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Rustico Restaurant & Bar
Taps: 32 / Bottles: 250
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
827 Slaters Lane
phone: (703) 224-5051
(Place added by: novabeerguy on 03-05-2006)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 67 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
This place was by far and away the best place I visited during my stay here in the Falls Church/Alexandria area. The selection was excellent (some 30 micros on tap) and diverse, and, SHOCK!!!, you could get an imperial pint of what they had on tap (not all, but most). The beer pours were listed by "standard" and "bigun," with the standard a 12 oz pour and the "bigun" an actual imperial pint. There was even a beer on cask here and, incredibly, when we arrived it was the Allagash Grand Cru (Allagash??? On cask???? The Grand Cru for God sakes??? - surely I truly have died and gone to heaven). OK, the atmosphere is a bit yuppyized for my taste, and popular as the place is, the service was a bit slow. Prices were also on the high side. (an imperial pint of most beers was $7). However, the selection here is so good, and the food was good, it was pretty easy to overlook the few negatives. Yeah, it's not Portland, but I can absolutely guarantee this is one place I will recommend to any friends stopping by in the area. This is truly a solid place.
5/21/08. Visited Rustico again a few weeks back and really feel as if I need to update and upgrade my review. Service was much better this last time (was able to snag a table, which helped considerably I think), and the quality of the beer selections only gets better and better. I did not recall the bottle selection being as good as it was the first time I was there. My friends were entranced (as was I) by the delicious bottle of Southampton Grand Cru we had. This is a very good place, though I still think it a bit pricey and the food solid, if not outstanding. Recommended.
01-12-2007 03:35:15 |
More by johnmichaelsen
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I finally made the stop here after having this place on my radar when driving south past Wash DC into Virginia. Only about two miles off I-95, it is easy to find but parking is a bit tough.
It is a nice brick building with outdoor seating. Upon entering the bar is on the right and can seat about 12 people. Plenty of high tops and couches in front of a fireplace make this more of a homey upscale bar. There are plenty of dining tables on the left.
There are about 30 beers on tap which include some nice selections I can't get in NJ like BBC Jefferson Reserve Stout, Flying Dog Raging Bitch, and Bell's Two Hearted Ale. Loads of bottles are able to be viewed in glass front refridgerators behind the bar. A beer menu makes it easy to select what you want.
Service was friendly and they knew the beers. Food was very good, especially the pizzas and crab bites appetizer.
This is a great place everyone should make an effort to get to. I will visit this place each time I head down I-95 in the future.
03-30-2010 22:29:53 |
More by Gavage
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
I stopped here with Mike (Thorpe429) while in town, this was a very short walk from his house. How lucky to live within walking distance of a nice place like this.
We didn't order food, but it looked like they had a really decent menu. The taps were my main draw, maybe 20 deep and all solid. Good local breweries like Port City and DC Brau, also a nice cross-section of other major cities. The beer styles were widely represented as well, I had no difficulty finding a flight of good things to try.
The atmosphere is very nice as a restaurant, laid out to be family friendly but also with a central bar. We took outdoor seating as the weather in DC is a lot better than central OH.
Prices were reasonable, especially given the quality. Recommended.
05-18-2011 20:00:09 |
More by TurdFurgison
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
atmosphere: Cozy, clean, dimly lit modern interior. Nice setup. Nice dinner crowd.
quality: The beer was served at the correct temperature, and the full sizes came in appropriate glassware.
service: Service uneventful but prompt and friendly.
selection: Pretty good tap selection, good mix of European and American brews...but they were out of a few key things when I visited (various Troegs, BBC Jefferson's Reserve), and were out of the cask ale. Still, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt when scoring. I had a Victory Donnybrook, Brooklyn Extra Brune, and Eggenberg Pils on-tap. Large bottle selection.
food: Very good food. The mushroom pot pie was excellent, and everyone else loved their respective dishes.
value: a bit pricey...tiny samplers for $3, the large sizes are a better value for $6. Food expensive but reasonable for the area.
03-15-2008 07:12:53 |
More by blackie
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
After a long but informative conference, my Beer loving colleague and I were debating if we were going to skip out on the reception/social that was taking place afterwards and head directly to Rustico's. We decided to have one quick Beer, mingle, hand out and collect a few business cards and skip out incognito. After seeing that all they had was Amstel light and pigs-in-a-blanket-like appetizers, we were outta there in no time. We walked through Old town to get there, on a very charming 'main street USA' area that was very nice and was just far enough to open our appetites.
Décor was pleasing, with wide open spaces and large chalkboards displaying upcoming events and specials. We had our meal in the restaurant section at first. I enjoyed my Beer and cheese soup, which reminded me a bit of the one I had at Davidson Brothers brewpub in upstate NY, and the beef carpaccio was tasty and went well enough with the passable local Saison I had - I can't remember the name of it as I forgot my notebook and the website isn't up to date. My buddy seemed to have enjoyed his flat iron steak, especially with the Arrogant Bastard I suggested he paired it up with, his first taste of Stone brewing and by the looks of it, definitely not his last.
We then moved on to the livelier bar section, where patrons were glued to the tube watching basketball, a sport I'd much rather play than watch, but to each his own. We had our first post-dinner pint standing up, and eventually got to belly up at the bar. Great selection of brews from all over the place was on tap. Imperial Pilsner on Cask, some barleywines, tripels, and other high-octane stuff were in hearty supply. Too bad that DFH 120 wasn't available as the website stated, I would have loved to see the look on my colleague's face after a glass or two of that one! Any place with De Glazen Toren Beer on tap is worthy of high marks in my book. And I didn't even mention the bottle list too, that had plenty of great stuff, truly something for everyone. I liked the fact that you could buy Beer to go. Even though it was quite pricey, we had our heart set into taking home one of those old Cantillons that was sitting there.
Service was great all around, Greg was really nice and even though he was quite busy he still took the time to chat a bit. Yeah, I'm sure it didn't hurt that I brought over a few local Quebec brews for him, but you could see he's a real fan of craft Beer and I only wish more people like him were tending bars.
We walked out of there pretty bruised up for a Thursday night where we had to show up for the conference the next morning bright and early, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat because we had a great time at Rustico's.
04-06-2008 22:39:12 |
More by Goldorak
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
This is not your father's beer bar! The owners of Rustico seek a fine balance between upscale cuisine and beer. This is certainly indicative by their unique menu pairings of the two in an almost symbiotic relationship. All of this amidst an open but trendy industrial setting that provides some very plush bar seating - the word "bar stool" does not adequately suffice here.
Still, the available beers, which include very fresh drafts and a breathtaking selection of Belgian bottles, make it worth the trip. Rustico offers about well-rotated 30 taps that include a diverse array of styles and regions. All at a price; this is not a cheap place, since an imperial pint will set you back about $8.00 (Reminiscent of Ginger Man in NYC.) But don't get discouraged, they do have Happy Hour prices ($1.00 off). During my recent visit, I enjoyed: Stone Pale Ale, Bell's Two-Hearted Ale, Avery New World Porter and Harviestoun Bitter and Twisted (English IPA).
Located in a newly developed commercial and residential area adjacent to Potomac Yards - and being literally on the wrong side of the tracks, Rustico is a short walk from the Braddock Road Metro Station. It is also accessible via the No. 9A bus from the Pentagon. (I mean, who want's to worry about DUI?)
However, if you insist on taking your own Death Machine, there is parking available.
Though I may not visit Rustico more than once or twice annually, it's good to know that establishments such as this exist.
06-11-2007 21:44:13 |
More by jjboesen
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Rustico is a bit out of the way (about a 10 minute walk from the Braddock Road metro, which is south of Reagan airport), but it's well worth the visit. It's a relatively new place in a newly developed area, with a nice little outdoor area, a big bar, and a few booths and high tables. The on-tap selection is the best I've seen in the D.C. metro area (and yes, that includes RFD, and the brickskeller, which has mostly bottles). It's a wonderful variety of 30 choices with stuff from Lefthand, Rogue, Unibroue, Stone, Brooklyn, Victory, Bell's, Avery... and so on. Just a great American selection, with quite a few Europeans thrown in for fun. There's also an extensive multi-page bottle list, and a rotating cask (Allagash quad at the moment, with Victory Hop Devil and Bell's Two Hearted on the radar). The food is really good, you can't go wrong with any of the pizzas, and the "mosaics" are interesting and unique while the pairings demonstrate they care about beer. Service is pretty good even when it's crowded (although you may have to order at the bar if it's super crowded). They have special events about once or twice a month, such as meet-the-brewer and glassware give-away days. I definitely suggest visiting this place.
05-12-2007 03:06:03 |
More by shivtim
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
Atmosphere is/can be a little loud, and fast. Very alive. Great patio seating outside if you don't mind the possibility that you could be sharing a large picnic table with strangers. Granted over the great beer and food, they probably won't be strangers for long.
Quality of the selections on draft and in the bottle are hard to beat. From special Brooklyn Releases to a Smuttynose cask that was as unique as it was bad. (RIS aged on some crazy Chai Tea leaves - think Jager meets cough syrup meets Tea.) Bell's Two-Hearted was the next cask.
Service was good, no complaints, very helpful, but nothing extraordinary.
Selection is fantastic. Everything from hefes and wits to IIPAs, Lambics, and RIS. Great bottle selection including some aged and very rare beers that began to get a bit pricey. All drafts can be ordered a sample, 6oz, or 14 oz size.
The pizza we had was fantastic. Probably the best pizza I've had in quite some time. The muscles we had as appetizers were delicious as well. The food others ordered looked and smelled great.
Very reasonable for the DC/Arlington area that seems expensive in comparison to other places.
06-09-2009 22:55:56 |
More by Loki
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
Bring a Change of Pants (you geek)
I stopped in Rustico's for lunch on a weekday, and easily could have spent the rest of my afternoon there. Since there are plenty of other detailed reviews of this place, Ill focus primarily on the beer.
On Tap: 6oz ($3-$5), 16oz ($5-$9), 20oz ($7-$9).
30 taps that included the BBC Jefferson Reserve Stout, Stone Pale, Dogfish Head Pumpkin, Avery IPA, Algauer Cambonator, Allagash Tripel, Bell's Two Hearted, Gouden Carolus Tripel, Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted, Rogue Imperial Porter, Smuttynose Farmhouse, Victory Hop Wallop and the Wiehenstphaner Hefe Weissbier among a very impressive tap beer offering.
I had a tasting of the Bluegrass Bourbon Barrel Stout which, if you've never had on tap, is a must try for every bourbon loving beer drinker. The Rogue Imperial Porter that followed almost seemed tame in comparison, but there was no mistaking it big roast malt character and nicely balanced hop finish. The Bell's Two Hearted IPA was my final tasting and it did not disappoint with its great fresh resiny hop nose and superb drinkability.
On Cask: 20oz imperial pints ($7.40)
There was one hand pump serving Brooklyn Pennant Ale which was absolutely outstanding out of the firkin. It was as smooth and creamy as a Boddingtons but with a distinctive APA hop profile.
In the Coolers: You just have to go check it out for yourself.
Over 250 beers to choose from with a mix and match six-pack-to-go option. There were 8 pages of lagers and ales listed that included some of the best beers from the U.S., Belgium, Germany and others. I left with a mixed six of American micros that are hard to come by in NJ. This consisted of a Bells Batch 8000, Bells Kalamazoo Stout, Bells Lager, Victory Moonglow Weizenbock, Thirsty Dog Old Leghumper and a Left Hand Haystack Wheat.
Food (Lunch): Sandwiches ($10-$14); Salads ($7-$15); Mains ($10-$15); Hearth Fired Pizza ($10-$16).
My lunch was excellent. I had the chilled soup trio ($9) that included a Cucumber Mint, Summer Tomato and a Creamy Avocado that were all delicious. I also tried a bowl of the Mac & Cheese (w/mushrooms, pancetta, English peas and Parmigiano Reggiano) which was rich, filling and (dare I say) even better than mom's.
Rustico's is a beer geeks wet dream. An absolute must visit for any beer advocate.
10-01-2007 01:38:54 |
More by 86sportster883
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
I visited Rustico during a visit to the DC area for the Brewer's Association SAVOR event. Between the two experiences, I left the weekend thinking that beer certainly enjoys a classier image in DC than it does in the taverns of my current locale (Wisconsin).
Rustico is a nice, not-over-the-top-expensive restaurant with an excellent (but not cheap) bottle list and a clear understanding that beer and food belong together. There were some beer/cheese pairings on a chalkboard and beer was featured in numerous menu items. Draft beer could be had in one of three sizes (sample, medium, large). I had a Brigand Belgian and it came in Brigand branded glassware. I had some home-made fettucine with pork shoulder which was quite good. 2 x entrees + 1 beer = $51 including tip. Didn't challenge our server, but she seemed capable.
Incidentally, I thought this place was very kid/family friendly both from a menu and décor perspective while I think adults will still find it to be nice and sophisticated. Non-beer drinkers will also enjoy it. It did not strike me as a stop-by-for-a-few-on-the-way-home place. I would recommend it for dinner or lunch, and hope to return.
05-21-2008 20:08:12 |
More by BeerBelcher
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Rustico Restaurant & Bar in Alexandria, VA
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