We were very excited to try a new Italian restaurant, Rustica on the Southside of Santa Fe. This is the sister restaurant to The Ranch House, which is right across the street. There is more information on Rustica’s Facebook page than on their brand new website about this brand new restaurant.
We started with the roasted cauliflower(8) with pistachio nuts, some cheese, and parsley garnish. The cauliflower wasn’t really crunchy. The cauliflower was tossed in a Romesco Sauce. I think I would have preferred a dipping sauce. Just me.
Rustic does have a bread basket(3). I have never been to an Italian restaurant that charged for a bread basket. Interesting…
We also had the garlic bread(6). This appetizer was an inventive way to present garlic bread. It had butter, Parmesan, Mozzarella, roasted garlic and a red sauce. This appetizer came with a dipping sauce. Once again, I have never had garlic bread made in this style. But it was delightful.
For anyone who loves cheese and bread, in my opinion, you can’t go wrong with this version of garlic bread.
Ordering right off the menu, there were not very many vegetarian options, but down on the menu gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options are available.
I fell in love with the house made rigatoni in the Rustica Primavera(16). It was delicious. The rigatoni was surrounded by a Parmesan Pesto Cream Sauce with vegetables like peas, squash, zucchini, onion, yellow tomatoes,and mushrooms. It was a hardy meal. For all of the pasta dishes listed on the Rustica Menu, you are able to substitute gluten free fettuccini for a two dollar upcharge. You could also add grilled Sage Bake House Bread for a dollar upcharge.
The pizzas had a two vegetarian items, the Margherita(10) and the Verde(10). All the pizzas are 10 inches personal pizzas. Once again, you can substitute a gluten free crust for a two dollar upcharge.
The Margherita pizza(10) had some fresh mozzarella, basil, olive oil and a red sauce. Yum!
The Verde Pizza had ricotta, and provolone cheese, garlic, zucchini, lemon olive oil and a Calabrian chile(Southern Italy chile pepper). This pizza tasted as good as it looked. It was creamy and yummy.
I had a few bites of this delicious chocolate cream pie. The sauce was delicious, too!
I still can’t believe that Rustica was a former Outback Steakhouse. You would never know it. The transformation was to a very elegant and bright eatery. It is beautiful!
This is a brand new restaurant and with all new restaurants there are going to be some glitches. Our salad didn’t come out when we expected. Our server was doing a good job.
This is a family friendly restaurant. I think that is a good thing. The prices are not out of reach. Parts of our pizza were taken home in a Rustica pizza box along with the roasted cauliflower.
Right now Rustica is open everyday from 5pm to 8pm.The website stated that their hours will expand soon. The phone number is 505.780.5279. Rustica doesn’t take reservations, not even through OpenTable. We showed up before 5 to get a seat on the covered patio. I forgot to ask about a take out menu, but our menu did mention something about one.
BTW Saya’s Food Truck is back in Santa Fe. Yes!!! Saya’s can be found at Artisan’s Art Supply parking lot on Cerrillos on Thursdays -Sundays 11:00-3 or until they sell out. Saya’s Facebook page announced that they have returned with their delicious Indian Tacos and Frito pies and of course some of the most delicious fry bread I have ever eaten. Just remember that Saya’s is a cash only food truck.
More Good News: Detroit Style Pizza has returned to Back Road Pizza. The drill is still the same, order and pay on Sunday for Pick-up on Wednesday. You can still schedule your pick-up time.