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Rustico Restaurant & Bar

Rustico Restaurant & BarRustico Restaurant & Bar

Taps: 32 / Bottles: 250
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
BA SCORE
96
world-class

73 Ratings
Ratings: 73
Reviews: 68
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 6.88%
$$$ - a bit pricey


[ Bar, Eatery ]

827 Slaters Ln
Alexandria, Virginia, 22314-1219
United States
phone: (703) 224-5051

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @rusticoslaters

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: novabeerguy on 03-05-2006)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 73 | Reviews: 68 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Badger6
Badger6

Virginia

4.76/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$

I used to live around the corner from this place...I wish I still did, it is probably the best bar I've ever visited.

The food is unique, eclectic, and always tasty...just understand that you may see some stuff font he menu that will be a surprise, like Pizza Duck Confit. But, don't let that dissuade you, the food is always good, and well prepared. When busy, the presentation can suffer, and sometimes the food quality (which still remains exceptional) is not as good as when not busy. Favorite time to visit the place was late afternoon, right at the beginning of happy hour or early Sunday afternoon.

Service never suffers, but the busier it gets, the longer it will take to get a refill, but planning ahead, and you'll never see the bottom of the glass.

Selection. Nearly 40 taps, casked ales, and hundreds of bottle varietals. You will find something you like there...from PBR all the way to a $40 a bottle rarity. They have it, if they don't they either sold it out, or it is not at the distributor.

Easily a go to...like I said, wish I still lived around the corner.

01-22-2014 01:31:38 | More by Badger6
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.13/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25 | $$$

One of my go to places when we're out in the town and in the mood for a few good beers. I really enjoy the couches by the fireplace. If you get there early enough, you can secure a seat there. Fun art and tile work decorate the walls. Open and spacious feeling.

Nice list of rotating drafts, offering a variety of styles, to include a few out of market beers. Two casks available.

Decent bottle list, although some of the beers are marked up way too high. This isn't a cheap place by any stretch.

Great food. Far above average for a place that is seemingly focused on beer.

Definitely worth a stop if you're in the area.

09-12-2013 23:01:52 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of Sludgeman
Sludgeman

District of Columbia

4.43/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$$

Updated after a 4/22/12 visit.

Very similar to the Ballston location. Excellent selection of beer, but never the same as Ballston, so do not make that assumption. 40+ taps and a book for the bottles.The bottle beer can get quite expensive. On tap is the way to go, especially with 40+ choices.

A good bar scene with a vibe more towards a younger crowd (more so than Ballston). I like the bar and lounge layout better in Alexandria. Seems a little brighter which is preferable for me. Nice bar with knowledgeable and friendly bartenders.

A nice place to eat. Their menu is a bit "fancy." The pizza I had was better the second time. The "grilled" pizza was wonderful.

Parking can get a tight on Friday and Saturday nights.

04-24-2013 02:26:44 | More by Sludgeman
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$

My wife and I visit this location several times a month, and it never gets old. The atmosphere is really nice. It has a very modern feel with nice decor. It's usually crowded enough to not feel like a forgotten location, but is rarely excessively crowded, though admittedly we don't tend to go here on Friday or Saturday nights. The only place I take off points here is the lighting, which is almost non-existent in some areas of the bar.

The beer quality and selection are both fantastic. While the selection has dipped a bit since Churchkey opened up and presumably takes some of Rustico's allocation, this is still one of the prime spots in Northern Virginia to grab a beer. The tap list is filled with interesting offerings from here and abroad, and is frequently rotating.

The service is normally quite good. Some of the bartenders and servers are friendlier than others, but all tend to be very competent.

The food is quite good. The pizzas are my favorite, though the entrees tend to be very nice as well.

Overall, it is a bit on the pricey side, but not out of the norm for the area.

02-16-2012 13:25:16 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of DapperGrowler
DapperGrowler

District of Columbia

4.95/5  rDev +13.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$

I have been to Rustico in Alexandria twice now. First was for a birthday and the second was for Port City Brewery’s One year anniversary stout release. The place has a great vibe, it feels upscale but relaxed. The beer selection is amazing; there was a great selection and variety of beers. The staff is very knowledgeable. It is hard to find a waiter/waitress who truly understands their beers and beer/food pairings. The food was amazing but the prices were a little high. Because of this, I don’t know how often I can afford to go back. Otherwise, a great place.

02-13-2012 16:49:42 | More by DapperGrowler
Photo of Vierenner
Vierenner

Ohio

4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$

Great beer selection, server very knowledgeable on their beer offerings. Food was surprisingly good. Chef obviously takes pride in his/her preparations. Highly recommend!
Great beer selection, server very knowledgeable on their beer offerings. Food was surprisingly good. Chef obviously takes pride in his/her preparations. Highly recommend!
Great beer selection, server very knowledgeable on their beer offerings. Food was surprisingly good. Chef obviously takes pride in his/her preparations. Highly recommend!

01-25-2012 02:46:16 | More by Vierenner
Photo of clayrock81
clayrock81

Virginia

3.83/5  rDev -12.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$

Went on a busy Saturday night and can't complain. Were able to find two seats near the bar and w/ the loud din of people and sportswatchers we were able to get a server quick and who was very attentive. Food is good although not worth an arm and a leg (I'm a pizza snob mind you). Beer selection is a mixed for me - the bottle list is nothing special and most of what was on tap was nothing a beer geek will get excited and then there are a few beers on there (that not only did I try but they are very kind to let you get a regular pour or a 4 oz sample) that I have not seen anywhere else in the area at all. I would come back to grab a small bite and a brew or two for a game so take it at that and don't expect a beervana place.

10-18-2011 16:33:21 | More by clayrock81
Photo of Jesstyr
Jesstyr

Virginia

4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$

This place is as good as they come for a beer and a great meal. Its not quite Birch & Barley, but its a great sister restaurant, and a great place to find some unique brews.

Excellent design is clear, bar to the right with a mix of long tables and other high tops. Lighting is medium, and creates a nice atmosphere, though a bit loud. Everything here is great quality - top craft beers, excellent seasonal ingredients.

Service is good, though not necessarily very beer knowledgeable. Friendly and easy going. Selection is excellent, with a solid list of rotating taps, and a huge, but overpriced, bottle list. Food is a key, and without the brew, this would still be a great place to grab a meal.

08-24-2011 02:25:19 | More by Jesstyr
Photo of siege06nd
siege06nd

Virginia

4.55/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$

It's a craft beer bar, a gourmet pizza joint, a foodie haven...basically, it's my favorite bar in town.

Atmosphere: Fantastic. The interior is open, dark earth tones and wood adorn the restaurant. The bar area has a nice assortment of booths, tall-boys with stools, and even a lounge area with a couple of coffee tables. All are first come, first serve. The dining area is also impressive, with booths and table/chair set-ups all over. The design is similar to Churchkey, a blend of modern and rustic (HAH!) that is warm and inviting.

Quality: Great. One of the deepest draft lists and cellars I have seen. Always high quality craft beer on tap, often uber local, import, or rare items. They pair the beers with the appropriate glassware, which is a refreshing break from the standard pint glass that seems to plague this area (yep, I've had Abacus out of a standard pint). Food menu is deep, and foregoes standard pub fare in favor of eclectic, creative dishes.

Service: No complaints. Bartenders are knowledgeable and wait staff is happy to make recommendations on both the food and drink menu. They know the big draw here is the beer, and it is obvious management takes the time to train its staff in this regard. I'm used to staff having to check with the bartender for recommendations or questions, but the wait staff here knows its beer. Doesn't take too long to get seated, even on busy weekends.

Selection: Deepest beer list in Virginia. Great selection of imports, locals, and craft favorites. Almost always something rare on tap as well. They frequently throw events (e.g. brewer's nights). Food is also impressive. Their pizzas are made with choice ingredients and the rest of their menu offers more variety and complexity than one would expect from a beer bar.

Food: Outstanding. Gourmet pizza is the centerpiece of the menu, but there are plenty of other options (apps, salads, steaks/chicken/fish) to choose from, all inventive and all delicious. I've not had anything here that I haven't enjoyed. If you like pairing beer with food, this will be your mecca because of the flavors and complexities offered not only on tap, but on the menu as well.

Value: It's a little expensive, but the experience is one of a kind. Highly recommended.

07-24-2011 18:24:25 | More by siege06nd
Photo of whrice
whrice

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -11.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$$

So I've been to this place a hand full of times and it's not bad. The decor and atmosphere are great, as you would expect for the area. The food that I've had here was good, I've only had pizza or apps I believe. The bar is big with lots of taps and bottles to choose from. I have to say the main thing about this that draws is their selection of beer, it's very impressive, especially for the area. I don't think there is any place that comes close in the area. Drinking outside is great and probably the best thing about it, however the bar is great too. I do have to say the first time I went here the I asked the server to bring me something she'd recommend. She brought me a framboise served in a highball glass. Really? A $10 framboise is my first impression. I hope she got fired. Horrible recommendation, I sent straight to a dark stout afterwards to make up for it. The other times I've been here the bartenders and servers have been great. The last server we had actually recommended a beer for my fiance based on what she said she liked and he got it right, which is no easy task with her. That was impressive. The main thing I don't like about this place is it is really expensive. Yeah I know the area is expensive and beers usually start at $5, that's not what I'm complaining about. It's the fact that some import and special bottles are priced way over what they should be. Maybe it's the distributor and not them. I bought a build your own six pack once from here and it was like $25. Really?!?!?!? The food is overpriced too. $10 for a small cheese pizza, literally like an appetizer size? It was good, but no pizza that size which probably cost $2-3 to make, should be $10. Overall a nice place just overpriced and honestly a little over-hyped.

07-20-2011 14:06:48 | More by whrice
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Rustico Restaurant & Bar in Alexandria, VA
96 out of 100 based on 73 ratings.