Rustico - Ballston

Rustico - Ballston

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.rusticorestaurant.com/
  • Phone: 5713841820x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Brunch: Saturday - Sunday: 11:00am - 3:00pm; Lunch: Tuesday - Friday: 11:30am - 3:00pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:30pm - 11:00pm Happy Hour: Sunday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 7:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American
  • Executive Chef: Alissa Jeffery
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Smoking Area, Smoking Area (patio only), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Randolph
  • Public Transit: Ballston-MU Metrorail station;# ART routes serving Ballston- * ART 41 * ART 42 * ART 51 * ART 52 * ART 53 * ART 62 Metrobus routes serving Ballston, * 1BCDEFZ * 2ABCG * 10B * 22A * 23AC * 25A,C,D * 25B * 38B
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: On Street - Metered, Pay Garage located under building. Entrance off Randolph Street.
A word from Rustico - Ballston
Rustico is the quintessential neighborhood pub in the heart of Ballston in Arlington, Virginia. The menu features seasonal, hearty American fare from a wood-fired oven and grill, including pizzas and rotisserie meats, along with other rustic cuisine using the freshest local ingredients available. There"s also no mistaking Rustico's love for barley & hops! The bar's focal point is a custom galvanized bar with 40 brilliant taps book-ended by two massive coolers holding more than 400 different types of ales, lagers, ciders and stouts.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Rustico - Ballston reviews from OpenTable diners
155 reviews since June 2, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4.1
    Service3.9
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (67)great for outdoor dining (52)good for groups (50)fit for foodies (47)great for lunch (43)vibrant bar scene (30)great for brunch (27)hot spot (23)special occasion (21)kid-friendly (20)notable wine list (11)romantic (9)late-night find (7)scenic view (2)Show More
  • Business
    JLSfromMississippi
    Dined on 6/4/2014
    Good location and excellent service. Pizza is great.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bar/Open Seating
    DiningDiva
    Dined on 6/2/2014
    When we arrived, the hostess suggested sitting in the open seating by the bar area that was first come/first serve. It wasn't packed at all so I'm not sure why she suggested it, but we did-- and overall the service in that section is substantially slower than the seating area. There were not that many people in the restaurant at all (even in the open seating) and it still took a while for someone to come over to our table. Overall the food was great, and the service improved, but it should match the dining area.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 113 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 2, 2014
    • Overall Rating4
    • Food4.1
    • Ambiance3.9
    • Service3.9
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 469 reviews are from the Rustico - Ballston reviews archive.
  • Perfect for dinning w Pets
    luv2dinewithpet
    Dined on 6/1/2014
    Very accommodating for those who have pets- great outdoor seating - food was fabulous- french toast a must!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice variety drinks and good food
    DaveG21
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    The wide spectrum of beer and wine was terrific. A connoisseur of either beverage would be delighted. The food was pretty good. My girlfriend has a gluten allergy and deeply enjoyed the gluten free pizza she ordered. I as well ordered a gluten free pizza ,which I think was the wrong choice for my pallet, but the toppings were delicious. Would absolutely return to the restaurant to try another pizza which would not be gluten free the second time around. All around a pleasant experience
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great everything!
    HBearVIP
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    You should try the donuts and the biscuit sliders EVERY time you go to Rustico. Great selection, great taste, and great location. Check it out!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice lunch time spot
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    Me and a friend met up for some food and drink on a Saturday afternoon. The service was great, outdoor seating awesome and we enjoyed some clever appetizers and good food.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Best Pizza in DC area!
    CorsicanDinerVIP
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    You have tried all the pizza outlets in the DC area... Rustico trumps them all for pizza for BOTH the crust and the ingredients!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always good food and great beer
    DebMVIP
    Dined on 5/27/2014
    We've visited Rustico many times and are never disappointed. The pizzas are always great and the beer list a big hit. This time I had the ravioli which was superb. My only issue, and the only reason for downgrading, was the noise level. Though our group of 6 had a table in the farthest section of the restaurant away from the bar, we had to bend way over into the table to hear each other - even those of us facing each other. Otherwise, we love it and are sure to return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Everything as it should be
    HBearVIP
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    Rustico is a great spot for a not-cheap, but not-too-expensive night out. Their food options are excellent. Everything is fresh and the presentation is very appealing. Highly recommend for brunch or a date spot.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Average
    Ashley
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    Literally just average. Two of our items came out cold, and one of the appetizers was so hard and cold I honestly think it had been there for a while. I ordered a full salad but it was so small I think the half size might have been larger. I also had to send it back because it was doused in dressing and there was dressing on the side and our waitress kind of argued with me. I've had great meals here before, so I think it was just an off night. Stick to the pizza.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 2 stars at best
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    I was very underwhelmed with Rustico. We ordered a flight of beer and appetizers at the same time. The appetizers arrived prior to the beer. Then we ordered 2 pizzas. I ordered a beer, and my husband said he would order a glass of wine when the pizza came. The waiter brought the wine menu. The pizzas came, but no one came back for the wine order. The pizzas were left and nothing was cleared from the table-the empty flight and 2 appetizer plates. The gluten free pizza came warm at best (nothing near hot) and frankly you can get a better gluten free crust at Lost Dog. As a matter of fact you can get a better all around meal, with a great beer selection and good service at Lost Dog for half the price!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great pizza!
    pyo4f
    Dined on 5/19/2014
    Love the pizza here. Always delicious. Server was nice, but brisk. We had a group of gals getting together for a birthday. Setting was perfect!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed
    goodfoodseeker
    Dined on 5/19/2014
    I took a client there (my first time) and was disappointed. The food was fair at best (salmon sandwich - thin and burnt on edges). I have crossed this off my list for any future client meetings. I may try again (alone) to see if I just hit a bad day or if this is the norm.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Suds-tantial beer menu
    Thirstyman
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    Rustico is a good restaurant for craft beer lovers. I recommend it especially if your group has divergent tastes. Their extensive draft menu provides multiple options in most beer styles. When I visit it's usually about the beer, so I just order snack food or pizza to accompany it. Never disappointed.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Graduation Brunch
    rbsure
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    I was looking for a restaurant in Ballston for a group of 12 for brunch after my graduation ceremony. Rustico came highly recommended and I agree. The food was great with wonderful service. I would definitely be going back to for lunch and dinner.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I made a reservation for a reason
    confused
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    The food was great, the beer list was extensive, and the service we received once we were seated was good. However, when you make a reservation, you expect to have a table upon arrival, right? Well, the hostess informed us when we arrived just a couple minutes early for our reservation that there were a few tables wrapping up, and it should be no more than a 25 minute wait. That was the entire reason we had a reservation: so we wouldn't have to wait a half hour to eat. When we asked what had happened to our reservation, she didn't really have an answer for us and she ended up shooing some people out of a booth in the bar area and seating us there. It was a strange experience.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Rough start but great ending
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    Arrived with a reservation that was not honored. Had to wait for at least 20 minutes to be seated. Hostess said the first round of drinks was on her -- my choice of wine was not available and her promise was not reflected in the final bill anyway. The only thing I enjoyed was the rhubarb dessert, which was absolutely delicious.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Beer List, Great Pizza
    foodie131
    Dined on 5/14/2014
    It's a little on the expensive side, but if you're looking for a great night of food, you can't do much better. They have a very good happy hour too, but arrive with time to spare as you can't always find seating in the bar area.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Food and Service
    Buster
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    Visited as a last minute Mother's Day brunch . . . mushroom scramble, french toast, and sausage biscuit sliders were great. Katie P. was our server - - she was friendly, knowledgable about the food and beer offerings, and very attentive to our table. Looking forward to our next visit.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great experience!
    brunchgals
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    very tall, dark, and handsome waiter. we will be back ;)
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Brunch
    pina
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    My sister and I took our mom out to brunch here for mother's day. All the food was great! The biscuit sliders and doughnuts are highly recommended.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Really loud inside
    wendfishVIP
    Dined on 5/8/2014
    When we arrived , it was so loud that we couldn't even hear the hostess. Tons of people were in the bar for the special beer tap takeover & NFL draft. We had indicated on our reservation that we wanted to sit outside, but were told we'd have to wait 45-60 more minutes to sit there (i.e. 9pm). We didn't want to wait that long & my friend is hard of hearing, so we were in a quandary. The hostess informed us that we could try to get a seat on the front patio, so we did that. The patio was directly in the line of the smokers, a bit busy, and the waiter (we only saw 1) was having a hard time keeping up. He did a good job, regardless; and the beer/food are good, so those were the saving grace.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Rustico - worth the wait
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 5/8/2014
    Rustico has become a mainstay for entertaining my sales team when they gather at our offices in Arlington, VA. The food always is excellent, correctly proportioned, and attractive on the plate. The service is outstanding. Rustico has an excellent beer selection, a good wine selection and unique food offerings that break from the ubiquitous fare in most chain eateries nearby.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • ccalderonm
    Dined on 5/7/2014
    Great craft beer selection. Solid pizzas and tasty appetizers.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Beware the Chicken
    KeepCookingThatChicken
    Dined on 5/6/2014
    I ordered a pizzza with chicken and nearly choked when I tasted the clearly reheated leftover scraps they had used to decorate the pizza. It was nasty. Luckily, they replaced the pizza with a delicious Pepperoni pizza w/ red peppers. I'm not a huge fan of crispy crust, but if that's not an issue for you, then you will love it. My gf ordered the rainbow trout and loved it. Also, the pretzel bites are like crack. If you're hungry, get one order for each person because you won't want to share. Oh and we sat outside next to an area that is apparently a "dog park for kids" as my gf calls it. Depending on the weather and time, you may have to dine with dozens of screaming kids running around just feet from you. Then again, kids are cute.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice Lunch
    Late2Lunch
    Dined on 5/4/2014
    Had a very nice experience at lunch - the food was good and served promptly, the service was solid and the prices were reasonable. Thanks!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fresh, high quality food!
    NoVAFoodieVIP
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    Rustico never disappoints. Whether I'm getting a burger or a mushroom/spinach omelette, the food always tastes fresh and local. According to the waitress their beef is grass fed, food is farmed with organic practices, etc - you can taste the difference. The service is also top notch. Try their deep fried deviled eggs!
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Fit For Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Loud, poor service
    BallstonChica
    Dined on 5/2/2014
    Service was harried and slap dash. Server couldn't hear our questions or orders (and it wasn't even that loud.) My food was mediocre at best. After dinner, "only drip coffee served" so why bother? Not a good value.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Charming and jumping
    speedyg
    Dined on 4/30/2014
    Great wait staff, good eclectic food, efficient, reservation spot on
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, special occasion, Late-Night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • a cool neighborhood gem
    beegVIP
    Dined on 4/29/2014
    fit for all ages and with food for everybody if you don't want to eat pizza. best part is the service which was superb. A must try if you are in Ballston.
    Special Features:
    Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Pleasant experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    Everything was a solid "good" about our experience. Several of us had the trout, which was said to be excellent. The pizza ordered at our table was good, but looked and tasted as if it had been slapped together in a hurry and the sauce and toppings were uneven. Our server was friendly, but it is clear servers have too many tables to manage at once, especially when there are groups of diners. Still, our server was very patient at helping us to choose different beers. Our feeling is that Rustico can do a better job of not making everything seem so rushed. It is in a great location and feels very friendly, but there is a fine line between a bustling, energetic restaurant and one which is scrambling to keep up, even in food preparation.
    Special Features:
    Kid-Friendly, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • lovely dinner
    mona
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    Hostess Dora accommodated my request for a booth as opposed to a table between the service station and cash register. Waiter Christian was great - wasn't peeved or impatient when my friend & I took a long time to order. He also didn't mind that we "parked" long after we finished dessert so that my friend and I could catch up. I find the venue rather loud - it's a very "live" space and sound bounces off the walls & high ceilings, so the booth was great. Food: Love, love love the rissotto tots & spicy aioli and s'mores cheesecake is worth the price of admission. The pizza unfortunately was disappointing. Rather soggy, and uninspiring & anchovies overwhelmed all the other toppings (but anchovies can do that). Overall a 4 out of 5 experience.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great service
    Seth24VIP
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    We've come to expect great pizza from Rustico, but other dishes like the trout were excellent, too. The beer list is well curated, with some unique brews on tap and cask. But this time the service was the standout. Our server Katie was patient, attentive, and very helpful with everything. Truly exceptional service that you would expect at a much higher-end restaurant. A rarity.
    Special Features:
    Kid-Friendly, Fit For Foodies, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Great for lunch
    EleanorM
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    Always a great place for lunch. Some innovative ways of preparing classics. Restaurant will stay on our regular list!
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Service
    Luvgr8servc
    Dined on 4/11/2014
    Everything was great. Except some of is stepped out through the open patio doors to smoke and a waiter rudely came out and shut them grumblimg about the smoke. No apologies or asking us to move (It was raining). I ordered the steak and asked for steak sauce. I got steak minus the normal glaze and just got the sauce on the side. It was very dry. Also, when the bill came, we split it on some credit cards and gave the rest in cash. Our waiter billed the cards but didn't bring back any change, which gave him more of a tip on top of the 20% that was already included due to our large party. We didn't say anything but it was definitely noticed. Other than our particular service, I guess it was good overall.
    Special Features:
    Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Late-Night Find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Terrible Burgers
    erin
    Dined on 4/8/2014
    My husband I both ordered a burger and were both very disappointed. The burger looked great but after taking a few bites the burger was full of grisle and couldn't be eaten. I left most of it on my plate and ate the fries.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good place for group brunch
    FoodieLauren
    Dined on 4/6/2014
    Rustico was a great place for a ladies brunch! They wee able to accommodate a group of 7 easily and we had plenty of room and great service. The food was very good and the donuts were to die for a perfect way to start our meal together!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • As good as advertised
    HBearVIP
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    The brunch menu has a variety of small starter options, salads (half/whole), and brunch entrees. The menu is contained on one page, with enough offerings to be accommodating and appealing, but not so many to be busy and distracting. The service was incredibly pleasant. We were attended by a young girl who was apparently sharing with us her first day on the job, and she was wonderful. If she didn't know something, she was quick to engage a more senior staff member to be sure we'd be happy. The food was fresh, visually appealing, and delicious. We tried the biscuit sliders, the salted beet salad, the butternut squash salad, the mushroom flatbread, and the pork hash. Everything was perfect.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Terrible service.
    kr5162
    Dined on 4/4/2014
    Waitress was rude and not nice or attentive at all. They want you in and out as fast as possible. Order or go to Pupatella in Ballston. The pizza is BETTER and CHEAPER. They were out of a ton of wine due to a busy happy hour, so it wasn't even worth coming for the drinks. I'll never come back here.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Gourmet pizza, great beer, fun
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 4/3/2014
    I went here not really excited to go to a pizza place. But I was quickly intrigued by a pizza with a summer squash purée and fresh spinach leaves. I also got a beet salad. And a really uniques beer. Went with 5 other people and we all enjoyed ourselves.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.