The retro bistro with a gusto for gastronomic genius

RetroGusto is an Italian restaurant serving authentic fare with a tantalising twist. You wonÂ’t find the dishes on their menu at every Italian restaurant in town. Their menu is small but fresh with Chef Michel Angelo Coretti doing the shopping himself three times a week at the local grocer to ensure that all the produce is hand-picked.

Their wine list is also small but comprehensive – with only Italian wines sourced from the very best boutique vintners making the cut. Serving mostly organic wines, the restaurantÂ’s co-owner Gianluigi Castaldo has no desire to serve customers anything stock standard and mass produced – what he calls “Coca-Cola wines”.

The inside of RetroGusto pays homage to the owners’ heritage. With high ceilings, European décor and soft Italian music playing in the background, this restaurant appears much larger than it actually is. Able to seat 48 comfortably, my dining companion commented that even if the place was full you still wouldn’t feel crowded.

From start to finish the attention to detail is evident in everything this restaurant does – nothing more so than the food. To begin they serve four types of bread that are of course accompanied by a strong and addictively tasty homemade olive oil. Be sure to keep an eye out for the rosemary and potato focaccia that was so tasty I could have almost called it a night. Along with the bread, we tasted a bubbly glass of Pieropan that was light and dangerously easy to drink – the perfect aperitif.

The first dish we sampled was a Salmon Terrine held together by herb butter and sambuca. Served cold, this dish was light and fresh, making it an ideal starter.

Accompanying this dish we drank a glass of Garlider 2009 from Sudtirolo in the extreme north of Italy. Fermented from the veltliner grape, this white – like the majority of others available at RetroGusto – contains no sulphates or added yeast.

Following on, we were served the lovely Codfish with fresh orange and deep-fried tomato confit, served on a bed of squashed spaghetti and garnished with fried basil. Luckily the chef appeared at this moment to explain that we werenÂ’t imagining things and that served on the side was indeed a tiny plate of hazelnut ice cream.

Chef Coretti explained, despite my initial scepticism, that it is intended to be mixed with the dish. Now whilst this wasnÂ’t exactly an appealing idea to me at first, I must admit I am now a convert. The ice cream alone was superb and probably one of the best IÂ’ve tasted in a very long time, and when combined with the codfish it actually worked tremendously well to create a unique flavour explosion IÂ’d never before tasted.

We also enjoyed a traditional veal dish that was served with pumpkin cream, fresh coriander and parmesan cheese. Accompanying this we enjoyed a full-bodied Pinot Nero Piccolo ReÂ’ 2008 Cabanon.

For those who prefer a slightly softer Pinot Noir, IÂ’d suggest the 2007 Pinot Nero Delle Dolomiti Dalzocchio Biodinamisk. It is produced by a female sommelier that only produces 5,000-6,000 bottles a year. It was feminine and its strong ribbons of flavour effortlessly seduced my dining partner and I.

Also on the menu is an extremely appetising risotto with broccoli, fresh pesto, potatoes, red peppers and topped with deep fried onions. As an avid lover of risottos that are done well, this dish was to die for. It was beautifully moist and bursting with flavour – something that is often missing in poorly-made risottos.

Before moving onto dessert we enjoyed a tantalisingly tasty pork cheek served with chestnuts, eggplant and a chocolate sauce. The combination of the succulent pork with the chocolate was divine and the chestnuts provided a deeply nutty flavour.

For dessert we enjoyed a traditional Tiramisu served with white chocolate sauce and caramelised passionfruit, which was adorned with tempered chocolate.

With service that is authentic, friendly and experienced, RetroGusto is a restaurant that will not only please lovers of Italian food but also those wanting to try something a little different. The food is fresh and flavoursome and, with its exotic twists, far from dull.


Vesterbrogade 31, Cph V; 3321 5555

Open: Daily 17:00–22:00

Cuisine: Italian; Top Dish: Risotto; Price Range: Three courses 285kr

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