They have been hinting about Rustica Fresh Italian Kitchen since November 2018, since 2019, since a June 15 Facebook post that “It’s official! Rustica is coming soon.”
Rustica is married couple Josh Baum and Ann Gordon’s Italian companion to their popular restaurant The Ranch House, with the two across from each other on Camino Entrada.
Rustica opens for real Wednesday with initial open days and hours of 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday.
“We opened kind of softly Thursday, not really telling people,” Baum said. “We actually have a full crew. When you’re a new restaurant, things go downhill as the night goes on.”
Baum hopes to have Rustica open seven days for lunch and dinner and until 9 p.m. within a month or so.
Rustica is serving pizza, pasta, main courses, salads, appetizers and desserts. Baum mentioned the red wine-braised chuck roast main course and pappardelle Bolognese pasta.
“The Rustica pizza is my favorite one,” he said about the four-cheese pizza with ricotta, mozzarella, Gorgonzola and Pecorino Romano.
The pizza prices are $9 to $11, the pasta $15 to $18, and the main courses $16 to $22. Baum insists it is not fine dining.
“It still feels like the kind of place where you can come in after you do some yard work and feel comfortable, or come in with a date and feel comfortable,” Baum said.
Baum and Gordon wanted to open a second restaurant as soon as they heard Outback Steakhouse was closing in 2017 across from The Ranch House. They first announced Rustica in November 2018 with a planned late spring or early summer 2019 opening.
“The building needed more renovation than we thought we had to do,” Baum said. “The second time we were planning to open was April 2020. Now we just wanted to wait until things are a little more secure.”