Monday, January 19, 2009

I never got paid for this

There isn’t an exact recipe for success in the Third Ward. This couldn’t be truer for the space at 223 N. Water Street. Since 2000, three restaurants have opened and closed their doors at this address, unable to attract a loyal base from the influx of young professionals into the newly gentrified Third Ward.

Opened in early June, Rustico is a pizzeria-enoteca, a restaurant that specializes in wine. Set in a narrow piece of property, the restaurant feels European with close set tables and an emphasis on the intimacy of the dining experience.

In addition to pizza, expect traditional Italian fare at Rustico and keep an eye out for the unexpected, like fried olives served in a martini glass. As they are paraded to table after table an audible praise from diners inevitably follows. The pizzas vary from a classic Napoletana to the Bianca, billed as a four-cheese pizza with “truffle scented olive oil and garlic.” Pizzas are available in 12 and 16 inches and are reasonably priced at less than $20.

Rustico boasts an impressive wine list, which our waitress guided us through, eventually choosing a 2006 Malbec from Argentina with a robust, oak flavor, but one with a smooth finish—exactly what we were looking for.

The dessert list is no less impressive. A highlight of the menu is the tiramisu, a modest piece of the traditional Italian cake with a light, fluffy and smooth coffee finish to it. It seems that this restaurant, unlike its predecessors, is here to stay.

*The review ends there, but if I was given the liberty to be completely honest, I would not tell you it was bad. The place was definitely good, but it is doubtful it will ever pull me back.

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