Rustico got some media over the summer because of their unique dessert, and we decided to check it out around that time. It was sort of late, around 10:30 or 11, and we thought we'd grab a drink and try a hopsicle. The enormous restaurant was mostly empty, but there were a few people at the bar. The hostess stand was deserted, and we weren't quite sure what to do. It turns out, after a certain point, no one is seated anymore and you just have to go to the bar. It was our first time there, and we weren't quite sure if they were actually open or on their way to closing, it was super awkward, and we went across the street to Buzz to cheer ourselves up with cupcakes (I recommend red velvet w/cream cheese frosting).

On our next visit, we actually ate!

I started with something but already forgot what it was. J says it was a salad, but it must have been pretty boring because...yeah...well...

J started with cream of cauliflower soup, and it was VERY thin--too thin. It wasn't bad, but I've made better at home. And I'm really not that good of a cook.

My pizza--white pizza with provolone, pecorino, mozzarella, fresh ricotta & basil pesto--was delicious. J said there was "too much cheese," which means, he's not really the type that would order a white pizza on his own free will. He had a small piece, and between us we only finished half of it. It made a great snack a few days later. I didn't think it was any better or worse than Faccia Luna, just bigger.

J got the pan seared scallops, which sat on top of sweet potato grits. The grits weren't nearly as good as they should have been, considering the name. I knew J wouldn't want them all--he had a few bites but left the rest to die.

Rustico is REALLY loud, and I knew that it was going to be loud before we got there. All I ask is that really loud places don't make me wait for different courses as if I'm in a nice relaxing restaurant. In Corduroy, waiting 20 minutes after my appetizer for my dinner is welcomed, as we linger over wine and conversation. At Rustico, as I'm straining to hear J over the general noise and temper-tantrum-throwing five-year-old next to us, I can't help but feel like I'd rather be somewhere--anywhere--else. Let it be known, I don't blame the kid. It was 8pm and she looked about 5, and she was probably starving, overtired, and overwhelmed by the loud bar/restaurant environment. Unfortunately, grandma and grandpa had no clue what to do--they were OBVIOUSLY not the parents, from the fit being thrown and the way it bubbled for over half hour before she was finally yanked out of the restaurant.

When we left sans dessert and headed across the street to Buzz, there was our little screamer, getting a cupcake from Grandma to shut her up (and end any chance of her understanding of Positive Rewards v. Getting What I Want For Being Bratty).

The service was OK, our server was a little flaky--she kept explaining how "out of it" she was, and how the computers were down.

They have a great beer list. But for the money, I definitely wasn't wowed. I'd rather go somewhere else.

Apparently the take-out can be fun--at least you can eat in the peace of your own home! Check out what the Post says about how the food held up.

827 Slater's Lane
Alexandria, VA
Metro: None, it's on Slater's Lane
Rustico on Urbanspoon

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