Gusto 101: Italian Brunch For When You're Feeling Fancy
Gusto 101’s brunch isn’t as well known as their delicious pasta (I recommend their Malfade Al Funghi!) but it’s still a popular contender in Toronto’s brunch scene…. and for good reason.
Part of the appeal is its spacious, airy interior. The restaurant has two floors, both of which are brightly lit and have a vintage feeling (which apparently used to be a mechanic’s garage? Not that you could tell now). Unlike many of Toronto’s brunch restaurants, it has room for more than a handful of people at a time, which comes in handy when you have to wait in line.
Fair warning: it does get quite busy, so make a reservation if you have a larger group (or just like planning in advance). Both floors were filling up at the time of our 12 pm reservation, but it had emptied out as we were leaving — so if you’re the type of person to eat brunch at 2 pm, you should be fine.
The advantage of going with a larger group? I got to take many more pictures than I would usually.
The disadvantage of going to a restaurant with a food blogger, though? Everyone had to wait to eat until I was done taking pictures. (Let’s just say there were many sighs.)
First up: the simply named Omelette. It looked simple from the outside, but was stuffed full of mushrooms, fontina cheese, and spinach: one of my favourite combinations.
However, I personally prefer omelettes that have the vegetables folded in with the eggs, rather than sitting inside — what’s your preference?
Whatever your feelings on the omelette, though, it couldn’t be denied that the side of potatoes were also delightfully crispy and not excessively seasoned.
The Uova In Camicia (otherwise known as Italian Eggs Benedict, as far as I could tell) were my choice. They typically come with mortadella, but when I asked to have them made vegetarian, they added avocado and sea salt on the side instead, which I appreciated.
Overall, it was delicious. I often find that side salads are overseasoned (or just plain boring), but the kale was just right. The focaccia they used was also excellent: it was crunchy and lightly flavoured with olive oil. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the flavours — it’s definitely one of the better Eggs Benedict I’ve had in a while.
The one factor that was a bit of a detraction was that my potatoes were a bit undercooked. My other friends who tried the Uova In Camicia also had this issue, which was a bit surprising considering that the Omelette came with such delightfully crisp ones.
If you’re looking for something sweet, all of us agreed that the Brioche Francese was a standout option. I’m not a fan of Nutella, but even I liked the crispy exterior and fluffy interior of the cornflake-encrusted brioche — and my companions who did thought it was delicious. The soft, melty marshmallows on top also added another layer of texture, which I enjoyed.
Overall review of Gusto 101’s brunch: 4/5
I’m docking a few points solely for the cost of the mimosas (why was my full meal $13,50 and my drink $11? Was it made with Dom Perignon?) and the speed of the service as we were leaving — it wasn’t that busy, but it took us quite a while to get our bill and head out.
However, I really liked my meal and my companions also had positive reviews, so I’d have no problem recommending Gusto 101 for anyone who’s hoping to have a classy brunch downtown.
Gusto 101 brunch at a glance:
Good for: smaller or larger groups
Good mix of vegetarian and meat options
Brunch hours: weekends from 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM