on the menu when we visited were suitable for vegetarians.
What’s not to love?
Locanda de Gusti
102 Dalry Road
0131 346 8800
Tuesday to Friday:
12pm-2.30pm / 5pm-10.30pm