189 Middlesex Avenue
chester, CT 06412Neighborhood:
ItalianPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Dining
- Phone: 8605269021x
- 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 WinnerBest Overall
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
Rustica Ristorante - Best Restaurants in Chester ›
Rustica Ristorante reviews from OpenTable diners
103 reviews since May 5, 2014
- Ambiance3.9Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (64)neighborhood gem (55)special occasion (49)notable wine list (37)romantic (24)good for groups (12)vibrant bar scene (10)hot spot (8)great for lunch (8)late-night find (5)kid-friendly (3)scenic view (2)great for brunch (1)Show More
- 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.
- 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.
- Lovely Anniversary Dinner!CTdineoutDined on 8/2/2014My wife and I went to Rustica Ristorante to celebrate our anniversary and had a wonderful meal. We just recently returned from a two week trip to Italy and it felt like we were right back there!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- great experiencehuskyhoopsDined on 8/2/2014owners were very pleasant, food was homemade and terrific, owners could possibly introduce some wines that are moderately priced - overall a great experience and would return - owners acted liked we were the only ones in the restaurant - great jobSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- uh ohbobsVIPDined on 7/31/2014so we dined for the 5th time. owners were not present. The waiter took our order, got one of us wrong. Had to bring it back and get a new one. 10 minutes later it was served, correctly, the partners dinner was served ....again.....dry, overcooked. Ok a slip up, it happens, but t will be monitored closely
- Eat before you goLanceDined on 7/31/2014Although the food was generally quite good, the portions are so ridiculously small that you must either eat home before you go to Rustica or plan on having something at home after dining there. Considering its pricing, it's definitely not worth the money. Are salad greens and pasta so outrageously expensive that they must be rationed out in so miserly a fashion or is it a hallmark of fine dining or some "nouvelle" trend that each course should consist of only two forkfuls? Come on, give me a break! This emperor has NO clothes. I will never be back.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 7/30/2014A wonderful find! If you did not know you were in Chester, CT you would have thought you came across a wonderful trattoria in Italy. Great assortment of selections for appetizers, primi and secondi dishes. Quality of ingredients is excellent. Dishes are delicious! Owners and staff make you feel welcome and the wine list offers diverse choices from various regions in Italy.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- very good with potential for greatOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 7/29/2014very authentic italian atmosphere with good ambiance and comfort. Food was good but not great. Serevice was OK. Manager was very attentive but waitress was not so much. Great wine list and appetizers. overall a good experience. Will go again.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2005Dined on 7/26/2014Enjoyed the experience! Rustica was highly recommended. As we drove up, I had my doubts, but once inside, I quickly changed my mind. The owners were on hand and very involved, at our table to help and explain. Nice, easy, comfortable conversation, just like in Italy. Specialty drinks were creative and good. We ordered soft shell crab & pork chops, not exactly Italian specialties. They were good but I bet the pasta dishes would have been fabulous. They smelled delicious. Next time.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 7/26/2014Rustica Ristorante is one of the best restaurants in Connecticut! It could hold its own among New York City's best. Four of us, foodies all, dined on a busy Saturday evening after attending a performance at Goodspeed. Despite the full house, it was not noisy, and we never felt rushed or neglected. The owner and his wife, not just the waiter, stopped by our table to ask how everything was. A nice touch that I haven't experienced in many local restaurants. We all ordered something different, and everything was excellent, from appetizers to desserts, which are so good I had to take one home. I look forward to returning and have already mentioned the restaurant to friends as place not to be missed.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Rustica - Great findDD06419Dined on 7/20/2014Four of us went for dinner after a show at Ivoryton Theater. We all had a great meal, beginning with the appetizers. We shared an order of the baked eggplant and an order of cantaloupe with prosciutto. The sauce on the eggplant was very good, and the cantaloupe was nice and sweet. Two of us had the lobster/crab ravioli and they said it was delicious, one had the linguine with clams and said it was great, and I had the half roasted chicken with rosemary and other herbs and it was moist and very good. We had a couple of desserts and enjoyed them all. I especially enjoyed the flourless chocolate cake, but the biscotti was also very good. We would definitely go back again and would recommend anyone to try it, but make reservations.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Creative ItalianHappydinerDined on 7/20/2014We are savoring the memory of the pre-theater meal we had on Sunday. From the warm welcome we received through to the spectacular desserts, we were enchanted. The owners / chef are proud rather than pretentious and their pride and love of food is reflected in the menu and atmosphere. We'll be back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Rustica RestoranteoutodineDined on 7/16/2014This was our first visit to this restaurant. Based on the reviews we had high expectations. We were not disappointed. The staff was extremely welcoming as was the owner who made a visit to all of the tables. The quality of the food was outstanding. If you are used to large portions and often take food home then this restaurant is not for you. The portions are certainly adequate but the emphasis is on quality, not quantity.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- glazedonutVIPDined on 7/12/2014We dined there with friends and the food was fabulous.. great fresh pasta's and delicious appetizers.. Not the best scenery or location, as there is not much around there.. However, we will be back for sureI would recommend this to a friend.
- Saturday Night @ Rustica RistoranteOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 7/12/2014This was our second visit, the first being shortly after Rustica opened, and our experience was markedly better this second time. Our party of six enjoyed wonderful food, and we were very well attended to. Only "issue" with the space is the acoustics, and this was a problem at the establishments prior to Rustica also. The noise level when the restaurant is busy, as it was Saturday night, made it difficult to hear the person sitting across from me, let alone on the other end of our rectangular table.Special Features:
- YummmmmmmmOpenTable Diner Since 2012VIPDined on 7/12/2014We were treated like family, and cleaned our plates as any good Italian dinner guest would! Can't wait to go back!Special Features:
- great quality but small portionsgooseroffDined on 7/9/2014Excellent quality food but for pasta dishes there should be more pasta. They're charging $25 a meal but using about 40 cents worth of flour and eggs, keep the protein amount the same but give me 80 cents worth of pasta.Special Features:
- food friendlybobsVIPDined on 7/8/2014They give both...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................I dont need 50 charactersSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Second time as good as firstMarioCDined on 7/3/2014This was the second time we went to Rustica for dinner and we loved it as much as the first time. Food and service were excellent. It doesn't get much better than this!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great pre-theatre dinnerDrDonDined on 7/3/2014We had a great meal at Rustica before seeing "Fiddler on the Roof" at the Goodspeed Opera House in nearby East Haddam. The show was fabulous, and so was the dinner. Nino is a great host, and makes everyone comfortable. The wines are quite good and the food is authentic Italian. My wife loves the lamb chops and I am partial to the seafood. The deserts are also excellent; I especially enjoyed the olive oil lemon cake. The restaurant is convenient to both Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam and Goodspeed's experimental theatre, Norma Terris, in Chester.Special Features:
- Excellent mealJoannedDined on 7/2/2014We were with friends for a pre theater dinner. The dinners were wonderful. Pasta is cooked perfectly. Love the personalize treatment from owner to every guest!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Wonderful EveningmorningstarDined on 6/27/2014I went to Rustica with a few friends this week and found it to have very attentive staff. The decor is fun, and modern, but welcoming. A little bit noisy. The food ranged from very good to exceptional. We shared a few Antipasti dishes and especially enjoyed the baked asparagus and the stuffed zucchini flowers. I highly recommend these treats. I had the pasta dish with shrimp, and zucchini- which was fresh and delicious! I changed out the pasta from Scialatelli to Pappardelle it was nicely seasoned, al dente. And we shared the most wonderful dessert- orange cake with olive oil a fresh strawberry and a dollup whipped cream...YUMMY! it was simply divine! We all agreed to return! Go and mangia!Special Features:
- GREAT ITALIAN!thomasoDined on 6/26/2014This new Chester restaurant is the best in this area in years. It easily ranks with Liv's and River Tavern as a best place to go. This is run by a real Italian family who know Italian food and execute it beautifully. The wine list is extensive and is filled with Italian regional gems at very reasonable prices. Service is impeccable, like being welcomed into a gracious home. The noise level is a bit high, mostly from the sounds of people having so much fun.Special Features:
- A bit of Italy in Chester CTTableTomDined on 6/21/2014Set in a modest building along MIddlesex Avenue, Rustica Ristorante is a remarkable bit of authentic Italy in the town of Chester. From the greeting at the door to the farwell as you leave, the guest is made to feel that he or she is in a Tuscan restaurant, complete with an attentive Italian family to assure that you have a fine dining experience. Don't look for heavy tomatoe sauce based fare - though you will find some. Rather, this is fine Italian dining which displays a chef's creativity, worthy of a better restaurant in Florence or Rome. Well worth the trip after a night at the Goodspeed, or a drive from Hartford or New Haven. As the web site says, "you will be planning your return visit before you leave". You will!Special Features:
- ffbobsVIPDined on 6/19/2014when the food is great and the service is friendly, it is a friendly food spot. This rates as the best.Special Features:
- NT16Dined on 6/15/2014Excellent Italian food, very pleasing to the eye as well. Nice atmosphere. Need larger tables.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- 'Proper' ItalianGingerDined on 6/14/2014If you are looking for authentic Italian (not eggplant or chicken Parmesan), this is the place for you. The food is well prepared, full of flavor and portion sizes are perfect. Since moving to the North East of the US, I found I lost my taste for Italian food..all cheesy and piled to high bowls of pasta...Not any more. This is now my go to place to enjoy Italian food the way it should be.Special Features:
- Well worth a visitChowiferousDined on 6/14/2014Tired of the pretension of Chester village dining? Try Rustica. Delicious Italian dishes served at reasonable prices. Service is friendly and attentive (sometimes maybe a bit TOO attentive). Try to avoid the bar area, though, where the backless stools are very uncomfortable.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 6/13/2014It doesn't get any better than this. Owners are gracious and friendly.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 6/8/2014Food and Service was outstanding. Cute bar, but there was a private party going on which was a little loud. Would definitely go back and encourage people to try. They will not be disappointed!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- SteveDined on 6/7/2014We went to a show nearby and this place was recommended and we were so very pleased with it. The food was above average. The service was attentive and pleasant. The owner/manager was friendly and knew we were going to the show so he made sure we were waited on promptly. This is a little gem in the Ct. River valley. From outside it doesn't look like much at all but quite nice and contemporary inside and once again, all our meals were excellent. Chester, Ct. has a number of excellent restaurants to recommend. This is another.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A New Favorite!ChopinandCosmoGirlDined on 6/7/2014We passed by Rustica Ristorante a few times on our way into Chester and decided to give it a try last week before a show at the Goodspeed. What a fantastic experience we had from start to finish. The menu changes often because they strive to offer the best in season ingredients. From the appetizers (baked asparagus with prosciutto and calamari) to our mains (fresh made ravioli and seared halibut) to the desserts (an almond chocolate torte with vanilla gelato) the food was perfect. Top that off with a nice selection of wines and a relaxing, unhurried meal it was the perfect start to an amazing evening. The owner made us feel at home and we can't wait to go back. Looking forward to our return trip.Special Features:
- Good northern ItalianOTLongTimeMemberVIPDined on 6/7/2014Dining options are limited in this area so this is a good choice if you are going to Goodspeed. White tablecloths, good attentive service, homemade pasta. Menu only had 4 non-pasta choices. All the tables were full on a Saturday @ 6 pm.