Just like it's name suggests, the food and its presentation has that home-made, hearty quality of a family dinner in a simple, modern restaurant interior.
The restaurant was large enough to accommodate our unannounced party of ten on a Tuesday night (not recommended though – book first!). Shoutout to our waiter, who was cheerful and obliging.
Our Chicken Pesto Penne pasta dish was one of my favourites. Creamy, subtle sauce and the pine nuts gave a lovely, punctuating bit of texture.
I have to mention it though – we found a small silver screw at the bottom in our Chicken Pesto Penne pasta dish just as we were finishing up the dish. The waiter apologised to us and offered us a free replacement of the dish. I'm fairly sure it's an isolated incident and the waiter was quick to respond to the situation, which we appreciated.
The flavours were great on the Rustica pizza – lots of cheese and a vivid tomato sauce and colourful with greens and mushrooms. They were fairly sparing with the bacon toppings though.
The pizza bases were all a thin crust, which lessens the richness of the toppings and left you feeling satisfied but not too guilty and weighed down with fat or calories.
The modern side of Italian cuisine manifests itself in the lamb and potato pizza, featuring an unexpected combination of textures - you don't expect the starchy, round potato slices to be cutting through the cheese and crispy base but, surprisingly, it works quite well.
The lamb flavour was extremely interesting, but we were left slightly wanting as every slice only featured maybe two or three little clumps of lamb.
I personally didn't try the beef lasagne but, according to my dining companions, it's generally what you would expect from a traditional beef lasagne - stuffed generously with mince, cheese and tomato sauce
If you're a little stuck for ideas for dinner during a cold night out with a huge group of friends, a quiet restaurant and a good range of familiar Italian foods is not such a bad idea.