Gustoso, the award-winning Italian restaurant by Indianapoli Hospitality, has reopened at Kemp’s Corner. The transformed restaurant now sports a sophisticated, intimate and glamorous new look, a vibrant bar, and five distinct dining areas, all of which promise guests an elevated, premium experience, in the heart of South Mumbai.
Designed by Jaimini Patel and James Moore, the space has been influenced by the historical building in which it resides. Once a Rolls Royce showroom, the building still features many quirky design elements that have been carefully restored, through the renovation. One of these elements is full casement windows that were present in the original structure, which feature in the new space, admitting an abundance of natural light. The interiors are inspired by Italy, specifically southern Italy and the Amalfi Coast.
The restaurant is divided into five unique areas – The Ristorante; Vino; The Pizzeria; Giardino; and The Villa. Guests arrive via a double-entrance lobby into The Ristorante and Bar, an intimate and inviting, bar and dining lounge area, complete with custom- printed wallpaper, emerald velvet banquette, and bar stools upholstered with plush burnt orange velvet. Table tops of Italian marble, and a serpentine-shaped bar made of real timber, with marble and brass accents, lend a rich and sophisticated feel to the space. A statement chandelier with a predominant leaf motif in gold, brass and copper, is bound to catch the eye as guests walk in.
Vino follows, a space with communal dining tables and wall-to-wall wine cabinets. Here, guests can enjoy the company of their fellow diners, or have a semi-private meal. The tables can be re-grouped to suit all parties.
The Pizzeria serves as a more informal dining area, with a copper-tone, tile-clad pizza oven, and banquette overlooking the pizza preparation counter, which is sure to be a hit with younger diners. Copper-clad walls that are expected to mottle and age over time, add a more rustic touch to this area of the restaurant.
Guests can then venture into the Giardino, which features informal garden seating and a water fountain. The walls are clad with limestone, which naturally greys over time and offers an authentic garden feel. Flooring sourced from the Mediterranean is complemented by plants and oversized pots. Guests can enjoy romantic, candle-lit evenings in this open-air space which features a moving, louvred roof, allowing for air- conditioning during the warmer months.
The fifth section of the restaurant is The Villa, reminiscent of classical Italian architecture, with its arched windows and entrance. Inside, guests can occupy separate tables or take the entire space as a private dining room. The tiled flooring is in tasteful hues of orange, green and grey, while statement lighting and custom-designed wallpaper completes the look.
The entire restaurant features an eclectic selection of art, inspired by Napoli street-art and graffiti. A contrast of old Italian references (churches, street scenes) are juxtaposed against more modern, pop-culture imagery, in a series of artworks that are found through the eatery.
Guests will enjoy a menu featuring many of the signature dishes that made Gustoso such a success when it originally opened. Curated by four-time World Pizza Champion Chef Giulio Adriani along with the Michelin-star Chef Adriano Baldassarre, the menu offers a range of classic and more modern Italian dishes. All dishes are beautifully presented and plated on handcrafted crockery, made especially for Gustoso by Curators of Clay.
For Antipasti, guests can try Burrata, a new signature dish featuring puffed crispy bread Cilled with fresh burrata, placed on San Marzano tomatoes, arugula with Marinara sauce; Suppli, a traditional Roman street food – Italian Carnaroli rice croquettes filled with mozzarella, served with arrabbiata sauce; and Tartare Di Tonno, tuna tartare with olives, capers and tomato tapenade, and house-made black pepper grissini.
Pasta lovers will enjoy the variety of options available like Tonnarelli Cacio E Pepe, traditional Roman pasta with pecorino cheese and black pepper; and Spaghetti Alla Nerano, an Amalfi specialty of zucchini, mint, parmesan and pecorino. From the Risotti section of the menu, guests can try Pescatora, Italian Carnaroli rice with king prawns, clams and calamari in a white wine and cherry tomato sauce.
The Secondi course includes options like the classic Parmigiana Di Melanzane; Pesce Patate E Cipolla, poached Chilean sea bass placed on caramelized onions and raisins, topped with a creamy potato sauce; and Pancia di Maiale, braised pork belly served with gnocco alla Romana.
A meal at Gustoso would be incomplete without Pizze, of which there is a wide variety, both with and without tomato sauce as the base. Guests can choose a Neapolitan or thin crust (Alla Romana) and order the Gustoso favourite, Diavola; the tomato-free Delizia Di Funghi, sautéed mushrooms, Italian truffle oil, mozzarella, arugula and parmesan; and new gourmet options with unusual toppings that Chef Giulio has added to the menu, like Ribollita Toscana, mozzarella, borlotti beans, sautéed escarole, topped with leek puree; and Pizza Di Escarole, mozzarella, pecorino, escarole, garlic, raisins, capers and pine nuts.
To end, guests can try Dolci like Millefoglie Sbriciolata, deconstructed puff pastry with custard and fresh berries; Tiramisu; and Gelati in flavours such as dark Belgian chocolate, vanilla bean, and intense coffee.
Guests can sample Gustoso’s signature cocktails, either seated at the bar, or at the table with their meal. These skillfully-crafted libations pair well with the food, and include options like Something Very Special, Hendricks, passionfruit puree, lemongrass syrup, lemon and egg white; Ciao Bella, Bombay Sapphire, Campari, lemon juice and fresh watermelon; Bessos Caliente, El Jimador, grapefruit syrup, lemon juice and habanero bitter; and Monkey Business, El Dorado 12, almond syrup, fresh pineapple, lemon juice, a pinch of mint, and Angostura bitter. Bratislav Glisic, a mixologist who has developed beverage programs at some of the world’s finest bars, including Employees Only in New York City, has conceptualized the cocktail menu.
The extensive beverage list lays emphasis on a wide variety of wines, many of them from Italy. The restaurant has also invested in a Eurocave, a cutting-edge wine preservation system, which allows them to serve premium wines by the glass as well, instead of just by the bottle. Another new addition is the iFavine, a patented system for wine aeration, that can decant a complex wine in a matter of minutes, instead of having to wait for several hours.
Gustoso Kemp's Corner
Plot 109, Kwality House
August Kranti Marg
Below Kemp's Corner Bridge
For reservations: +91 7045000020 / 022 2382254 / 022 23812584