Gonzo, Gusto, Cacio e Pepe, or A Voce??
Looking for good Italian Downtown and all of these look really good...What has the best outdoor seating, creative pastas, and good chocolate desserts??
I have not been to A Voce so I can't comment on that. Gusto is okay but it was a forgettable experience. I love Gonzo and Cacio e Pepe. I posted a review a long time ago about Cacio e Pepe and remember saying that one of their weaknesses was the dessert selection. It was underwhelming.It may have changed since then but when I went we skipped dessert and went to the bakery next door. Gonzo has okay dessert, nothing spectacular.Both have very small outdoor sitting areas. Some options that you may want to consider include Cristo (creative pasta with an outdoor garden area as well as creative pastas. Skip the chocolate and get the zeppoles with chocolate sauce), Bianca (no outdoor area but great pasta and dessert) and Otto, which has amazing desserts. I eat at a lot of Italian restaurants and I honestly can not think of one that has great chocolate desserts.
These places vary pretty widely in price and atmosphere, so that is kind of a difficult list to pare down. People on this board love Cacio e Pepe so much I was almost skeptical that it would meet expectations, but it absolutely did-- and the signature dish is truly stunning. A few misses here and there, but the friendly service and great wine list make it a can't-miss.
A Voce is a more formal restaurant, with (in my opinion) kind of off-putting hotel-ish ambiance and uneven service, but the food is a superb example of upper-end Italian.
I have not been to Gonzo or Gusto...
Gonzo has terrific food and poor service. And if you are seated in the main room, it is absolutely deafening.