Piazza Augusto Imperatore, 7, Rome
Ah, 'Gusto. What can I say about 'Gusto that has not already been said? Food and Wine magazine calls it "The Best Food Piazza in Rome," stating: "On a once-neglected 1930s piazza named for Emperor Augustus, a food megaplex called 'Gusto has become a mandatory stop for absolutely anyone who loves to eat." How true this is. My aunt and uncle always recommend 'Gusto, and I have adopted it as one of my favorite restaurants in all the world. I have been to 'Gusto an embarrassing number of times - at least five times, three of which were during the same trip.
I can't help it - 'Gusto has everything - a serious ristorante, a pizzeria, an osteria, an enoteca and a formaggeria. The food is simple yet ridiculously good. It just doesn't taste like food you find in America, and the wine is even better. I've dined in both the upstairs ristorante and the more relaxed osteria. The photo above shows the ristorante, which evokes a cool architect vibe.
In the ristorante, I had orecchiette served in a delicious basil cream sauce. Orecchiette, which means "little ear" in Italian, is named after its shape. The curves of the pasta, much like the curves of one's ear, serve to hold the sauce; it's delicious with clingy, cream-based sauces.
The absolute best part about 'Gusto is that they do a lunch buffet during the week for only 10 euro per person. 'Gusto is not inexpensive, so this is a killer deal that allows you to choose from a slew of dishes, including prepared salads, grilled vegetables, cured meats (prosciutto, salami), cheeses, seafood, bread, soup and meat. As a result, 'Gusto is always packed at lunch, so plan accordingly. I love the marinated roast vegetables, and I have never had better aubergine. If you're heading to Rome, be sure to plan at least one visit to 'Gusto. Your tummy will be oh so happy and prepared to take on a day of sightseeing.