Unbelievably cute and authentic, homemade pasta was as good as the best of Italy
This neighborhood Italian continues to serve up great food! On a Monday night, there was a line out the door.
I can't describe how amazing Caffe Buon Gusto truly is. It is a HIDDEN gem in the upper east side and probably one of the most underrated Italian spots in Manhattan. While everyone is paying 3x as much at I Sodi, Il Buco, and L'Artusi (which are great by the way), I prefer to spend a 1/3 on some of the most authentic Italian cuisines that took me straight back to Italy. I can't recommend this place enough... it's worth getting out of lower Manhattan and up to the Upper East side.
We shared the beef carpaccio, which was done beautifully. Super light and set the stage for the rest of the meal. They brought out the softest focaccia fresh out of the oven, which we did save some of to ensure clean plate clubs with leftover pasta sauce. The menu online does not match what you get in the restaurant. In addition to staple entrees, there is a variety of pasta you can choose from with your choice of sauce. On the left side of the menu, they had some non-housemade pastas, like capellini and penne - which I'm sure are fine. BUT on the right side of the menu they have a list of housemade pastas, which just so happen to be my favorite kinds of pasta (like gnocchi, ravioli, fettuccini, orecchiette, and cheese/veal tortellini.) I was pumped... we ordered the plain gnocchi alla vodka sauce and cheese tortellini bolognese. Both dishes were perfection - the pasta cooked perfectly and the sauces were on point. My husband preferred the vodka (which was bomb,) but I just LOVED the bolognese. At this point, I couldn't breathe, but that wasn't going to stop me from ordered chocolate souffle, which is a go-to pick on the menu if ever it's on one - I can't make that at home - WAY TOO HARD. With the warm, creamy center, the souffle didn't disappoint.
Overall this place ruled and I will go back every time I'm in NYC moving forward.
Also, Sunday through Tuesday nights you can get half-off bottle of wines - GREAT DEAL!
What a great place. Small and intimate, with outstanding service and excellent food.
Make sure to go when the owner is there otherwise there is a problem with the chef.
I came with out of town family members. The restaurant was quiet and cozy and we could hear each other speak ! The menu was varied so everyone found a dish they liked . The homemade pasta was delicious and I loved how you get a choice of sauce. We all loved the chocolate soufflé for dessert !
wasn’t done with my salad before dinner arrived
I always feel bad about leaving a negative review, especially when the staff is friendly and attentive, but my date and I had a very poor experience here. This was a shock considering we had seen they received mostly positive reviews.
To start, I made a reservation far in advance and requested that we not be seated by the door or in a super-high traffic area. Sure enough, we get there, and we have the table right inside the door on a night where it was about 20 degrees. We had to spend the first half of the evening with our jackets still on. I understand that they have a very small space, but there was a table for two in the corner which was vacant with no "Reserved" sign on it - this would have been ideal. To make matters worse, one of the diners seated literally on top of us was staring the entire time which made us feel pretty uncomfortable. The wait staff continually bunking into your arms/shoulders due to the extremely tight space didn't help either.
As for the food, as a chef myself specializing in Italian cuisine, I'd have to rate it below-average at best. My linguine was overcooked and mushy, while the bolognese was ice cold. Unfortunate considering that the pasta was definitely fresh, and the bolognese was flavorful. My date, who ordered fettuccine with marinara, was not at all satisfied with her meal either. The dessert wasn't any better I'm afraid, as it tasted as if it was room temperature. Definitely not the way chocolate mousse is to be served. The one bright spot of the meal would be the appetizer, which was Bruschetta, as the bread had a nice crisp on the outside with fresh tomatoes and a tasty balsamic drizzle.
Lastly, we certainly didn't appreciate how we were being rushed out the door once we finished dessert. They were still an hour away from closing, and there were plenty of tables at this point so it's not as if they had diners waiting to be seated.
Overall, I'd give them a 2/10 mainly because the service was friendly and attentive.
Word can not describe how delish this meal was!! I will be adding Cafe Buon Gusto (UES) to my list of favorites. We got bruschetta and gnocchi aka vodka- incredible!
Although the food is excellent, the cost is much more than the internet says. They are a very small busy spot and began to literally push us out after an hour! Constant pressure to pay the bill and leave. Probably won't go back.
We visited 3 times, twice for dinner, once for lunch because the food was delicious and of good value.
Our first visit, we were seated near the door and we got cold whenever the door opened. It’s a small cozy place and on a Saturday evening there was a lot of people coming and going.
For lunch, we were seated in the back and were very comfortable. Our last time was on a weekday so we were seated away from the door and we had another wonderful meal.
Greater than ever.
It’s truly a great place for any meal or occasion. The food is fresh and so many homemade dishes to choose from. What a rare find! The food is always great.
Dinner on a hectic New Year's Eve, which meant we had to wait for our table to free up, even though we had booked. While fellow diners commented on our patience, we were given a free drink while we waited and, once the crowd had quietened a little, the service was excellent.
My children loved the food; even pasta dishes with seemingly simple sauces that you find everywhere were declared to be delicious and the cafe pronounced to be a new favorite. Everything was served promptly, even the additional starter we belatedly ordered and everything was well executed.
The free drinks came again as we finished our desserts, encouraging us to stay on towards midnight. A very nice touch that kept the parents happy too.
Greater than ever. Happy New Year!
Reasonably priced, homemade pasta , overall great!
really wish that i wasn’t seated next to the only other people in the restaurant
Absolutely the worst “hospitality” ever. The manager is a rude, nasty, unwelcoming person. Horrible in every way and I’ve been there 3 times and his behavior is consistently unpleasant. So this the 3rd time was the last time. The most unpleasant restaurant experience ever.
Great as always. Come here every year on our anniversary and have yet to have a bad meal.
We love this neighborhood gem. The food is always great and the prices are reasonable.