Gusto at The Grand sits just inside the lobby of the Skycity Grand Hotel and has taken over the space previously occupied by dine by Peter Gordon. A makeover has given the new restaurant a fresh, open feel as it now looks out towards Federal Street and features a traditional Italian espresso bar and large open kitchen space.
Sean has created the menu by taking inspiration from simple seasonal food and classic Italian flavours: grilled octopus with lemon and extra virgin olive oil; rich, flavoursome mushroom risotto; buffalo mozzarella atop luscious ripe tomatoes along with Sean's take on classic dishes, like the 'Acqua Pazza' whole fish from Coromandel cooked in its own seawater (pictured). On the dessert menu the rum soaked 'Rum Baba 1835' strikes a deliciously retro note.
You can get amongst the kitchen action at the Chef's Table, which seats up to 8 and is so close to the pass you can hear the whisper of knives through octopus.
Gusto is Sean Connolly's second restaurant in Federal Street, following the opening of The Grill in 2011. It's open for buffet breakfast and a la carte lunch and dinner.
Gusto at The Grand, 90 Federal St Auckland. Phone 09 363 7030 or visit www.gustoatthegrand.co.nz