What makes the perfect pizza? Pizza, like beer and most anything else, needs to strike a balance to be enjoyable. Not all the time, mind you, but some of the best examples walk a thin line between two extremes.
For example, in a pizza, you’d like to have some grease present, but not so much that you’re eating soggy bread. On the other hand, you don’t want to be biting into something that’s dry as a bone and just as brittle.
Ladies and gentlemen, I believe I’ve found the perfect pizza; or at least the best pizza I’ve ever tasted. It was created by none other than the culinary minds at Rustico in Alexandria, Virginia.
Rustico is a spot that I’ve been hearing great things about for quite some time. Being that it’s around two hours away (on a good day with minimal traffic), it’s understandable why I haven’t bothered to stop there in the great sprawling concrete wilderness that is Northern Virginia.
But I can never pass up a good beer tip, and most certainly not a place serving a good pie. After sampling the Eggenberg Naturtrüb Zwickl on draft and being somewhat let down, I took a chance on an RCH Pitchfork Rebellion Best Bitter. It’s a mouthful to say, but also a mouthful of flavor.
As hot as it was last Saturday, I needed something quaffable. Hence the Zwickl and the Best Bitter. However, what drew my eye to the RCH is the fact that I’ve got a homebrewed Best Bitter sitting in the carboy as we speak. One that I’ve been dry-hopping the past few days.
Anyway, it turned out to be a pale malt British beauty, brewed in the West Country and quite refreshing. The server decided to dump all the yeast in without asking first, but I let it slide. The label indicated that for a “full-bodied flavor” you should do so anyway. No big deal, but I have my own routine.
The pizza in question was a spinach, goat cheese, and roasted mushroom delight. Just enough oil and bready crust character to provide the optimal texture, with the mushrooms cooked to perfection.
Rustico is more than just your average pizza joint with just your average beer selection. They’ve got more than just that on both accounts (like a Swordfish Club and great stuff on tap and in bottle). To sum it all up, if you’re in the vicinity of Northern Virginia and need lunch, dinner, beer, or all three - hit Rustico.