Pizzeria Rustica News Blog
It doesn’t take much imagination to be transported from Pizzeria Rustica in Old Colorado City to a friendly Italian village — partly because of the rustic décor, but primarily for the food.
Granted, the focus is on pizza, made with imported flour, whose dough is hand-stretched before being placed in the wood-fired oven. Yet, the antipasti, salads, desserts and beverages also whet the appetite.
Stacks of flour sacks, imported cans of Marzano tomatoes and rows of Italian wines — in addition to Frank Sinatra tunes wafting through the sound system — help set the scene.
All the appetizers are appealing, from the smoked mozzarella to meatballs, from house-marinated olives to spiedini: mozzarella balls wrapped with prosciutto. We settled on the pagliasotti ($15) since it combined several components in one beautiful plate: caprese salad with fresh basil, finely cut salami, olives, flatbread, pesto, marinated mushrooms, thinly sliced new potatoes, polenta and marble-size yellow peppers that not only added more color but also a hint of heat.
The handful of salad options adds to the difficulty of making a selection, but we knew we wanted pizza. The insalata cuneo ($9) is a take on a wedge salad but, instead of iceberg lettuce, it incorporates baby romaine. It’s topped with bits of salami, blue cheese, diced tomatoes and a house- made white balsamic vinaigrette. It’s easy to share but also could be a meal unto itself.
The pizzas are also shareable, depending if one is being greedy. Fortunately, my dining companions, who made the selections, agreed to share. Had I been ordering, I was tempted by the daily special, which included grilled chicken, tomatoes, red onion and the house-made mozzarella. I hope it will appear on the chalkboard again. There is, however, a pizza with braised chicken on the menu: formaggi e pollo ($15.50) with rosemary, crushed Marzano tomatoes, red onion and pistachios. I am sure that could suffice.
The Cinque Formaggi ($15) is more than simply five cheeses, although only four are listed: sharp provolone, house-made mozzarella, fontina and gran padrano. The latter is nutty like Parmigiano-Reggiano. What makes this more than a cheese pizza is the roasted garlic that works its way to the palate like a slow-moving car in a traffic jam; however, it’s far more enjoyable.
The Verdure ($15) is essentially a veggie pizza with paper-thin zucchini slices, roasted red peppers and red onions, black Italian olives and those crushed Marzano tomatoes.
Pizzeria Rustica has a nice patio with plenty of shade for sunny days and heaters for cool nights. A wrought-iron fence separates it from the busy sidewalk along Colorado Avenue. While this makes for good people-watching, it’s difficult to ignore the noisy traffic of the main thoroughfare.
Service is exceptional, with patient explanations of dishes, water glasses kept full and empty plates seamlessly carried away. The only misstep we encountered was the espresso ordered with dessert. A lovely fresh peach with vanilla gelato ($7) was a wonderful way to end the meal. It had a depth of flavor suggesting summer and was neither too rich nor overly filling. Unfortunately, the espresso never arrived. It didn’t appear on our bill either, so clearly it slipped between the cracks of our server’s otherwise impressive attention. We’d reached a point where it didn’t matter anyway.
Pizzeria Rustica is not your typical pizza joint. The emphasis is on fresh, quality ingredients and thoughtful preparation, with the end result being a leisurely meal.
The Best Pizzas in America’s Biggest Cities
Here are the top spots for a good pie in the 52 largest cities in the country, including Chicago and New York City.
Colorado Springs, Colorado: Pizzeria Rustica
Take a historic building from 1889, a reverence for the slow-food movement, a love of craft beer and wine and a commitment to the environment, and you’ll get Pizzeria Rustica. Adapting Neapolitan style to the altitude took some work, but mixing in local gluten and Italian Ischian yeast with classic Caputo 00 flour makes for a crust that honors tradition while keeping things local. The namesake pie features a garlic ricotta pocket baked into the crust, and toppings of prosciutto, arugula, crushed San Marzanos, house-made mozzarella and parmesan, but they also offer toppings you’ll almost never see elsewhere, including house-cured bresaola.
Celebrate Valentine’s Day a little early with our educational wine
Wine Wednesday – Valpolicella and Amarone Wine Tasting!
Wednesday, February 7th 6:00p.m.- 7:30p.m.
Swing by for our monthly wine tasting, featuring three 2oz. pours of Valpolicella and small bites.
Valpolicella 2014 Bertani
Valpolicella Ripasso 2012 Giuseppe Lonardi
Valpolicella di Amarone 2012 Cesari
Cost: $25 per person
#ColoradoSprings one of the featured @Flipkey affordable destinations and @PizzeriaRustica featured for affordable dining – one of 3 @ColoradoSprings restaurants mentioned!
PIZZERIA RUSTICA NAMED A TOP CATERER. Expertise.com named Pizzeria Rustica one of the Top 20 caterers in Colorado Springs. While the trailered wood oven season is over until April, remember that TAPAteria can do paella events year-round.
In October 2016 Tripping.com published an article on the best pizzerias in all 50 states. Pizzeria Rustica was chosen as the Best Pizzeria in Colorado from over 1,000 pizzerias in the state. The criteria included the pizza, other menu offerings, ambience, and service. The staff is very proud of this award!
Passport to Northern Italy Benefiting RezDawg Rescue
Chilled Marinated Mussels with Green Apple Mignonette
NV Borgoluce Prosecco Brut Lampo
White Wine Braised Calamari
2017 Le Monde Ribolla Gailla
Mortadella and Black Olive Pizza with Garlic and Pistachios
2014 Corte Alla Flora Vino Nobile de Montepulciano
Veal Scaloppine with Rici E Bici and Mushroom Sauce
2015 La Massa Rosso IGT
Raspberry Chocolate Cremoso
NV San Silvestro Dulcis Rosso
Tuesday, January 15th , 6PM $59 + Tax & Service
RSVP Call Coaltrain at 719-475-9700
Check out our great new value-priced wine list with unusual Italian varietals like Arneis, Verdicchio, Falanghina, Pinot Bianco, Frascati, and Aglianico. 38 wines, 24 by the glass, plus our select and reserve lists. Time to start enjoying them!
We are fortunate to be able to have Riccardo Bertocci from d’Amico in Italy in the house to talk about their great wines along with George Spencer from Il Castagno. Super fun Thursday event on Jan 21st at 6pm. $39 + tax & service. Check out the winery’s amazing terroir and website. Pairings:
Local Smoked Salmon Rillete, Multigrain Baguette, Red Onion
2012 Paolo e Naoemia Chardonnay Calanchi
Lombardy Beef Bresaola Carpaccio, Classic Accompaniments
2009 Paolo e Naoemia Villa Tirrena Merlot
Mini Alfajore Cookies with Local Dark Chocolate Gelato
2011 Paolo e Naoemia Notturno dei Calanchi Pinot Noir