Rustico Restaurant & Wine Bar: Southern Italy On The Eastern Shore

| July 3, 2012
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On Father’s Day, Paul wanted to go to the Kent Island Father’s Day Car Show and I was very much in favor! Not because of the car show, but because my friend Penny suggested that we try a restaurant near the show in the historic district of Stevensville–Rustico Restaurant & Wine Bar. She mentioned that it was delicious and moderately priced, located in an old Victorian house, and that you can also eat on the patio.

On an unseasonably cool morning, we arrived at the car show where we met up with our friend Pat (her husband Rodger displayed his ’67 Chevelle), daughter Becky and her husband, Matt. All of them had been to Rustico numerous times and were happy to come with us for lunch because it has been a family favorite! Would this restaurant experience live up to all of the hype?

I was concerned about the possibility of a crowded restaurant for Father’s Day without a reservation, but we had no problem being seated. Pat told us that all day Sundays (as well as Mondays through Saturdays 4pm-7pm), all bar menu appetizers and flatbreads are half price if you are seated in the wine bar area. We arrived around 12:30pm and asked to be seated there.

Our party of five was shown to a roomy high top wooden table next to the window. The space was warmly decorated with cherry wood floors, and old-world style painted murals on yellow walls. There were a couple of TVs and the size of the bar was impressive!

The Wine Bar Menu had some very tempting selections. Pat ordered Bruschetta – Roma tomatoes tossed with fresh basil, garlic and extra virgin olive oil served on grilled Italian bread, and Mozzarella & Eggplant Napolean – a tower of slices of tomato, marinated grilled eggplant and homemade buffalo mozzarella topped with balsamic vinaigrette. Based on the appetizer special, the bruschetta was $3 and the tower was $4.50. There was plenty to share and Pat characterized her lunch as amazing and delicious!

Becky selected a Spinach Salad, described as Baby spinach tossed with fresh strawberries, pine nuts, and goat cheese, with balsamic vinaigrette. She asked the server to hold the goat cheese, and opted to have the salad topped with chicken. Becky said that the salad was warm and the chicken was good, but unfortunately, they were too stingy with the strawberries.

Matt took advantage of the flat bread special and chose the Chicken Pesto variety, consisting of grilled chicken, mushrooms, fresh mozzarella and pesto sauce. This very good-sized flat bread was only $5. Matt loved the crust and described it as a great combination of textures and “just right!”

Paul and I split a House salad ($5) – wild field greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and red onions, topped with Italian dressing. They even served a half-portion for each of us. We also shared a large and delicious vegetarian flat bread, with roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, marinated tomatoes, spinach and fresh mozzarella for the special price of $5. The thin crispy crust was perfect and the toppings were plentiful!

Our server asked if we were interested in dessert. Paul’s body language indicated that he was, and I think it had something to do with the fact that it was Father’s Day! The dessert menu indicated “all of our mouth watering desserts are made fresh on the premises.”

With a strong recommendation from Becky (who just happens to love baking all types of fancy desserts for family and friends), Paul selected the Strudel de Mele ($7)- Strudel with apple filling, topped with a warm caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. We were aware that there would be 15 minutes of prep time, as strudels are baked to order. This just gave us more time to enjoy the ambiance and the conversation! We enjoyed tasting this very warm and wonderful confection with the contrasting cold ice cream!

We all ate well for the surprising cost of only $47.16 in this lovely revitalized historic landmark. Rustico did live up to all of the good recommendations, and we will certainly be back very soon to sample another flat bread!

Check out the menus and exact location on www.rusticoonline.com

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Category: Businesses, Chowin' Down, COLUMNS, LIFE IN THE AREA

About the Author ()

Lois Villemaire, originally from the Philadelphia area, has resided in Annapolis for 40 years. She retired from the AA County Office of Planning and Zoning in 2007, and subsequently worked for several years for the Montgomery County Planning Department. Now that she and her husband are retired, they both enjoy their children and grandchildren, golfing, biking, yoga, reading and exploring around Annapolis. Lois currently serves on the City of Annapolis Planning Commission.

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