Monday, July 25, 2011

Il Rustico

Il Rustico Rosticceria Siciliana
28 William St
Potts Point NSW 2010
Ph : (02) 9331 1196
Open daily until 10pm

Situated rather incongruously on Williams St just across the road from the Coke sign, Il Rustico has only been for open a couple of months, but word of mouth has meant that it already has fans and regular customers. On the day of my first visit I overheard someone telling the owner that a friend  had already eaten there three times that week.

It is a small casual establishment (seats twelve at three wooden benches and tables) and as well as dine-in, does a good trade in takeaway coffee and food. The menu and food available at the counter was reduced by the time of my second visit (no salads and fewer sweet items, for example), but whether this was temporary or a permanent fixture due to lack of customer demand, I don’t know.

What I do know is that their pizzas are not only good, but they are a bargain in Sydney terms. Ranging from $9 for a Margherita to the Parmiggiana (pomodoro, Mozzarella, eggplant, ham, marscapone, prosciutto) which is $12.50, the pizza menu is a compact eight items, of which five are vegetarian. As well as pizza, there are Foccacia (five types, by portion or by kilo) , Pidoni, Garibaldini, Pizzette, Panini, freshly made Arancini and Calzone (to order), and Lasagne.

The Pizza Margherita ($9) – at its best, simple and satisfying. At its worst, utterly boring. I’ve already blogged previously about some Margheritas in Sydney, and Il Rustica provided yet another different experience and rendition of this topping.

The thing that you first notice is the absence of basil leaves on top. As I was clearly able to taste basil, I wondered whether they were in fact using dried basil (there is dried oregano on top, as well as drizzled olive oil), but a query elicited the response that there is fresh basil used in the tomato base.

This was a good pizza, the crust thin, just as I like it, the edge crisp and puffed, the topping full of flavour. Would it have been improved by the basil being on top as well as incorporated into the sauce? I think that perhaps it would, but I’m actually not yet fully decided about this, as I really enjoyed it for what it was, especially the unexpected addition of the oregano. It is a pizza that I will eat again.

The "Proscuitto" contains fresh pomodoro, Mozarella, Rucola, Proscuitto and Parmesan ($12.50) and ties for the most expensive pizza available.


There's a commercial meat slicer on the bench, so I’m assuming that they slice their own prosciutto. A decent amount of proscuitto, the quantity of Rucola not so excessive that you have to push it all aside to find the actual pizza, quality Mozzarella - another winner.

Finally, the "Monti" ($11.50) - Mozzarella, potatoes, Italian sausage, rosemary and parmesan.

Of the three of these, this is the most filling, and it was barely finished. The sausage and potatoes by themselves add up to a respectable amount of topping, and there were a lot of flavours going on, courtesy of the sausage, even before the decent amount of rosemary. What appeared to be very little potato at first glance turns out to be just the right amount, in proportion to everything else. Definitely a pizza for those who are hungry, and using good quality sausages. Just a side thought here – at $11.50, this is considerably cheaper than a pizza with identical toppings that I’ve seen on other Sydney menus.

This is a friendly small neighbourhood eatery. Tap water (in a bottle) is provided, and they have the usual assortment of soft drinks and juices. The lasagne was pre-portioned and looked a bit folorn, but the things to order are the pizza and calzone.

Il Rustico is a great little place with pretty damn good pizza that deserves to be more widely known. I shall return.


Il Rustico on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I ate here on a recent visit to Sydney and my carbonara was, I think, the best I have tasted anywhere, and was very reasonably priced (less than $14 from memory). The service was excellent.