>> Friday, June 13, 2008
I stumbled upon the name of this restaurant while looking for a kid-friendly place to take my college friends (who have 2 kids). We ended up going to Antico Forno in the North End with my friends since it was recommended as a great place in the North End for kids. While doing my research, I also learned that Antico Forno makes an excellent authentic neapolitan pizza. However, every time someone mentioned this fact, another person would pipe in saying that Gran Gusto had better neapolitan pizza. After reading this time after time, I decided I had to go to Gran Gusto to try this amazing pizza.
Gran Gusto is located in North Cambridge in the old Tartufo site, and has only been open for about 9 months. The owner is originally from Naples, and thus his food (like his pizza), is distinctly Neapolitan.
The service at this restaurant was excellent. The waiter was an older man who was clearly knowledgeable about the menu. He was kind, attentive, and friendly at the same time. He convinced us to try the special appetizer - (stracchino?) a creamy, very fresh Italian cheese that they fly over from Italy every so often. It has a texture somewhere between cream cheese and fresh mozarella. It was very rich and creamy (apparently 50% milkfat!) but interesting to try.
I ordered the Margherita pizza ($12), and Bryan ordered the fresh pasta dish ($17). The pizza crust was excellent - super thin and crispy and light. It was definitely well made, and one of the best thin-crusts in Boston. The flavors of the toppings were light, balanced, and flavorful. I would not have minded more tomatoes on the pizza. Maybe next time I'll try ordering a saucier/juicier pizza.
Bryan thoroughly enjoyed his pasta dish. The texture of the fresh pasta was chewy, and the sauce was well made. In fact, Bryan just told me he went back to Gran Gusto last week (by himself) and had pasta again.
All in all, we were quite pleased with the discovery of yet another delicious Italian restaurant so close to home. Best yet, this restaurant is a little off the beaten path and is also sort of still undiscovered. We went on a Friday night at 7 PM, and had no problems getting a table. They also have a lovely courtyard full of outdoor seating. It looks like a great place to have dinner on a warm, summer evening.