I'm partial to small, home-spun places with focused menus and personal attention. Who isn't, right? I usually luck into them - which was the case with Gusto, a small Italian traiteur just off the Place des Vosges in the 4th. It was opened this past summer by an Italian couple - she's from Napoli and he's from Parma. I had a wonderful brunch there a few months ago after wandering around the area. Last night, I took Puffin for some dinner and dessert.
Turns out, Puffin got the dessert and I got the meal. She ordered the tiramisu and I took the first spoonful. It was heavenly - rich, dense and smooth. I noticed she didn't offer me any further samples - a sure sign that she loved it.
I ordered a plate of fusilli al pesto rosso, a sauce I'd never had before. It's all the ingredients of the pesto I'm used to, with tomato substituting for the basil and a healthy coating of parmesan. It was just right - not too much tomato, the way I like it.
If you click on this shot, you can see the menu for the day. They also sell Italian products and can fix you up a nice meal to go. If you eat in as we did, you'll feel cozy at one of the small tables and will get the fullest attention.