Dining With Gusto

George Street is pretty well full of restaurants which cater for business people, whether for lunchtime meetings or after work dining. Gusto is one such establishment so where better to go with your editor for Thursday lunch?

She was scribbling away at a slightly cramped table for two when I arrived. Without being asked, the maitre d took pity on us and offered us a quieter and larger table so that was quite generous as there were only two large tables left.

The lunch deal was a main course and glass of wine for £8.95 but we were given the a la carte menu and had to ask for the lunch menu. There was a good selection and we opted for a vegetarian pasta and a shredded duck salad, specifically Vegetable primavera with pine nuts, parmesan, cream, and mozarella tossed with penne and warm shredded duck with crisp pancetta and asparagus on a bed of summer leaves with a honey and lemon dressing.

Gusto penneThe penne was a bit on the chewy rather than the al dente side when it arrived but once mixed in with the sauce it improved. The flavours were subtle and pleasant and the slightly crunchy texture of the pine nuts rather fun.

Gusto duckThe duck was nicely presented, light and with good flavours in the salad.

The glass staircase is an attractive feature leading to another seating area, but once up there, the increase in temperature would not have been pleasant for sitting. The ladies toilets are also rather inconveniently up there (of course there is a lift) while the gentlemen go downstairs.

All in all, a very reasonable dining experience, good value for money and with good service.

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Christine Richard OBE FRSA

http://www.lothianlife.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Christine.jpg Christine has over 25 years' experience in public life in Scotland in the fields of politics, education, public relations and charity work. For 12 years she served on the City of Edinburgh District Council and was her Group's leader for 4 years. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 1992 she was made an OBE. Christine is a member of the Board of The Friends of the Royal Scottish Academy. She has just completed six years on the Board of The Edinburgh International Festival. Christine's business experience has covered the fields of theatre, economic development, science, coal mining, education and training. She has held a number of non-executive directorships in these disciplines. She is a trained and experienced personal relationships counsellor and a business and personal mentor. In 2005 Christine established Christine Richard Associates who undertake Event Management and Public Relations as well as company and individual profiling. She coordinated the 'Yes to Edinburgh' campaign on congestion charging in Edinburgh. ten years ago Christine co-founded West Lothian Women in Business, which is a network for women who are self-employed and also for women managers. Christine has now stepped down from the Chair of this thriving organisation. For 5 years Christine was a magistrate in the District Court. She was also a member of the Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on the appointment of Justices of the Peace. She has been an adviser to Government in various areas of policy, including health, local government and education. Christine is a trained and experienced radio and television broadcaster and writer as well as an entertaining and accomplished speaker. She has a wealth of topics on which she is invited to speak. These range from witty after lunch and after dinner speaking to the more serious topics of the economy, health, education, enterprise, the Powers of the Mind and Life/work balance. She writes reviews and articles for lifestyle magazine, Lothian Life. She took part as a contestant in an ITV gourmet TV show, Chef V Britain, challenging TV chef Gino D'Acampo to cook her signature dish, Posh Cottage Pie. Currently Christine is a member of the Goodison Group in Scotland and Scotland's Futures. Also she is involved in the group Changing the Chemistry of Scottish Boards. Her first novel, Whitewalls, a modern Scottish family saga has been published by New Generation Publishing and is available on all internet books siets and from libraries. She is writing a sequel Autumn at Whitewalls. Her leisure interests include her family, literature, music, theatre, food, wine and horse racing. She is a member of a racing syndicate, which has two horses in training.

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