Fine dining Italian restaurant impressive new addition to Lindsay restaurant scene

By Rebekah McCracken and Roderick Benns

For patrons of The Grand Hotel in Lindsay, it is a remarkable sight to visit its new incarnation as Gusto Grande, one of Lindsay’s premier dining establishments.

No more pool tables or dartboards. No more tired décor frozen in time or neon beer signs lighting up middle lounge. Instead, no expense was spared in remaking the old hotel into an incredible fine dining experience, whether for an intimate dinner, a business meet-up, or for a large group get-together.

The restaurant is divided into three distinct sections. The centre area is best reserved for group gatherings and families, while it is flanked by two intimate dining areas, partially walled off.

While there was a multitude of delicious wine pairing potentials, we decided on two cocktails instead. We started off with a Cucumber Collins (gin, cucumber, lime simple, soda and lime infused caster sugar rim.) Not too sweet and the perfect opening act.

Later, we tried a summery looking Grande Rose Sangria (Luigi Rigetti Rose, strawberries, citrus, peach simple, and soda.)

Starting with the appetizers choose the fritti (literally ‘fried’ in Italian, but in this case to denote fried cheese-stuffed tortellini with tomato and grana Padano — a cheese from northern Italy.) It’s a delicious pasta choice if you’re looking for a bit heavier appetizer.

Alternatively, the Brussel sprouts fritti is a lighter pick, with lemon, grana Padano and aioli, with a portion of mixed greens on the margin.

One of the newer regular entrée items on the menu here is the Pan-seared Halibut with lemon butter, capers, olives, and usually roasted garlic mashed potatoes. For this review, the garlic was purposely avoided by the always-accommodating Chef Gigi with a risotto substitution. This is a delectable meal, with a scaffolded medley of carrots, parsnips, and asparagus to complete.

Beyond just fish, the ciotola di frutti di mare is the seafood lover’s choice on this menu. Most of your ocean desires are here in one entrée, offering bursts of flavour through the scallops, calamari, mussels, shrimp, and salmon, with scallions in a spicy rose sauce. This meal met all expectations with an idyllic blend of tastes.

Dessert offered a chance to indulge in chocolate with the s’more mousse option. Incredible, with a durable base of caramelized graham philo and marshmallow.

Budiono Al Limoncello is not something we’d typically order, with a taste more for chocolate-inspired desserts. However, this custard-based choice with sweet Chantilly cream, pistachio and a little chocolate bark surprised, thanks to it being reserved in its sweetness.

Gusto Grande in Lindsay has burst onto the fine dining scene in Kawartha Lakes with its elegance, its nod to local history, and exceptional attention to detail. Located at 171 Kent Street West in Lindsay.

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  1. Pat Dobson says:

    Been there and not ever going back food is not the nice that great 3 people eating and all mose 200 dollars

  2. H.Carol Riggenbach says:

    A friend and I recently had lunch at Gusto Grande It was delicious and very reasonable.
    Good, attentive service paired with really freshly made pasta and salad. Thank you for upping the restaurant game in Lindsay.

  3. D'Arcy McGee says:

    we have dined there twice with other couples, & have been disappointed on both occasions. The first time was shortly after they opened,& while the service was abysmal, I’ll attribute that to growing pains. However more recently we treated friends to dinner & experienced poor service by the wait staff, & one meal that was completely wrong. Given that I spent over $700 in total for these 2 visits, I believe I will stick with the Olympia for a few more months, until Gusto Grande gets their house in order

  4. John says:

    Menu needs to be in English _ I don’t read Italian and I don’t want to have to ask the servers what everything means

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