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Rustico, A Neighborhood Restaurant Group Chain in North Alexandria and Ballston


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Rustico is slated for an opening in February. I would say on the later side of that estimate. The chef is awesome, the GM is a greatguy who has worked for the company for quite some time. Should be aces across the board when it opens.

The restaurant that was going to open before Vermilion...glad to hear it's finally going to open. Had long talks a long time ago about Rustico when it was supposed to be in Del Ray where the Caboose is now..

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Rustico is slated for an opening in February. I would say on the later side of that estimate. The chef is awesome, the GM is a greatguy who has worked for the company for quite some time. Should be aces across the board when it opens.

The menu is shaping up to be more American than Italian - the brick oven pizzas are definitely a nod to the culture, but there will also be steaks, planked fish, salads, and sandwiches (chef's also been playing around with the idea of a paella from the oven). The bar is concentrating on beer instead of wine with more than 250 in bottle and 30 on tap.

I'll post more specifics as the opening draws near...

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Just out of curiosity, how does an establishment cope with keeping 30 draught beers fresh?

Vigilant taste testing for quality control, of course! :) Our beer director jokes, but that's actually a large part of it. The other part is controlling the volume of beer per delivery and rotating the kegs on a certain schedule. The Rustico bar staff are major beer lovers, so rest assured the program is going to be well-run.

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Rustica?  Who, What, When and WHERE?

Who - Rustico...newest restaurant from the folks who run Tallula, Vermilion & Evening Star Cafe

What - rustic American cuisine with pizza and a whole lot more! Around 280 beers on the list, including 30 on tap & casks of real ale (not to mention seasonal sangrias, wine & liquor)

Where - 827 Slaters Lane, Alexandria (www.rusticorestaurant.com)

When - we're shooting for the beginning of March, so keep your fingers crossed.

I've been privileged to have been included in a number of tastings for the new menu & I have to say I am SO excited about this place. There are dishes on the menu that are absolutely amazing (and believe me, I'm not saying that because they pay me to!).

Look for updates on the Rustico thread...I'll keep you updated as much as I can!

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Any firm word on what will be on tap (or, more importantly, on cask) at the opening?

All in good time, my dear, all in good time! I can safely announce to all those who insist that Miller Lite tastes great AND is less filling, they will have a tap all to themselves that pours that tasteless swill they call beer. That's the only real sell-out tap I can think of off the top of my head at 3:30 in the morning. The rest I either REALLY enjoy or have never heard of (but then again, I am far from a beer geek like some of my colleagues).

Four casks have been ordered and ye who arrives first through the doors of Rustico gets tapped, I've been told. There will always been a firkin to be had - how fast they rotate depends on you the drinking public. But with more than 280 beers to choose from, why would you spend all your time just drinking one kind?!

I'll be able to convey solid intelligence on the taps, firkin and a sneak preview of my top five strangebrews in the bottle (or nitro can) on Wednesday, March 8th.

Until then, I bid you all a good night.

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Any firm word on what will be on tap (or, more importantly, on cask) at the opening?

First cask will be Clipper City's Loose Cannon out of Baltimore.

Rustico Draught List:

Guinness Stout

Miller Lite

Dominion Oak Barrel Stout

New River Pale Ale

Rogue Seasonal (Rogue Skull Splitter)

Blanche de Chambly

Trois Pistoles

St. Bernardous Abt 12

Duchesse de Bourgogne

Sawtooth ESB

Smuttynose Old Brown Dog

Breckenridge Avalanche Ale

DeKoninck

Iron City Lager

Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA

Dogfish Head Seasonal (Aprihop)

Stone's Smoked Porter

Victory Prima Pils

Victory Golden Monkey

Weyerbacher Hop Infusion IPA

Kasteel Raspberry Lambic

Blackthorne Cider

Allagash Grand Cru

Brooklyn Brown Ale

Stoudt's Scarlett Lady Best Bitter

Abita Purple Haze

Oxford Hefe Weizen

Clipper City Seasonal (Small Craft Warning)

District Chophouse Nut Brown Ale

Eggenberger Dunkl

(All taps subject to change)

Cheers!

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Where will the parking be, I wonder? Rustico is on the corner of a tiny street with roughly a half dozen parking meters. And there's no street parking permitted on Slaters Lane. Is there a parking garage in the vicinity that I don't know of?

Can't wait to try it, though! I've enjoyed Evening Star, Tallula and Vermillion.

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Where will the parking be, I wonder?  Rustico is on the corner of a tiny street with roughly a half dozen parking meters.  And there's no street parking permitted on Slaters Lane.  Is there a parking garage in the vicinity that I don't know of?

Can't wait to try it, though!  I've enjoyed Evening Star, Tallula and Vermillion.

I believe there is a parking lot in the rear of the shopping area. Last time I was by there it was blocked off, but I am quite certain the City of Alexandria <_< would not allow that much retail to go in without adequate parking. Maybe MelGold can provide additional details.

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There is a parking lot in the back on the same side as Rustico. Most of the other businesses are day time based operations, a clothing store, salon, etc. so their traffic won't be during a huge problem.

When you finally get to take them for a test drive, the black bar stools are going to become your new favorite in the area <_< I'm trying to figure out how to have one permanently reserved for me.

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There is a parking lot in the back on the same side as Rustico.  Most of the other businesses are day time based operations, a clothing store, salon, etc. so their traffic won't be during a huge problem.

When you finally get to take them for a test drive, the black bar stools are going to become your new favorite in the area ;)   I'm trying to figure out how to have one permanently reserved for me.

Like you are going to cross the river that frequently! <_< How will they do for the tall people?

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There are actually two parking lots behind the shopping center. Of all four of the restaurants, Rustico has the best access to parking IMO.

As for the barstools, they pass the short & tall persons test - HV & Laniloa could almost reach the footrails and the four guys I work with who range in the 6' 2" range sit in them as frequently as possible. The footrail along the bar went in yesterday (with hooks under the countertop for the ladies!).

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One can only hope that a place that plans on serving so much beer would be open in time for St. Patrick's day and that the opeining would be announed through a leaflet operation in the townhouse complex right behind the establishment.

I was at Mackey's downtown on K Street for St. Patty's Day many moons ago - the first day they opened their doors to the public. It was a nightmare of epic proportions to say the least. What do you expect, you say...you were at an Irish bar on St. Patty's Day?! Yes, but the bartenders were drowning, servers were flailing and you sat there feeling 100x sorrier for them than you would on a normal "in the weeds up to our necks" kind of St. Patty's Day. They were most likely prepared for a normal or even a slightly busy night, but why throw them to the wolves on their debut outting?

That said, Rustico will be opening our doors for the general public starting this Saturday, March 18th for dinner service only. Lunch will follow in a few weeks, as will take out service.

Bon Adventure!

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Sorry - the bar is opening on Saturday as well.  Since we aren't doing lunch for the first couple of weeks, the bar will open daily around 5(ish).

Just to give a heads up, Rustico's bar will be open this evening with very little dining room seating available. The menu for this evening will consist of soups, salads and pizzas to give the kitchen one more nite of training. The restaurant will open with a partial menu on Sunday the 19th with a full menu available on Tuesday nite the 21st.

Sorry for the hick-up.

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Just to give a heads up, Rustico's bar will be open this evening with very little dining room seating available.  The menu for this evening will consist of soups, salads and pizzas to give the kitchen one more nite of training.  The restaurant will open with a partial menu on Sunday the 19th with a full menu available on Tuesday nite the 21st.

Sorry for the hick-up.

That's a big 10-4. We did 120 covers last night at Rustico (very smoothly, I may add) and seriously depleted our prepped food items. We will be prepping all day today to get ready for Sunday's big opening night, but can still offer salads and pizzas for those who were already counting on coming in tonight.

I hope some of you still plan on popping in for a beer, at least!

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That's a big 10-4.  We did 120 covers last night at Rustico (very smoothly, I may add) and seriously depleted our prepped food items.  We will be prepping all day today to get ready for Sunday's big opening night, but can still offer salads and pizzas for those who were already counting on coming in tonight.

I hope some of you still plan on popping in for a beer, at least!

Congratulations to Rustico. Mr. MV and I will be sure to visit soon!

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I knew I sold my old house on Bernard Street too soon!  This would have been so nice to have had back then, since the only other dining option was a ridiculously bad bbq place.  Oh, well.

Now, the Dixie Pig (in it's youth) wasn't really a bad BBQ place at all...once it was sold...well..... <_<
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The "soft opening" continues tonight with a good part of our regular dinner menu available. We finished off the first firkin of real ale on the beer engine at a pretty good clip, so tonight's real ale with be New River Pale Ale.

I'll be around the restaurant a good bit this week, so if you come in, please introduce yourself! <_<

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The "soft opening" continues tonight with a good part of our regular dinner menu available.  We finished off the first firkin of real ale on the beer engine at a pretty good clip, so tonight's real ale with be New River Pale Ale. 

I'll be around the restaurant a good bit this week, so if you come in, please introduce yourself!  <_<

We were there last night but didn't see you (or if we did, we didn't realize it). Not our last visit by a longshot however.
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We were there last night but didn't see you (or if we did, we didn't realize it). Not our last visit by a longshot however.

Sorry I missed you, Escoffier. My flight back to town was a bit delayed, so I didn't get back to the restaurant in time to say hello to you & Grover. I look forward to meeting you on the next visit!

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