In Chicago you're hard-pressed to find pizza that doesn't conform to the benchmark of "Chicago-style," the deep dish. But now, in Wrigleyville
of all places, there's a yummy place to take your hankering for authentic Venetian-style pizza with a thin, flaky, buttery crust. Pizza Rustica, opened in March 2005, features a menu of classic Italian family recipes for salads, soups, sandwiches, pastas and, of course, delicious specialty pizzas with fresh gourmet ingredients. The comfortable surroundings (warm golden walls and ceramic floor tiles) complement the hearty food and the friendliness of the owners and staff.
The menu, though good, is nothing revolutionary for an Italian cafe. Bowls of pasta are assembled from seven choices of pasta shapes, including an artichoke ravioli, and six traditional sauces. Sandwiches, served toasted or fresh, are piled with ingredients such as genoa salami, prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers, grilled zucchini and goat cheese.
The main focus, though, is the pizza, and it does not disappoint. The crust is tasty enough to serve alone, so the topping choices are uncomplicated and delicious. Choose light and tasty marinara with tomato, fresh garlic and no cheese; flavorful Verdure Grigliate, topped with grilled zucchini, mushrooms and fragrant roasted red peppers; unique Patate Rosmarino with thinly sliced potatoes seasoned with rosemary; or the Tutta (garbage) pizza, covered in sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, black olives and bleu cheese.
All of the pizzas are cooked in a convection oven and served up in big slabs minutes after you order them. Delivery is also available, but the delicious crust is best right-out-of-the-oven crisp, so we suggest that you show up hungry and ready to give this pizzeria/trattoria a chance to impress you.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Emilie Zanger