We have attempted to sit at the bar at Gusto a few times over the past month so instead of trying again, I opted for getting a reservation.  No problem the day of to get a reservation for 2 of us that evening.  Gusto has had tremendous success as the local neighborhood joint. 

I was really interested in going back and having dinner since Jody Williams, the original chef and creator of the menu, has left for bigger horizons.  Were the owners of Gusto able to take what she created and keep it going?  She is now the head chef at Keith McNally’s newest venture, Morandi in the West Village. 

One of my favorite things is when you sit down at Gusto they give you a plate of raw radishes coated in a salty sardine sauce.  I admit, that I ate 3 of those trays.  I told them to stop bringing them.  Addictive.  We split everything so I got a full on taste.  We began with the grilled octopus.  Grilled perfectly served alongside a sliced celery lemon salad.  Simple and good.  Our other starter was the roasted oysters.  Over powered with lemons.  Not a true winner. 

For our main courses we had the famous meatballs and the fish of the day.  The meatballs were really good.  Good combination of meats and flavors.  The fish was really disappointing.  It was a tad overcooked and not that flavorful. 

We had a really good bottle of wine that we had actually just bought a case of that we had when we were in Italy. 

As a whole, the flavors and tastes were a bit more interesting when Jody was there but they have done a pretty good job keeping the place rolling.  I will continue to go there for a neighborhood meal but I am really looking forward to following Jody to the next stop too.