• Anyone want to share some reviews/feedback on Rustico? How does it compare to other local pizza places, like Fireworks?

    • OX4

      Fireworks is a chain.

    • mehoo

      It’s not just a pizza joint. Some of the food is really good and some just okay.
      Beer is what that place is all about, and that’s fine by me.

  • D. Winstein

    Their food in general is not great. I can’t recall worse pizza. Beer selection is outstanding but the bartenders don’t seem to appreciate the patrons.

    • DudeGuy

      I agree. Their beer selection is amazing. Their food is OK if not above average. I have never been to Fireworks so I cannot compare.

      • LP

        Agree with D. Winstein and DudeGuy.

        Fireworks, is awesome. Much better food, pretty good beer selection and a caring and attentive staff.

        • Tabby

          Fireworks–good pizza, good beer and wine selections, very nice/cool staff.

  • CW

    I would not go here for pizza. I enjoyed their “real” food. The appetizers in particular were good – mussels with sweet potato puree and chorizo, as well as carrot hummus with lots of seasoned ground lamb. They have a ton of beers, that goes without saying.

    One unique thing about Rustico was that it is by far the darkest restaurant I’ve ever eaten in, seriously. When I was there, the table next to me was using their cell phones to illuminate their menus!!

    • JamesE

      I was completely satisfied by that hummus+lamb and numerous beers

  • QPGirl

    The food isn’t bad, but it’s expensive for the quality. Fireworks is better.

  • steve

    you go for the beer. i had a great burger there though.

    • Can you smoke?

      • DudeGuy

        Is this a serious question? No you can’t smoke in the restaurant.

        • Maria

          Not serious. See steve’s many other posts.

  • bennynojets

    I am surprised to hear about people’s bad experiences with food. I have had a delicious pork shank and a very good burger there.

    I agree with the comments good beer selection and the less than enthusiastic bartenders.

  • meh..

    How does one enjoy the spring sunshine at night??? lol
    Rustico is the bees knees…

  • SB

    Their french fries tossed in ranch – on their appetizer menu – was amazing. Especially with beer. I don’t remember what the pizza was like, so that can give you an idea it wasn’t spectacular.

  • ET

    I’ve been to Rustico twice (once for beers, and once for beers and food) and that was more than enough. The beer selection is vast, but the prices are outlandish and the service indifferent. I’d rather travel to its sister-bar in Logan Circle, Churchkey, to have a slightly better selection and way more enthusiastic purveyors. The food at Rustico was just okay, but better than average for Ballston.

    Fireworks is one of my favorite local joints on the Wilson corridor. It’s unpretentious, the pizza is delicious (9 out of 10 times), and the beer selection is vast, regularly rotated, and CHEAP! I mean like 1990’s cheap. For example, I had a semi-rare bottled Belgian beer at Rustico for $10. Pricey, but expected at Rustico. At Fireworks two days later, I found the same beer on tap (only place in DC as far as I know), and they were pulling a pint at $5.50.

    • CW

      Rustico doesn’t advertise its happy hour openly, but it runs every day from 4-7 and knocks a couple bucks off the price of drafts. It brought it down into the realm of “reasonable” in my mind.

  • Tre

    Fireworks has a great atmosphere, but American Flatbread had much better pizza in my opinion. Oh well.

    • mehoo

      I just tried Fireworks and it was great.

  • CW

    Better idea than any mentioned thus far: buy a 4-pack of delirium and a large papa johns…20 bucks…done.

    • MC 703


  • NomNom

    I have been disappointed with the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, especially its’ places in Virginia. I have yet to try Birch and Barley, and I believe its chef won Best New Chef – Mid-Atlanic by Food & Wine, but with that exception its presence in Alexandria, Del Ray and now Arlington is lackluster.

    I would also say Fireworks’ pizza is disappointing. There meatball sub was good though and I would agree with the beer selection.

    • +1 on the pizza being a -1. I’d much rather have a slice of Goodys.

    • Anon

      +1 Fireworks pizza sucks.

    • mehoo

      Arlingtonians are spoiled ingrates.

    • Tabby

      Your spelling is disappointing.

  • AI

    Fireworks has better pizza, especially their $5 pizzas during happy hour. The happy hour beers at Fireworks are good, but the wine and sangria are below average.

    Rustico has great happy hour beers and good french fries and hummus, but I was not impressed by the pizza.

  • Matt

    I’ve been twice and both times the pizza was good and the beer selection gave me plenty to think about and enjoy. If I had to punt a few of the new pizzerias, I’d keep this one.

  • Local

    Fireworks pizza is better. Rustico’s was super salty.

  • Agent Michael Scarn

    I live next to this place and have spent many, many evenings/nights here. I find the pizza to be great (usually get the pepperoni/sausage, or similar) and the other food I’ve tried (burgers, salads, fries, soups) have been great, too. They also had a buffalo chicken thing in a bread bowl for a while (available at the bar), and it was fantastic. The beer selection is hard to beat. It’s expensive, but totally within the normal DC/NoVA price range.

    As for the service, I’ve always had excellent service. Maybe I’ve been friendly with them, and that helps. I’m really surprised to see some of the negative reviews here– frankly, the place is ALWAYS packed– even on Monday nights.

    • GoldenFace

      I’m coming after you Scarn!


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