101 Portland Street, Toronto
A popular but small restaurant tucked away on Portland Street in Queen West, Gusto 101 is a homey and sophisticated Italian restaurant. We went on a Friday, didn’t make reservations and was seated quickly with a 5-10 minute wait. Although we were only 2 people, I’d recommend making reservations just in case. The lighting gets really dim later on in the night. Seating is really tight and close, so you can easily hear the conversations around you and it’ll get quite noisy. You will be served complementary bread while you wait for your dinner. The staff are super friendly and seem like they’re busy all the time. The waiters/waitresses dress like normal people, so be careful you don’t flag down a customer when you need something, that almost happened to us! The decor and architecure is also beautiful. I only have positive things to say about this place! I just had an awesome experience.
I ordered that day’s special: Venerdi’ Coscia D’anatra Brasata. It’s a braised duck leg with bell peppers, onion slow, lentils, spinach, and red wine reduction. The duck was super tender with perfect seasoning. The whole dish was phenomenal, every ingredient paired well together. And I loved the contrast in the textures from tender, to soft, to crunchy. I basically demolished the dish.
My friend ordered the Rigatoni Lucani. It’s rigatoni pasta with shredded braised lamb shank, tomatoes, green olives and shaved pecorino. I didn’t taste it, but it looked yummyyy. I love pasta.