The Needle: Rustico

The menu at this beer-centric restaurant touts its devotion to fresh ingredients, but a recent visit showed that the kitchen isn’t above taking shortcuts. The steamed mussels were fishy, a cheddar-and-ale soup lacked the depth of a long-simmered stock, and a dish of baked oysters had an unpleasant aftertaste. But the zesty Buffalo-chicken croquettes were simple and satisfying, and a homey peanut-butter trifle provided a decadent finish. The 300-bottle beer list—including such unusual finds as a milk stout from North Carolina’s Duck-Rabbit brewery—is a treat.

-August 2009 

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.