189 Middlesex Avenue
chester, CT 06412Neighborhood:
ItalianPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Dining
- Phone: (860) 526-9021
- Hours of Operation:
Lunch Tue-Fri 12 to 2.30PM
Dinner Tue-Sun 5PM to 10PM
- Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Italian
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Special Events: We are closed for lunch but will open for private events only for parties of 6 or more.
A word from Rustica Ristorante
Authentic Italian Food!!!Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerItalian
Rustica Ristorante - Best Restaurants in Chester ›
Rustica Ristorante reviews from OpenTable diners
91 reviews since July 29, 2014
- Ambiance3.9Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (62)neighborhood gem (47)special occasion (43)notable wine list (36)romantic (18)good for groups (15)hot spot (13)vibrant bar scene (10)kid-friendly (5)late-night find (2)scenic view (1)great for brunch (1)great for lunch (1)Show More
- Hearty authentic Italian food and feelingMGfromWHDined on 11/19/2014Felt like I was at one of my relatives houses for dinner. Fresh pastas and some new ideas with a friendly accomadying attitude make this a really great place, can't wait to get back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Found our new favorite place!!MoTaMulDined on 11/15/2014Moving from South FL to CT has made finding loyal restaurants difficult, coming from such a great restaurant scene. This place is fantastic! The food is delicious, the environment is positive, the owners are hands on and conversational. So happy to have found this place in our area!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fine Italian restaurantDanAgudoDined on 11/15/2014Rustica lived up to the Very Good NYTimes review, which led us there, and which I recommend reading. The Risotto was a standout, as was the surprising sliced Brussels Sprouts with a bit of lemon and sliced cheese. Artichoke appetizer also very good. Pasta superb. Nice Sauvignon Blanc for $36/bottle. Very friendly family atmosphere service, though one in our party thought it too much. The rest of us enjoyed it. Atmosphere is understated but very tasteful. On Saturday night the restaurant was full, so reservations suggested. Google Maps mislead us by 1/4 mile and wrong last turn, so check with restaurant or use other GPS until it gets fixed, which the co-owner said she would do soon.. It's located in a simple small shopping center and visible from the road. Very handy en route to Goodspeed.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Never DisappointedDonDonVIPDined on 11/13/2014We have to travel an hour to dine here, but after 4 times doing so, we are never disappointed. Appetizers are great, salmon and sea bass were wonderfully prepared and presented. Looking forward to our 5th visit.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good FoodEddiedDined on 11/6/2014Food was excellent, very well priced wine menu with good value. Service was a bit slow, but very friendly. Pasta dish was excellent.Special Features:
- Fabulous!morningstarDined on 11/6/2014I recently had dinner at Rustica with a friend. We both enjoyed every part of our experience at Rustica. The decor is upscale but not formal or stuffy. The services was prompt and friendly. The food was exceptionally good. I loved that one can order half portions of the pasta dishes. I had a smaller portion of the fettucine carbonara...fantastico! And the salad was crisp and fresh. Bread is wonderful! Definitely a area restaurant I will be frequenting. Don't miss it- delicious evening!Special Features:
- What a findLuluDined on 10/29/2014Theater night in Chester had us looking for a nearby restaurant. What a find. Homemade Butternut Squash Ravioli and a dessert made by the owner...a whipped cheesecake was fabulous. We told them we were going to see a play and they made sure that the food and wine was served in a timely manner. We will be back!Special Features:
- Worth dining Here!DandPVIPDined on 10/25/2014Vibrant dinner scene in this upscale restaurant. Attentive service, well plated and attractive dishes, and innovative menu choices. Food pairings excellent and wine selections outstanidng.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- consistentbobsVIPDined on 10/23/2014The food here is consistently very good. A local treasureSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- WonderfulVIPDined on 10/19/2014Have been here many times and always love the food. This time I tried the veal chop. A nice thick veal chop is my favorite special meal and very hard to find. The rustica veal chop did not disappoint. It was so tasty and perfect. We were a party of 6 and we all left happySpecial Features:
- Good choiceOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 10/18/2014We chose this for a romantic evening with healthy food options. Not disappointed.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 10/18/2014The food at Rustica Ristorante was delicious, as always. One sign of a good restaurant is its policy for handling a dish that is disappointing. Two of us ordered the cream of mushroom soup and were disappointed in the flavor and consistency. I told our waitress that we didn't care for the soup and would like to order a different appetizer, but that I would be happy to pay for the soup, as well, since there was nothing really wrong with it, just our preference. She had the authority to tell me that that wouldn't be necessary and that she would bring us the new appetizers. There was no conferring with the owners, who were present, nor any questioning. She told me she would also mention it to the chef. I can't wait to return.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 10/11/2014We love going to see Nino and his staff, they are warm and friendly and the food is always wonderful..we have taken many friends with us and they also have returned many times....we hope they will be there for many years.......fibberSpecial Features:
- Another great meal......CarolMDined on 10/11/2014We had not been to Rustica for almost six months. We need to go more often. Wonderful, attentive service; great food; warm atmosphere. Only negative was that i probably should have ordered the same entree as my husband (black bass). His was outstanding. My tuna was great too. He had the grilled calamari for an appetizer. A different preparation than he had had before, but he loved it. And i have my favorite--shaved brussel sprouts with lemon curd and the best Parmesan cheese. My husband had raspberry sorbet for desert. Made with yellow raspberries. Excellent. Just enough sweet with a little tart. YUM! If you have not been to Rustica, go. You will not be disappointed; we expect you will be thrilled.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A DIAMOND in the Rough!joytotheworldDined on 10/10/2014Rustica is the real deal when it comes to AUTHENTIC Italian food! My husband and I frequent Rustica often and have always left with happy tummies! From appetizers to dessert, the food is out of this world! And the owners Nino and Juliana treat all guests like family. I highly recommend Rustica, but be certain to call ahead for a reservation otherwise you will most likely not get in.Special Features:
- CamkDined on 10/8/2014Nice touch with Wednesday night botttle wine discount.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Italian in Chester, CTfoodsnobDined on 10/8/2014Rustica was recommended by the local ceramic shop. The saleslady raved about it and we were not disappointed. We we greeted at the door by the wife of one of the owners and made to feel right at home. The owner seated us and wine soon followed. The food was delicious. A fixed price offering is available Tuesday-Thursday and on Tuesday bottles of wine are 30% discounted. We didn't realize this but it was appreciated. The atmosphere is casual but elegant, the service great and the food delicious. \Special Features:
- Perfect Anniversary restaurantFactorDined on 10/5/2014Quiet, comfortable and sophisticated, we thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Rustica. We were celebrating our 24th wedding anniversary and this was the perfect spot. We were greeted warmly at the door, escorted to a quiet table in the corner and attended to immediately. Service was good, although maybe a little too attentive to topping off our water glasses. The food was exquisite! We will definitely recommend this place to our friends, family, and anyone who will listen.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- SlooooowGfmklDined on 10/4/2014We were seated promptly, received water and menus promptly, but had a slightly long wait before server took our order. However, the food did not arrive for forty- five minutes after the order was taken, despite being told by the owner that it "would be right out". Sadly, this lack of timely service took the edge off what would otherwise have been a very good dinner.Special Features:
- Missed Nino & JuliannaMicksterVIPDined on 10/1/2014We are never disappointed with the food or service at Rustica but it was our first time dining there when the beautiful Juliana and the vibrant host Nino weren't present. It wasn't till now did we realize they were what completes the experience we so enjoyed because they just have a special way of making you feel like you're family and very important. And we are not. See you next time. No offense to our host that evening and waitstaff. You did a fine job.
- Conflicted. Good food bad attitude.CTFoodieDined on 9/27/2014Good food, took forever, very aloof response when we questioned where our food was. Let me clarify. This was our first time at this restaurant, hence being conflicted. We were greeted warmly despite being 15 min late. Nino the owner and his wife were very pleasant and our server Lupe was a doll. The appetizers arrived quickly. The calamari and burrata were delicious, the tuna was bland. Then came our main dishes...or rather they didn't come for almost 2 hrs. Starved after 1.5 hrs we nicely questioned the wife, only to be told bluntly there were only 2 chefs cooking tonight, which was apparently our problem as there was no apology, offer of a drink on the house, nothing. Finally, pasta was delicious, lamb too rare. Not sure will return.
- Excellent Italian,unexpected localeCTluvsgoodfoodDined on 9/13/2014Rustica is an excellent Italian restaurant. Family run and it's evident from the moment you walk in. I loved the fig with goat cheese app. Wonderful combo of favors. Homemade pastas with flavorful sauces not too spicy or garlicky. Why do most mediocre Italian restaurants think Italian food deserves lots of garlic and oregano? Not this one! Service was a bit slow on a very busy Saturday night and it's loud. Decor a bit stark. But if you want good food you can overlook it. Overall excellent and we will be back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food!LooieDined on 9/13/2014Great food waiter had a hard time with English. Will go back soonSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- LexieDined on 9/12/2014The food and service was wonderful. Niño and Julianna take very good care of you!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Do yourself a favorDonDonVIPDined on 9/12/2014If you are in the CT route 9 area, Chester CT area or plan to take in a show at the Goodspeed Opera House, don't miss this cuisine gem of a restaurant. Appetizers are phenomenal, entrees to die for and the service superb.Special Features:
- Great Italian in ChesterCsquareVIPDined on 9/9/2014Food is excellent. Location is convenient(minutes from Goodspeed, for example). Good lighting. Contemporary design. Wonderful service. Nothing fusty about this place. Not inexpensive but worth it.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 9/6/2014We had a great meal with great service. Everyone was very friendly. We had Martinis and they were wonderful! We had a reservation so we had a table within 5 minutes. This was a fun, busy place. We will be back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great foodOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 9/6/2014Dinner was fantastic and a bit pricey, but noise level was over the top and too many tables for the area. Not the spot for an intimate dinner. The staff was efficient and very cordial.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 9/6/2014very positive energy in room; delicious food; great serviceSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- poor planningOpenTable Diner Since 2003VIPDined on 9/5/2014Visiting from out-of-state and we were pleasantly surprised by the high quality of the preparation -- though choices are limited. However, waitstaff was overwhelmed when busy. We arrived at 6:30 on a Friday and were served promptly and well; but the restaurant filled completely at 7:00 and a second glass of wine did not arrive for 10 minutes (after entrees were finished) and it took another 10 minutes to get our check. It appeared that the kitchen was keeping up; but can't speak to preparation quality under pressure. Still, would give 3-1/2 stars if I could. Advice is: Don't go at peak times.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good food, way too loudPaulDined on 8/30/2014We went on a Saturday night, which might explain the noise problem and some of the service issues. We are sure that this dining room was never so loud when it was Lupo. Maybe it was never so full of diners back then! The menu is traditional Italian, you take liberties with traditional preparations at your own risk around here, so nothing especially creative is available. But the food is well prepared. Courses arrived on time, hot, and properly seasoned. Perhaps they were short staffed on our night, as we had to chase someone down to get our check, and the owner rescued a wine order that had been forgotten. All in all OK, but the noise level is a problem.
- Pleasant surprise!TrudyDined on 8/30/2014The level of food was better than I expected. Creative, delicious, cooked perfectly. I had the grilled calamari which was drizzled with balsamic. For the main course I has soft shell crabs which were sautéed & served with vegetables. My husband enjoyed the Brussels sprout salad & the rack of lamb. Everything was superb.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- revisit Italyluv2eatDined on 8/23/2014Excellent food .... reminiscent of our past trips to Italy. The fresh pasta is just that...FRESH...delicious....homemade. The owners are friendly, warm & engaging people. We will definitely return.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A delicious surpriseBantamDined on 8/23/2014I did not know about this restaurant until I read a review last Saturday. What a great discovery! The food was perhaps the best Italian food that I have ever had. It was superbly prepared arriving at the table hot and fresh. The portion sizes were just right, and the service could not have been nicer. No doubt that we will be back soon!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 8/20/2014This was the second time I dined at Rustica Ristorante in three weeks. The house-made ravioli and fettuccine Bolognese are ethereal. Even though the restaurant does not mention half orders of pasta as an appetize, all you have to do is ask, and I definitely suggest asking. Cafe Rustica is more than willing to accommodate special requests, e.g., three of our party had vitello milanese, accompanied by a salad; however, one wanted no garlic in the salad, another, no onion, and the third, a different dressing altogether. Each order was prepared perfectly.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Italian GemthomasoDined on 8/15/2014We are lucky to have a restaurant of this quality in Chester. Two young families are putting love and care into Rustica and it shows. The food is authentic, the menu interesting and the service, while often busy, is warm and attentive. The wine list here is sensational. It is filled with Italian regional gems at very reasonable prices. The creator/s of this list knew what they were doing and invested time and thought into assembling it. I would go just for the wine, but happily, there is so much more.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Sophisticated Italian cuisinePicassoDined on 8/15/2014Food selection and preparation is very good. Owner is friendly and visits every table. Staff needs some improvement. Our waiter could not answer any of our simple questions about the food or wine...was nervous and fumbling. The person clearing our table was too anxious and hovering. The gnocchi and other freshly made pastas are fantastic. We will go back, but we will request a better table no so close to the kitchen.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Never DisappointedMark9Dined on 8/14/2014Second time and once again, very good. The owner recognized us from our first time there many months ago which was nice. Food, wine and drink outstanding. The pre fix is especially nice as you get to enjoy more in serving sizes that are appropriate. And the quality for the money (not expensive) is terrific. Definitely on the list for when we are in the area.Special Features:
- Will be backMarioCDined on 8/8/2014This was our third visit. Food and service have been consistently excellent.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A buona serra!rizmareDined on 8/2/2014Our server seemed a bit overwhelmed but very polite and apologetic. The food was outstanding, from beginning to end. We had a Goat Cheese stuffed Figs appetizer, Brussel Sprouts salad and Lobster Ravioli and Eggplant Parmigiana for dinner. So fresh, and delicate. Portions on the petite side which was more to my husbands dislike than mine. Nice wine list---overall a definite spot to return to.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.