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 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Monday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm Happy Hour: Every day 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.
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Rustico - Ballston reviews from OpenTable diners
155 reviews since July 3, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4
    Service3.8
  • Ambiance3.8
    Noise LevelModerate
87% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (63)good for groups (55)great for outdoor dining (49)fit for foodies (45)great for lunch (37)vibrant bar scene (37)hot spot (25)great for brunch (22)special occasion (20)kid-friendly (13)notable wine list (13)romantic (13)late-night find (9)scenic view (3)Show More
  • Great place
    tapas
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    I went here for my Birthday with my family, and it was a great experience. Just do not sit by the window. The AC came on, and we froze!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Use OpenTable or Wait
    ArlDiner
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    We approached the hostess asking for a table for two. The stated '55 minute' wait changed to 5 minutes once we stepped outside and booked on OpenTable. I wish I could say the food and ambiance were as great as the look on her face when we said that we did in fact have a reservation and asked to be seated immediately. Who knew that Rustico has a back room lacking ambiance next to the kitchen. We do now! Avoid this drab square room in favor of the front area near bar for a better dining experience. Food was good (beet salad was a standout) but not memorable. Service was good, but the number of tables assigned to our waiter made for an inattentive dining experience. Payment arrangements were, as always, handled quickly. Isn't that typical?
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Gluten Free Goodness
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    My husband is really into craft beers, but I am gluten-free, so sometimes finding a common bar/restaurant is difficult. The beer selection here is extensive, including several gluten free options (though I went with wine). Much of the menu is gluten free though, including a yummy chick pea pizza crust! It's a great restaurant for us both to enjoy ourselves!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • nice vegetarian options
    Sheri
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    It can be difficult to find a place to feed carnivores and vegetarians. Rustico did both well.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • tasty pizzas
    Lhos86
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    I dined here as a double date. The food was good and had some unique options. We had the risotto tots for a stater and they were delicious. For the main course we shared 3 pizzas which was the perfect amount. They have a very extensive bottled beer list. Overall a satisfactory dining experience and I would like to go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious as usual
    LilyVIP
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    First time at the Ballston location, love going to the one in Del Ray. Ambiance here is nicer, larger location, but still loud and energetic
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    We decided to sit outside and the waiter never came to take our order. We had to go get someone to even give us a menu. All the service was very slow but the food was delicious. So I would go back and sit inside where maybe they can see us.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A night off at the Rustico
    lv3dine
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    I hope this was only a one night off. My husband and I have been to Rustico in Ballston many times and were always very happy with the food. This last time everything was off. The Caesar Salad tasted old, the leaves were limb. The Pizza dough was still raw. When I sent it back the same Pizza returned burnt on the top and still raw at the bottom.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good service and good food
    2BlueYamVIP
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    We were quickly seated and were quickly given water while we decided on our beverage and menu selections. The they have a wide varity of beer available, while the wines by the glass were limited. My salad was made with nice fresh ingredients, but the dressing was not to my taste. My sausage pizza was very good, and my dining partners ravioli was well prepared and quite tasty. We will be back.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Went twice in 4 days
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    We liked it so much we went back for more 4 days later. Great craft beer selection. Trout was outstanding as was the pizza. Loved it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    It was not the best one. For some of us this was the first time visit and the food took a long time, when it came out it was not correct, not ones but twice. Of course third was the charm. We had to rush to eat and some folks could not finish since they had meetings to go back to.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good but not well-stocked
    cupcakeVIP
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    What I ordered was great, but before 8:30pm they'd already run out of 2 items on the menu! If you want to skip the excessive noise, go during the day for lunch and order the deviled eggs and ravioli, which are divine.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • We will be back!
    AmyfromOakton
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    Great all around and we will return soon. Enjoyed food, service, location, etc.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Busy, but good
    jid963
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    Went for brunch on a beautiful Sunday morning. It seemed like they were a bit understaffed, but beyond that everything was great. Our server was clearly over worked, but in general very good. Things took longer than they should have, as a result, but it was a function of too many tables, not an inattentive waitress. Food was delicious, and well priced.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Food good, service bad
    mandjginsbergVIP
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    We ate outside on the sidewalk and it took over an hour for our 2 pizzas to be delivered to the table. Hopefully the service indoors is more reliable. Food is good and the Beer list is amazing.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good Casual Dining
    caw3
    Dined on 9/24/2014
    Rustico Ballston is a great place to meet up with friends for a casual dinner after work. The service is exceptional and the food is very good.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • more than just pizza
    editnala
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    Great for pizza and beer, but the grilled rainbow trout was a fantastic alternative. The burgers are flavorful. The carrot hummus and fried green tomatoes are interesting starters. We loved being able to sit outdoors on a warm evening, but the bar-height tables are a bit wobbly.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Triple Play
    ArlDadVIP
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Poor service, fatty food, and mistakes on the order. Honestly, it was just terrible - which was surprising since we had been a few times about two years ago & remember it as being much better. Something bad has happened since!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Great meal for a bar
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    This place is about 50% restaurant, 50% bar. That said, the food was good, service was good and they do a decent job of separating the bar scene from the diners. Server was very knowledgeable about the wine & beer menu - no small feat. The whole was better than the sum of it's parts....
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent Service
    DittyVIP
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    Excellent service. I have some special desires for my pizzas and they accomodate me, no problem.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Just ok.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    I really want to love Rustico but every time we have been, the service has been terrible. For a group of 5 on a slow Thursday night, we were annoyed that our waitress disappeared for long stretches of time. Water glasses not refilled until I asked - one of the basics of foodservice that should never be overlooked. My first empty wine glass sat on the table from the time I finished through dessert, until I pointedly gave it to one of the bussers (the waitress even brought me a new glass mid-meal, and still didn't clear the old one away). The appetizer fries were lukewarm and soggy, and tasted like they had been sitting in old grease. Also, every time I eat at Rustico I either wake up with a massive headache or an upset stomach. Every time.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great beer selection!
    OpieX
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    Had a great time the other night. Comfortable place to have dinner and conversation. You can actually speak at a normal level and the beer selection is fantastic!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Loud but great food.
    Muffy8025
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    Great food and beer choices. Would have liked a few more wine choices though. Our service was only OK. We felt rushed to order both appetizers and main course, and then felt a little neglected once we received our food. It was too noisy to carry on any kind of substantive conversation.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Evening
    Honestly
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    warm atmosphere inside, but there is also a patio - under the trees next to a fountain - good for relaxing and people watching
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great lunch deal
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    I've only been to Rustico for lunch. I enjoy the $15 "lunch box" which gives you a starter, salad and 1/2 sandwich and non-alcoholic beverage. Sat at a booth in the bar area in this August afternoon and was given the time and space to have a longer "visit" with an out of town friend while we enjoyed the beet salad, bibbsalad and salmon BLT -- all with freshness and fine flavorings.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great visit
    Leigh
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Another great visit at Rustico in Ballston. My friend is very food picky and the waiter was awesome about bringing her ridiculously specialized food. Always a go-to place to bring out of towners!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not my cup of tea
    WandaVIP
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    I had heard that it was a bit noisy here - and that was right. The food was also okay, not awful but nothing I would run back for. They clearly cater to a younger noisier crowd.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food & service!
    Toast444
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    Was impressed....again!!! Mushroom pizza, pretzel bites, mussels with dunking bread, all with great service and at a reasonable price. My mother n' laws 86th birthday was a success and your Resturant was her first choice. Bravo!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • foodloverVIP
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    Great service even as the evening went on and the place grow somewhat crowdede- roasted chicken was a tad bit dry (breast and leg) but had great flavor. Other meals were outstanding.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great restaurant
    Barbara
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    Rustico is always a great place to go for dinner with family or friends. The food is sleds great, prices reasonable and it's not a chain .
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amanda
    Amanda
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    Rustico is one of my favorite restaurants in Ballston. Last week when I went, I was torn between the special which was gnocchi and the mushroom goat cheese pizza. My waitress made my decision much easier when she told me she could add fresh goat cheese to the gnocchi dish. I was thrilled! Great food and great service.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great As Usual!
    kmurr
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    Cannot get enough of that Carrot Hummus! Fried Green Tomatoes were excellent, as well! Had scallops and that was yummy!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Two words: Damn. Tasty.
    finntastik
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    Rustico seems to hit just the right balance between casual/fun and classy/refined, which makes for an ideal after work dining experience. It can get a bit loud inside the restaurant, but that just adds to the energy of the place; and the food is really great. I took a date there, during which my date was in the process of making her triumphant return from the Dark Side of vegetarianism (j/k veggie and vegan folk--love you guys!), and we both got the house burger. I really enjoyed mine--I would definitely consider it to be well-above-average as far as restaurant burgers go; cooked just to the right temperature medium-rare. For her part, my date's mind was blown away by such a quality re-entry into burgerdom. She kinda loved it. Thanks, guys!
    Special Features:
    special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nice setting, food is average
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    We were excited to try the grilled caesar and the pork pizza but neither was impressive -- salad was sort of soggy and blah and the béchamel on the pizza was not great. The trout was pretty good though! Service started out fine but slowed down/disappeared. Overall just average. Probably will give it another try but not hurrying back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Repeat Visit Very Next Day
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 7/14/2014
    The pizza was so delicious that I went back the very next day and ordered the same dish. I highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • kettsishunger
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    I came right at 11 when they opened on Sunday and was seated right away. Our server was very attentive with refilling our water. I had the baguette french toast which was amazing. We did not receive our check until we requested it, but I believe our server did not want us to feel rushed, as the restaurant was not even a third full and we were having a lengthy conversation. The server was incredibly polite and very perceptive, I wish I would have caught her name because I would like to be seated with her again.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not so good
    Diner
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Ordered risotto tots for an appetizer and they weren't very good. Entree was fine. Restaurant didn't seem to be climate controlled and made eating a hot meal uncomfortable. Also has a root beer that was poured into a warm glass without ice, not refreshing.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • laurVIP
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    food very good and innovative. Will keep coming back
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food, atmosphere, price
    Anonymous
    Dined on 7/9/2014
    Great atmosphere and the pizzas are all delicious. I recommend trying the baked potato pizza. Prices are very reasonable and they have a very long list of beers on tap.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food and great lunch location
    AnginVA
    Dined on 7/9/2014
    We enjoyed our first visit to Rustico Ballston. The food was fresh, well presented and very vegetarian friendly. The atmosphere was conducive for a business meeting. We really enjoyed the restaurant and will be there again soon.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.