What exactly is Gran Gusto? Is it a high end supermarket? An enoteca? A restaurant? A bar? A pizzeria? Well, it's really all of those things under one roof. A sort of culinary hive where, in the restauant and enoteca, you can find over 1200 wines, beers and spirits; contemporary Italian dining, or just a plate of Italian charcuterie and cheeses. The bar is rollicking with patrons ordering martini and other cocktails, and the supermarket attached is like a Whole Foods via Eataly, but with hundreds of really fabulous Italian foods, and international ingredients too. If you need peanut butter and jelly or soba noodles or some obscure ingredient that you probably won't find even in China Town, it's probably going to be here. The entire complex is new and lively and a good place to pop by for lunch or dinner, whether you're in the area or not. The enoteca and restaurant are the show stoppers. From the restaurant we sort of grazed through the menu: marinated swordfish carpaccio with oranges and almonds; Sardinian gnocchi with shellfish and courgette flowers; and a beef fillet with colonnata fat, pistachio and potatoes. Portions were huge, and we couldn't finish, but they seem like good plates to share with a table of friends. We did save room for their chocolate cake with seven different layers of chocolates and washed it all down with Moscato Rosa Rosis 2010 desert wines. If I could afford to, I would happily eat here once a week! Reservations are recommended during weekends.
By Rocky Casale, AFAR Local Expert
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