Friday, August 22, 2014
Rustico (Ballston, Arlington, VA)
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Post number 100!
Rustico, being located just a short walk from my apartment, and possessing a superlative beer list and interesting looking menu, has been on my short list of places to go since I first moved some of my stuff down here in late July, and I was not disappointed with my first visit. While I did not have anything to drink, since my accompaniment was not partaking, I did have both a delicious entree and a spectacular dessert.
The menu includes several very clever appetizers and "snacks," including fried deviled eggs, "risotto tots," and the ever delicious fried green tomatoes. While I did not partake in any of these this trip, I will definitely be trying them all in the future. This time, I was waffling between the grilled rainbow trout and the Pea and Mascarpone Ravioli, but upon asking the waitress which I should go with, she immediately and without any hesitation answered to go with the ravioli. Served with shrimp, snap peas, toasted pistachios in a buerre blanc, the ravioli themselves were quite well made, with fresh pasta cooked properly, and the filling was creamy and delicious. The buerre blanc was also well made, did not separate, and had just the right consistency to cling to the peas, shrimp and ravioli, but not so thick as to be clumpy or become oatmeal-like. Shrimp are often overcooked, and these were not, and the peas were delightfully crisp, maintaining that "snap" that gives them their name.
For dessert I broke my custom and went overtly sweet, with a Peach Crumble Sunday. Using homemade cheesecake (I thought it was vanilla, to be honest, but that's okay, it was delicious) ice cream, clearly homemade bourbon whipped cream, peach compote and a cornmeal crumble, this was incredibly good, possibly even more successful than the entree, which I had really no major complaints with other than that I wish they had given me more. The ice cream had the perfect smooth texture, without any obvious ice crystal formation despite not being, as far as I could tell, liquid nitrogen frozen. The whipped cream was delicious, with just a hint of flavor from the bourbon, while the compote was sweet but not cloying, with some crunch from the peach, which did nothing to detract from the crunch of the cornmeal crumble, which was the perfect counterpoint to the ice cream and whipped cream.