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Permanently Closed - Rustico Pizzeria - A Zarletti Restaurant

4.1
151 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Fit for Foodies

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About

This restaurant is permanently closed.

Escape to Italy when visiting the Rustico Pizzeria. This authentic eatery specializes in Tuscan delights, with a stunning riverfront patio offering some of the best views in Milwaukee. Located on scenic Water Street, Rustico Pizzeria's patio has been one of the city's favorite spots for a hearty slice, as well as entrees, appetizers and a popular weekend brunch. The menu features a wide variety of dishes, including wood-fired pizzas, baked pastas, homemade meatballs, sandwiches and savory appetizers, such as fried olives and the best Arancini around.

Rustico Pizzeria has a full bar, offering craft cocktails, beer and wine to complement selections.

Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Italian, Pizzeria
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Hours of operation


Lunch & Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 11:00am - 10:00pm

Friday & Saturday: 11:00am - 12:00am

Sunday: Brunch from 11:00am-2:00pm 11:00am - 9:00pm
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Phone number
(414) 220-9933
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Brian C. Zarletti
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Chicago
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Parking details
Street parking is ample in the Third Ward and there are also several public parking lots and parking structures available.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Delivery, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 151 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.1based on all time ratings
4.2
food
4.1
service
4.1
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined on June 18, 2016

First time here and the food was great. Had the Apple Gorgonzola pizza and cheese bread. Service was outstanding. Waitress even helped with directions and Milwaukee recommendations.

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5.0Dined on June 16, 2016

We gathered here with two other couples. We had not been together for years - maybe 25! We had a wonderful experience mid week in the early evening. I am so happy Rustico was suggested. We will be back.

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4.0Dined on June 3, 2016

Great ambiance. Excellent food and service. Very near theater or a great place from which to stroll the riverwalk. People watching from the outside deck.

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3.0Dined on May 28, 2016

The middle of our crispy pizza was unfortunately limp and soggy and the crust itself was flavorless. We asked for Parmesan cheese to sprinkle over the top of our pizza but never got it.

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5.0Dined on May 20, 2016

The pizza menu is unique and fabulous. Unfortunately, are group only had room for four choices. We must return!

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5.0Dined on May 20, 2016

Still my favorite neighborhood pizza place. Hands down the best pizza in the Third Ward. Wish my diet could allow me to eat here every meal.

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5.0Dined on April 25, 2016

Great experience at Rustico! We went for a friend's birthday and it was a great time. Gluten free food was great! I am a severe celiac and got both GF pasta and pizza and felt totally fine after it. I can usually tell with just the slightest bit of cross contamination.

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4.0Dined on April 23, 2016

Third time coming here and the experience is great each time. Were enjoying trying different selections on the menu. Anna (pronounced Onna, like the snow princess) is always very down to earth, pleasant and provides great suggestions. The Arancini appetizer is delicious!

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4.0Dined on April 22, 2016

Delicious! So sorry to hear it's closed. I took friends from the Phillipines, and they loved it.

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5.0Dined on April 16, 2016

had some friends in from out of town and this spot hit the spot for all involved! Very yummy apps, and pizza, and entrees!

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3.0Dined on March 12, 2016

Lively and great food! The pizza was great, risotto light and deliscious, and the wine was perfect!

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5.0Dined on March 11, 2016

Every time I dine hear I enjoy my time. It is a great place to enjoy a meal with company. Nothing too fancy, but a great place for good food, good service and a good time.

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4.0Dined on February 26, 2016

Good place for a wide selection of pizzas and beers. They also offer pastas and various daily specials. Very casual atmosphere.

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2.0Dined on February 14, 2016

My fiancé and I visited Rustico for Valentine's Day on a recommendation from his friend. We were excited for a casual dinner in a low lighting restaurant where we could relax with a couple of drinks for a while. It should have tipped us off when every time slot was open for a reservation on Open Table. We arrived promptly at 7:30 and we immediately taken to our table which was pre-laid out with menus and specials which was very nice. Our waitress came to take our drink orders immediately and seemed bothered when we asked for a couple more minutes to look over the beer and wine list. When we did order our drinks, we also ordered an appetizer and pizza for our meal. The bruchetta came out in no time but was definitely nothing to write home about. It was by no means bad; just mediocre. For our entree we ordered a simple margarita pizza. It seems odd to me that a restaurant flaunting it's 'pizzeria' status should serve pizzas bigger than 20 inches in circumference. The pizza itself was good, crunchy thin crust and obviously homemade crushed tomato red sauce. My only disappointment was the lack of cheese. I understand that fresh mozzarella comes in circular slices but if 3 pieces of pizza have no cheese on them, something has gone very wrong.
As we finished our meal, we decided to stay for a drink or two more. Upon clearing our plates, our waitress asked if we would like desert. After hear us debate for a moment and then say no, she promptly told us she would bring our bill. It was obvious she did not want to be there or was trying to go home and rush us out the door. Which is too bad because the atmosphere at Rustico is very nice and warm.
Although I wouldn't return for the service or even the food, it was a nice, quick, quiet meal for Valentine's Day.

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3.0Dined on February 14, 2016

We were here on Valentine's Day. The ravioli was very good, but the portion was small. The service was not very good, as the waitress was short and snippy, and very much rushed us out. From the time we sat to the time our bill was paid was only 25 minutes. At some places this would be good, but we were not looking for fast food, we were looking for a relaxing night out. The noise level was moderate and the feel of the place was warm, and more casual than I would've expected. Overall, it was a nice place but I likely would not return.

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4.0Dined on February 13, 2016

Arrived early in hopes of starting our Valentine's dinner a little early. Even with open tables available we were seated at exact reservation time. Burrata was good. Prosciutto Con Rucola was so so. Toppings were placed on pizza after cooking. That made it hard to eat as prosciutto was "raw." Nice waitress. We'll go back but order something else next time.

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2.0Dined on February 13, 2016

Pizza was disappointing. Came with our 4 kids and were charged an automatic 18% gratuity for our party of 6. Waitress ignored us and took forever to bring our check. I guess she felt she didn't need to give us good service due to the automatic gratuity. We will not return.

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2.0Dined on January 30, 2016

We tried another location for pizza that was recommended, but it was a long wait, so we went to Rustico. I'd heard it has good pizza options. For the price, I would not likely order pizza again, as it was nothing out of this world. In fact, I tipped my slice upside down and watched the oil drip steadily on to my plate. It was average, but we are still in search of the best MKE pizza!

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4.0Dined on January 28, 2016

Server was engaged with us. Explained things nicely. Good recommendations. Aptnosphere was good for my Mom and I. She is older so having something dynamic without drowning out with noise is nice. We had the burrata app. Very nice with the crispy toasts. Had the pear and Gorgonzola pizza. Nice balance of sweet, savory so it was not a dessert by any means. The Pork Chop was wonderful with the brussel sprouts. We will be back

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3.0Dined on January 15, 2016

We (four of us) enjoyed our food. The half-price drinks and apps 4 to6, Friday night, were great.
The pizza was good but I did not care for the sausage. Everything else was good. Service was great and friendly also.

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5.0Dined on January 2, 2016

Always great. Seafood pasta is the best

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5.0Dined on December 11, 2015

Everything was fantastic! Service and and atmosphere were great ! Food was sooooo good and had so much flavor! The Bruschetta was fantastic!

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5.0Dined on December 9, 2015

Really enjoyed the evening with great friends, delicious food and spectacular service! Order the chicken Parmesan, you won't be disappointed! Wine list was great as well. Thank You Rustico, and keep up the good work!!!

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5.0Dined on December 5, 2015

We went to Rustico after the theater. The restaurant was very crowded, but service was fast and efficient. The food was very good. We had the Zarletti pizza, which had sausage and rosemary but no red sauce. I usually want red sauce, but liked the pizza very much. The interior of the restaurant is small, and seating was a little tight. Given the close spacing, it is also a little loud. As far as I'm concerned, that's all fine for a quick pizza.

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5.0Dined on November 14, 2015

Excellent choice in Milwaukee for pizza and pasta!

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5.0Dined on October 24, 2015

The food and drink at Rustico is just plain good. The bartenders are friendly and knowledgeable. The wait staff attentive without being pushy. The fried olives are unusual and very tastey, The Chicken Parm as good or better than any I've had. You need to see for yourself!

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5.0Dined on October 11, 2015

This is a very nice place to eat. The food is great. The service is friendly and professional. My only complaint is this is a gun free zone. By declaring this on your door you are guaranteeing a defenceless customer base should there be an incident in your establishment.

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5.0Dined on October 3, 2015

Although the name includes pizza (and the pizza was fantastic), Rustico also had plenty of other delicious options. I had the four cheese ravioli with pesto and it tasted very good and authentic. I would definitely recommend the butternut squash pizza if the season is right. Also a good idea to make reservations; we avoided a 15-20 minute wait. The waitstaff was very knowledgable and attentive. I will definitely be back.

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5.0Dined on September 26, 2015

We had a group of 5 and had made reservations. We were promptly seated with a choice of table. The waitress was lovely and very personable. Food selections were great (some picky ladies in our group). Ended up ordering 3 different pizzas and they were all exceptional! Easy walking distance to the Bradley Center for a show (the weather was pleasant). Will definitely return.

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4.0Dined on August 29, 2015

This place never lets us down. Great bar and bar tenders, food is fantastic

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4.0Dined on August 12, 2015

Great place on the River Walk that never disappoints. Love bringing out of town guests to this spot w/ the lively boat scene and outdoor dining options. Food is consistently very good.

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5.0Dined on August 8, 2015

We discovered the Third Ward and this wonderful place on a recent trip to Milwaukee. We sat outside and had the Margherita pizza and wine. Lovely, relaxing time with good food and good service.

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2.0Dined on August 7, 2015

Perhaps our 4th visit over the past 3 years. Menu has narrowed, fewer choices. When asking if a substitution could be made, the waiter bluntly repied "NO", but I will ask...very rude server, our table had to repeat simple requests four times, a knife, salt, bread...One order was lost, and our 5th person got her meal as the rest of us were finishing. He did provide a paltry dessert as compensation, but should have comp'd the meal. The bill included one salad we did not purchase. In correcting the bill he added many more items raising the total from $135 to $196, and blamed it on the computer. Food was OK, server should be in another business.

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3.0Dined on July 20, 2015

Mediocre at best, across the board. "Burratta" had no soft center, was basically just a block of poorly made mozzarella. Caesar dressing wasn't creamy at all, it was more like a caesar vinaigrette. Pizza was nothing special.

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5.0Dined on June 27, 2015

My friends and I went there for a birthday dinner and we were extremely impressed. We sat outside right on the river, although the inside was gorgeous as well. We got an appetizer and pizza, and both were absolutely phenomenal. The only complaint we had was our waitress was a little slow, we asked for a minute to look at the menu, but it took her almost 20 minutes to come back for our order. Other than that, great service. I would highly recommend this restaurant!

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3.0Dined on June 23, 2015

We were seated outside at first in the blazing sun, no umbrella. No server came for over 5 minutes, when we asked one girl if she was our server, she actually said "I don't know" The manager came over and we asked to be moved inside where we would be out of the sun and maybe get some service. We sat at a high top in the bar and got served immediately by the 2 people behind the bar. They were both so nice and very enjoyable and entertaining, also very informative about the menu. The apps were very good and the meal was just good as our salmon was a bit dry. Being inside was the right choice as that staff was the professional ones.

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3.0Dined on June 21, 2015

Eggs Benedict did not seem to be made in the traditional recipe. Frittata seemed dried, perhaps had sat too long before being brought out to table.

Could have had more umbrellas on the upper deck as it was in full sun.

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4.0Dined on June 21, 2015

We went here for brunch on Father's Day. We sat outside on the patio which overlooks the river. You can arrive by boat at Rustico. The food was excellent and just the right portion size. I had a cocktail (can't remember the name) that was just ok. It was Prosecco, Chambord, and cranberry juice. There was too much ice in it that diluted the drink. I think the Prosecco was flat as well.

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4.0Dined on June 12, 2015

Upscale Italian fare. Dishes all taste freshly made. Friendly attentive wait ataff. A favorite place in the 3rd ward district

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5.0Dined on June 5, 2015

Awesome! Loved every part of it! Great Food, Excellent Service and Beautiful Ambience! Homemade Lemonade Cocktails were sooo good and the outdoor dining was magnificent!

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