Rustica delivers classic Italian with a contemporary spin

Shrimp Picatta at Rustica has a sauce with briny capers that combine brilliantly with butter, garlic, parsley, white wine and olive oil to make a sensational sauce that clings to the home made pasta. (Heather Hunter/For the Journal )

The southside of Santa Fe is booming with new development and development which offers a great number of causes to venture south of Siler or head north from Albuquerque to taste what is new in The Metropolis Diverse. Obtaining reviewed a lot of dining establishments in excess of the previous calendar year, I have not but showcased a southside dining establishment. After a good friend took me to Rustica for my birthday – which exceeded my expectations, I returned on another night to make sure this was the real offer. And it is.

Located off Cerrillos Highway across the street from the highly prosperous sister restaurant, The Ranch Home, entrepreneurs Josh Baum and Ann Gordon are creating a culinary empire. Nevertheless Rustica opened to combined critiques one yr ago, it was all through Covid and any one courageous plenty of to open up a cafe in the course of a pandemic deserves a split. Nevertheless, possessing study innumerable rave critiques on social media as of late, I was delighted to make my inaugural check out.

The restaurant is a southside marvel. The tile in the lobby will quickly make you smile. Vibrant and bold, but not too daring, the tile is a statement piece that eludes joy. With a few dining parts to choose from, the inside dining spot is significant and stuffed with booths and four-best tables, the bar location presents superior best chairs as effectively as a dining area, whilst the patio offers a covered space to love very good food and superior weather conditions.

Rustica’s Branzino is served with crispy potatoes and roasted tomatoes and a aspect of broccolini. (Heather Hunter/For the Journal)

Whilst the clean up, modern day and innovative inside lends alone to superior price tag details, the considerate menu is each approachable and cost-effective and a complete bar invites attendees to sip on a unique cocktail to start the night. We ended up entranced with the Rosemary Gin and Tonic ($7), Aperol Spritz ($7) and the Rustica Margarita ($10). The smell of rosemary when sipping the gin and tonic is clever and adds an herbaceous layer to a simple consume and the Rustica Margarita is made with selfmade limoncello which presents this signature cocktail an Italian spin. A broad vary of resourceful and do-it-yourself dishes promise a thing for everybody and the kitchen area prides alone on gluten-free options.

More than two visits in one particular 7 days, my dining companions and I savored the Caesar Salad ($10) and the Kale and Apple Salad ($10). Utilizing pesto as a base for the Caesar dressing, this is a stand-alone salad and a single that will linger with you prolonged following you leave Rustica. The basil pesto dressing is so tasty, they could provide it on a flip-flop and we would lick the sandal thoroughly clean. The use of romaine and toddler kale is a balanced nod that was not missing on me and the shaved Parmesan helps make you enjoy the kitchen’s interest to depth.

On the lighter facet, the Kale and Apple Salad could very easily be topped with protein of preference to make a mild and wholesome supper. Infant kale is combined with batons of crunchy and tart eco-friendly apple, dried cherries, thinly sliced purple onion and Gorgonzola crumbles for a mix that will knock your socks off.

For a comfort and ease dish, we purchased Fried Calamari ($10) which functions beautifully crispy squid rings and tentacles with fried pepperoncini slices for a awesome pickled zing. Served with an aioli and a warm marinara, we were being unsure which sauce we preferred improved.

Mainly because gluten-free of charge is often a obstacle, this kitchen area can make their have gluten-no cost pasta and pizza crust, so we requested both. The Cavatelli Pasta ($18) is a savory and abundant pasta dish that involves crumbled and selfmade Italian sausage with a creamy rossa sauce, a sauce produced with tomatoes and crimson bell peppers for a sweeter sauce, and a few stalks of broccolini for a punch of colour. Although I think this dish would be best when cooler weather strikes, we devoured this critical pasta dish and the selfmade gluten-free fettuccine was beyond outstanding.

On the other hand, the gluten-totally free pizza was not the most effective I have ever had, but it was decent. We veered from usual and requested the Rustica ($14) with ricotta, new mozzarella, Gorgonzola, garlic, pecorino, red onion, prosciutto and Calbrian chile honey. The crust was chewy and the dough seemed to be rather damp before baking, but I admired the endeavor.

Apple Caramel Crostada at Rustica. (Heather Hunter/For the Journal)

For the next visit, my dining companions experienced Shrimp Piccata ($18) and Duck Ravioli ($18), whilst I ordered the Branzino ($24). Typically, branzino is served in significant-finish places to eat and can price tag additional than $40. Served with crispy potatoes and roasted tomatoes and a aspect of broccolini, this fish dish was delightful but certainly yearns for a mild sauce to convey every thing jointly – and the potatoes also could have applied a sauce as they ended up a little bit dry.

The sauce on the Shrimp Piccata was the show stopper. Briny capers merge brilliantly with butter, garlic, parsley, white wine and olive oil to make a sensational sauce that clings to the do-it-yourself pasta. Smaller tomato halves are cooked until virtually damaged down to insert even much more flavor to this sauce. The dish options six shrimp which ended up small, but not overcooked.

The kitchen also would make the pasta for the ravioli. 8 massive ravioli are stuffed with shredded duck and lined in a stellar Marsala-mushroom wine sauce. Appears to be the kitchen has a knack for sauces, which helps make the absence of a mild sauce for the branzino look like an oversight.

Even though we didn’t have area for dessert, we experienced to make confident their desserts were being up to par. For the duration of my 1st check out, we shared the Warm Chocolate Budino ($8). Consider truly undercooked chocolate lava cake. The pudding did not do it for me, but I was captivated by the textural mix of heat pudding and cold salted caramel ice cream. On the very same be aware, we were not mesmerized by the Apple Crostada ($8). The crust was overcooked and there were being scarcely any apples in the filling. But the vanilla ice product and caramel sauce were just what we desired on a hot summer season evening.

Over-all, we identified the personnel welcoming, caring and proud of the higher-quality foodstuff and exclusive eating encounter. Savannah took treatment of us on the patio through our very first take a look at and although we waited for a bit in advance of our server attained us on the second stop by, owning Divine get care of us made it effectively value the hold out. Her dimples, smile and authentic pleasure lifted our spirits. For the duration of classes, Divine positioned a new rolled napkin with contemporary silverware in front of me as she surreptitiously snagged my fabric serviette from my lap. It was magical the way she did this and it designed me truly feel super specific.

The up coming time you want traditional Italian with a up to date spin at a fair and reasonable cost, know that Rustica awaits with a cheery inside, home made pasta, lengthy simmered sauces, convivial team and a competent kitchen. This is a impressive mixture that deserves a great deal additional interest.