Upon invitation to give its new Craft Beer of the Month a go, I paid Rustiko Bar & Restaurant a friendly visit last week. Great beer! And great place to keep in mind whatever Italianate libations you seek in Soho.
Teaming up with Italian micro-brewery, Birrifico del Ducato, Rustiko is running a Craft Beer of the Month special. The beer of this month – Violent Femme – is a real winner. A “hoppy Saison” (4.2% ABV) with a peppery aroma and light citric notes. (£7 for a 330ml bottle), it was but one of a few noteworthy brews sampled during my visit. I also happy to sip California Sun, a “Common Lager” (4.5% ABV) with a somewhat smoky and cereal profile (£6.50 for a 330ml bottle). And I loved doing a liquid dessert pour of Chimera, a strong (8% ABV) dark ale of prune sweetness yet dry finish (£22 for a 750ml bottle).
As much as the beer, I really liked the venue, which I reckon to be one of Soho’s more down-to-earth and chilled out places to grab a drink that I’ve had the pleasure to visit recently. I’d put more emphasis on Bar than Restaurant in Rustiko’s full title. But the menu is a good one with lots of great sharing plates and grilled pizzas. I very much enjoyed the garlic chilli shrimp (superb value at £4) and the calamari fritti (£6).
Ending things with a glass of Amaro Montenegro on the rocks, I felt secure that I’d be back soon … particular after overhearing talk of Rustiko turning its basement into a grappa bar.
Rustiko Restaurant & Bar is located at 37 Old Compton Street, W1D 5JY. Find out more at rustikosoho.com.