Rustico - Ballston
As of 1/1/22, all Neighborhood Restaurant Group restaurants will be requiring proof of vaccination for all guests dining indoors. Please be prepared to present a physical vaccination card, photo of your card, or show proof of vaccination on an approved vaccine tracker app. We thank you for your understanding and for assisting us in keeping our staff and patrons safe!
Dining Room Reservation at Rustico Ballston
Multiple dates availableOur outdoor patio and bar seating are first come, first serve, but we will happily guarantee you seating indoors in our dining room!
- Common areas deep cleaned daily
- Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
- Waitstaff wear masks
- Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
- Staff is vaccinated
- Proof of vaccination required to dine indoors
romaine, pecorino romano, puffed rice
Baked Feta Dip
marinated feta, pita bread
lamb ragu, feta cheese
Good place to eat
Food was good but what made the experience terrible was the service. I read reviews about this before coming in so I’m not too surprised. When we got to the host stand, we didn’t even receive an acknowledgment or a “we will be with you shortly”. Multiple servers stared at us & didn’t take action. When we finally were greeted, we sat ourselves (would have been nice to know this before waiting). Once we sat down we realized multiple lights were out in the establishment. Makes me think the owners just don’t care about keeping up with the place. We waited for a few minutes and were unaware that a server was going to wait on us until he stopped us in the middle of the QR code order….another thing that would have been nice to know!! The food was good-but not sure if it’s worth the money to return. Sad because all of these issues are an easy fix by the owner/management!
Danielle, I'm sorry that this was your experience with us; it's true that we've had similar issues in the past that have come up in reviews, and we have been working with our team to grow out of the experiences specifically like what was detailed in your review, as well as working on our space to make it look it's best. Given more time and practice, we look forward to being much better than what we were that day. Enjoy the holidays, and we hope to see you in the New Year!
Used to go to Rustico a decent amount - the service was never amazing but the food was solid and they often had availability. Now the service is horrible - we were served by someone who clearly had not been trained at all and he was massively short staffed (not his fault). Our drinks took about 25 minutes to come out and they forgot a few in our group we eventually had to start going to the bar to get drinks after that because our waiter wouldn’t come around. It took forever for them to take our order and finally when the food came out they completely forgot one of our entrees. The burger, which was always a go-to has a stale bun. This was my first time coming back post-pandemic so I hope this is not the new norm.
This place felt like a Noodle & Company trying to disguise itself as a high-end restaurant. Food was decent but kind of overpriced. You don't get a dedicated waiter, you order your food on your phone and whichever table runners are available will bring the food to your table. Most of them were friendly, but some of them were rude. The décor is nice but the small table tops, uncomfortable chairs, and tile flooring seem cheap and out of place. I wouldn't go to this place for a special occasion.
Always a good "go to". I love the idea of ordering online but the login in process is pretty onerous.
Not a fan of ordering on a phone but the food was so good. Music in the dining room was much too loud.
I can’t really judge too fairly because we were outside under the tent. It was loud but the dogs barking constantly next to me didn’t help . The inside seems nice with low lighting which I like. I would think they would have a pavilion outside instead of a tent, but if it works lol.
Food is delicious, but the new ordering from the QR code isn’t great. There is absolutely no other service (no one checking on you, filling water, etc.), which really impacts the experience.
We started off a very special evening (returning to the Kennedy Center after 20 months) with a dinner for four at Rustico. You exceeded expectations! The server was friendly, funny, and efficient. The food came quickly and was delicious. The atmosphere was perfect. We can't wait to go back to Rustico again!
The food (burger and fries) were delicious. BUT at noon on a weekday with the place empty, service was soooo slow. In addition, there was no mustard or tabasco in the whole restaurant! Seems odd. Otherwise, was great.
Good food and outdoor eating option. The picnic style tables are very narrow so for 5 of us it was kind of tight with apps etc on the table but it works out fine.
This was our first meal at Rustico. Nice seating on a balmy Saturday in October. Service very good but restaurant wasn't busy. Food was eh! We won't be back.
The order online, tipping, the service, it all seemed convenient for the staff but not for me as the customer.
We had an outstanding experience at Rustico. We celebrated a birthday and our party of four all ordered different items. Without exception the food was excellent. The service was fast and we ate outside. The prices were reasonable and we had such a great meal! Thank you for making the birthday special!
Understand the challenges of COVID but the online menu and ordering that Rustico has is unlike any other restaurant I’ve been to abs is quite off putting. Came for brunch but left because of it. If I have to order online like that I’ll just stay home and use door dash since the experience is basically the same if not worse.
I complete dislike the new system. Order on your phone, pay and tip as you go. You want glass of wine gotta pay and tip. You then order a beer..pay and tip.
Not once did any server come up to us after seating us.
I have to tip before experiencing any service or tasting any food or drink.
Good luck guys.
Once you get used to the QRcode ordering it is very efficient and I liked eating outside under the tent in the rain. Very decent and they are trying hard.
Unlike other restaurants in the DC Metro area, Rustico has not brought back its wait staff. This is probably why the restaurant is empty and the normal vibe and appeal is gone. You arrive to your table with a stack of appetizer plates and silverware piled on top. Someone placed 7 glasses of warm water on the table and that was the last help we received. We had to use our phones to pull up the menu (not an issue), and we had to buy (and tip) upon deciding on an appetizer. Then again for drinks. Then again for dinner. Then for the next round of drinks. So you come home to 5 charges, including tips to who knows who, because we didn't have a server. The food was excellent, as usual, but we're not coming back until it's back to normal.
staff was absolutely awesome - as was the food
Great selection and delicious food! Also dog friendly outside!
Solid beer selection and great thin crust pizza. Ordering app could be improved by allowing you to run a tab. Right now you have to pay after each part of your order.
I love Rustico but the new ordering platform was a disappointment. I generally like the phone ordering applications but at a nicer place I would rather have full service.
Chris was an amazing waiter!
Food is awesome, ambiance is nice. The no contact service is odd. You scan you're QR code for the table and order from the website which is fine but if you're in a group it makes this weird as you have to coordinate when you're ordering with everyone at the table. Things come out of the kitchen as they are ready. You even have to let your server know when to refill your water. I know its a covid thing, but it makes the restaurant feel more fast casual.
Apps required to order sucks.
No waiter/waitress service sucks.
Understanding that it is difficult for restaurants to hire staff during this difficult time, our service was slow. However, our server let us know this in advance, so we were not surprised. That being said, the food quality and amount were great for the price. I will definitely return!
TL;DR The food was good but the drinks sucked.
We got a basic Margherita pizza with a side of cauliflower tots. It was out fast and tasted good. But the drinks were awful. The old fashioned tasted like sugar water and the beers were HORRIBLY poured. It was really just our server I think who clearly shouldn’t be working the bar (we sat at the bar on a casual Monday evening so it was pretty quiet in the restaurant). They were all too foamy and it took him three tries to pour one beer that’s how much foam was happening.
They're hanging on by just a thread. They only had two people working the front of the house - host and bar tender. There are no servers; you must order through their app. They could only afford to air condition the building down to about 80 degrees, which is uncomfortably warm. The only saving grace was the kitchen; the quality of their food was still pretty good. So sad to see this place go.
Food was fine. Ordering process was poor at best. No more waiters. Ordered from QR code. Had to order and pay every time we wanted something else. Felt like counter service with restaurant prices and the expectation of a 20% tip. Won’t be next soon. Bring back the waiters.
Pizza and Tomato soup are wonderful. They use San Marzano tomatoes, which are outstanding. The hummus was not so good - watery and not very flavorful. The celery, carrots and pita that came with it were very good, however.
I absolutely loved eating at this restaurant. I liked how we had to order online, and then our food was brought directly to our table, rather then having a waiter take your order. The service was excellent, our waiter was very nice and accommodating to our requests. Ambiance is great. Didn’t have to wait long at all for our food, it came out very quickly which we loved. Food was absolutely delicious, truffle fries and steak were to die for - as well as the tots. Highly highly highly recommend this restaurant. Definitely coming back
Sadly, this restaurant has changed a great deal. No
Sat outdoors and loved the tent layout and web-ordering process. Everything was really quick even though it wasn't traditional wait staff. Margharitaville pizza was so delicious that we ordered 2 more pizzas and between 2 of us, ate all 3. No true dry Rosé bottles, but there are so many great options. Cannot wait to go back soon!
We had a very nice lunch. Food was good, and service was very good. We were a group of senior citizens, some of whom were not equipped to use the QCR, but they wait staff were very accommodating. And the outdoor seating area was very pleasant.
Perhaps there's a shortage of waiters, but resented having to go on line to order and once the order was received, I never saw the waiter. We were never able to refresh our drinks.
As always, Rustico was great. We sat outside, which was nice. Our dishes were delicious! Highly recommend the mushroom bruschetta and dates wrapped in bacon for appetizers. The short rib ragu over pappardelle was heavenly as was the gnocchi. The service was very attentive and prompt. We had a great time.
Food was great, and the staff was very friendly. BUT, I hope they go back to having waitstaff in lieu of the computer ordering system. Very impersonal, and it detracts heavily from the experience.
Not worth going during covid precautions. You have no server, you have to order online on your phone and pay online too. If you have any questions about the menu there’s no one to answer and impossible to make any alterations to dishes. I wanted to order a Moscow mule and upgrade the vodka to Tito’s so it would be gluten free (I have an allergy) and I finally flagged down a staff member and was told the cocktails are pre made so no alterations can be made. Very limited cocktail/drink menu and apparently it’s all pre made so not worth it in my opinion. Food was just ok and the menu is ok but they had much better options pre covid. Won’t go back until they go back to the way it used to be.
Made reservations, sat outside, service was good, food/drink were quick and tasty. Will definitely return.
What a strange experience. Not a lot of device- everything done by app; couldn’t ask about serving sizes, taste, wine. The food was good, but maybe I’m just too old to go to a restaurant without waiters. It was weird
Rustico - Ballston does offer delivery in partnership with Uber Eats and Unknown. Rustico - Ballston also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (571) 384-1820.
Rustico - Ballston is rated 4.1 stars by 1123 OpenTable diners.
Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.