La Rustica is suitably named, the Italian restaurant has a warm rustic feel, as if you could be eating this Italian cuisine in the country side of Tuscany. La Rustica isn't in Tuscany, it is in Kingston, a short drive from Capitol Hill and close to the Canberra CBD. With a range of authentic, tasty, Italian meals, La Rustica is worth a visit.
Inside there is a warm yellow glow, which gives the restaurant a cosy feel. While there are plenty of tables inside, it doesn't feel cramped or too noisy. If you prefer some fresh air you can sit outside in the shaded and covered al fresco dining area. There are wind shades and heaters, so even in winter you'll stay comfortable outside. Inside, adding to the rustic feel, colourful plates are weaved into the wall, and wine racks sit stocked.
The wine list has a good selection of whites and reds, there are predominately Australian wines, with many from the South Australian wine regions, of course their is also a selection of Italian wines. La Rustica also have a fully stocked bar, so if you're after something a bit harder they can set you up as well.
The food tastes authentic, and is all delicious. To start you can choose between crispy fresh breads like bruschetta, focaccia or garlic bread, and then also select between a range of seafood, dips and antipasto. Seafood is very popular on the menu, La Rustica take Australia's delicious seafood offerings and combine them with rich Italian flavours.
You can choose to dine on salads, pasta, risotto, pizza, or some of the tempting mains like the Scaloppini Gamberi, veal and tiger prawns with shallots and garlic, sautéed in a creamy white wine sauce. There is also the Albacchio Alla Aceto Balsaminco, grilled lamb cutlets marinated in chilli, garlic, and rosemary, and finished in a red wine balsamic jus. While you browse the menu you can also get a chance to brush up on your Italian.
The pizzas all use Italian inspired toppings, you won't find any tandoori chicken pizzas on this menu. While some restaurants claim their Italian status just because they sell a lot of pasta and pizza, La Rustica feels just about as Italian as you can get. The staff are warm and friendly, and they are a family restaurant, so kids are welcome.
The meals are reasonably priced, there is nothing over $30, so you won't blow the bank with a visit to La Rustica. Their entire menu, excluding the specials, is available online so you can have a browse before you visit. They also offer BYO, with a $3 corkage. So head to La Rustica, its a much cheaper trip to Italy.