My restaurant reviews slowed down significantly when we lived in Maryland because there were no good places near by, now that we live in Alexandria I’m getting back into the habit of going out to fun places and taking pictures.
A few weeks ago on a particularly sunny and warm Sunday my friend and I met for brunch at Rustico, I’ve heard some really good things about it and was excited to give it a try. We weren’t sold on any of the available entrees and decided to share a few small plates and each got a small salad.
One of the reviews that I read stated that the service was exceptional so imagine our surprise when everything we ordered came out at the same time. Not only did it have a hard time fitting on our small table, but it added a sense of rushing to the meal. I would understand this more if the restaurant was bustling with a long line, but it was half empty.
My friend ordered the Boston Bibb Salad that was made with gala apples, granola, white cheddar, cider vinaigrette. It was a delicious and light salad filled with bright flavors that were great on the palate.
I chose the pear wedge salad over iceberg with mustard vinaigrette and topped with walnuts and blue cheese. As you can tell by the picture, the salad dressing was thick and the pears were completely immersed with the pears. If the dressing were a little lighter this would have been a fantastic salad. As it is, it was overpowering and made it hard to enjoy the salad. I was only able to eat half of the salad before I gave up.
We were both intrigued by the sweet potato skins stuffed with scrambled eggs, goat cheese fondue, scallions and bacon. I had such high hopes for this dish, but it was just ok. not a craveworthy, need to order again.
My favorite dish of the day was (not surprisingly) the sausage slider sandwiches. The biscuits were buttery, flakey and delicious. I only wish that the portion of sausage and egg were switched. Otherwise these were super tasty and a great end to the meal.
We were both slowing down by the time we got to the carrot hummus with lamb and pita bread. The pita was delicious and soft, but the hummus was bland. The only way to get a good mix of flavors was to make sure that all of the components were included in each bite. We each took a few bites and then I let my friend take home the leftovers.
Overall, I was disappointed by this experience. Maybe we ordered wrong or showed up on an off day but I’m going to try out different restaurants before I come back. I would like to note that the wedge salad that I ordered is no longer on the menu, I also noticed that the carrot hummus was displayed differently, with more lamb. So it does seem like they are cutting out less successful dishes.
Thankfully, my next restaurant visit was a lot better, but more on that next week.