The duo behind acclaimed Hull Italian restaurant Gusto have announced they have sold the business and opened an exciting new venture.
Alex Stothard and Gianpaul Redolfi, who jointly owned Gusto in Newland Avenue, had nine successful years at the heart of the Avenues food scene.
Since opening Gusto back in 2013, the pair have grown a reputation for serving up authentic Italian dishes using the finest and freshest ingredients. Gusto’s warm and friendly service also contributed to it becoming one of the area’s most in-demand restaurants.
Under Alex and Gianpaul’s ownership, Gusto was named Best Restaurant in Hull and East Yorkshire at the Hull Daily Mail Food & Drink Awards in both 2018 and 2019.
They have now sold the Gusto business and have opened a new Italian restaurant – Villa d’Este, inspired by the UNESCO World Heritage Site and 16th-century villa in Tivoli, near Rome – at the former Black Horse pub in Ellerker, near Brough, in East Yorkshire.
Alex said: “Since opening Gusto in Newland Avenue, we’ve had an incredibly successful nine years. It reached the point where we realised we’d out-grown the premises and needed to expand.
“Our new venture, Villa d’Este, will allow us to fulfil that ambition in an incredibly desirable location in East Yorkshire.
“We’ve got some exciting plans for the new venture and we can’t wait to welcome both our loyal customers and new diners to Villa d’Este.”
Villa d’Este is now open and features exclusively handmade, fresh pasta dishes and pizzas cooked in a wood-fired oven. A selection of fresh fish and meat dishes are also on the menu.
Main dishes include fresh fillet of sea bream, pan fried and served over a Caponata of aubergine, capers, olives, tomato and pinenuts.
Also on the menu is chicken breast with spicy salami, roast peppers and Taggiasche olives, and beef fillet steak with rocket leaves and Parmigiano Reggiano shavings.
Pizza toppings include Tuscan sausage, squid, Italian ham, artichokes, wild mushroom, sauteed aubergine and fresh clams.
Authentic, quality Italian food is accompanied by an extensive continental wine and beer list.
Gianpaul said moving to the former Black Horse in Ellerker has enabled them to expand their offering to customers.
He said: “The amount of space we had at Gusto meant we weren’t able to do the wood-fired pizzas, which we think will be a big bonus to guests at Villa d’Este.
“We’ve also created an outdoor seating area, which is something else we’ve not previously been able to do, and also have the benefit of car parking space.
“The restaurant has a modern, contemporary feel – a little bit different to the more rustic aesthetic customers at Gusto may be used to.”
Ingredients at Villa d’Este are locally sourced wherever possible. Meat comes from an award-winning butcher in Ripon, North Yorkshire, and fish is freshly caught from off the Yorkshire coast.
Other ingredients are sourced from Italy, providing an authentic Mediterranean culinary experience.
Set in the picturesque village of Ellerker, visitors to Villa d’Este have the opportunity to enjoy al fresco dining on an outdoor terrace.
The restaurant is inspired by a Tuscan villa, creating an elegant, contemporary atmosphere for dining and socialising.
Villa d’Este offers 60 covers inside the restaurant, with 40 covers in the outdoor terrace.
Alex and Gianpaul met around 15 years ago. Alex was working in hotel management at the time and Gianpaul had spent time in Italy training to be a chef.
Fast-forward to today and the pair have become respected and recognised names on the region’s food scene.
They are joined at Villa d’Este by Rita Caputo. Born in Naples into a family of restaurateurs, Rita has worked with Alex and Gianpaul for nine years, and specialises as a pizza chef.
Villa d’Este is open Wednesday to Saturday, 12-4pm and 5-11pm, and Sundays from 12-8pm.
You can follow Villa d’Este on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dinevilladEste.
For bookings, call 01430 423270, or visit www.villadesteellerker.co.uk for online bookings and more information.