“ Address: 29 Northgate / Wakefield / West Yorkshire / WF1 3BJ / United Kingdom / Tel: 01924 291 297 „
I love going out for meals especially when you get a freebie thrown in too and the staff make you feel as welcome as though you were family. When my husband and i moved to Wakefield we stumbled across this little Italian by mistake and since then it has become a regular haunt for us.
This restaurant may not be set amongst fields with a beautiful view but it is a great location seeing as it's so central. It is on Northgate, Wakefield and so there are plenty of parking spaces around, the main bus route from Leeds to Wakefield runs past it so if you are on public transport it is ideal as the bus literally stops just outside. It's a five minute walk from the station and right by the shopping centre so a great place to finish off an afternoon of shopping!
Rustico was originally one small restaurant. It was the equivalent of one shop front but has recently expanded- they have bought the property next door and so now the restaurant is twice the size! Inside it is decorated authentically with yellow painted walls and pictures of Italy on the walls. There are blackboards dotted around with the daily specials on and a little bar area decorated to look just like a little Italian bar which gives the atmosphere of a friendly original place.
The tables are set out so that you are not directly aligned to the table next to you which is great as I can't stand it when you feel so close to the people next to you that you can overhear their conversations. Instead, here the tables are spread out at angles so that you feel as though you have ample space. The tables are made from wood and don't have any table cloths which is another bonus as far as I'm concerned, I really don't like restaurants that have table cloths, they make me feel uncomfortable! The chairs are made from the same light coloured wood so it looks very classy although I don't think that the chairs are amazingly comfortable though as they are very upright and hard due to the wood but that really is me just trying to pick fault, I can't find fault anywhere else at all!
This restaurant is easily accessible, I have been in here with my pushchair before and not had a problem with getting it through the door or negotiating tables! I have also seen people in wheelchairs dining in here so although it does look quite small from the outside it isn't somewhere where you are worried about being in the way if you do have a set of wheels with you!
**menu and food**
Well this is the best thing about this place! The food! It is simply amazing. I cannot find any other word to describe it! The menu is well presented with plenty of options as well as the daily specials board which adds some variety too.
The starters are vast which makes a change and they offer a good variety. I am fed up of going into restaurants which just offer four starters with only one being vegetarian. This menu has a good variety including meat balls, deep fried brie with cherry sauce, bruschettas and more. I like the fact that the options are different to what I usually see on menus. The main courses are split into many headings:
When choosing your meal you can swap items which is useful as I am picky so usually like one item but not another for example I don't like ham and pineapple pizza but I do like pineapple so I can swap and change if I so wish. This shows just how fresh the food is, it is literally cooked as soon as you order. The pastas include a wide range and when you chose which one you like you then can chose which type of pasta you want it with! The vegetarian selection is very good, I used to be vegetarian and found that the only option I ever had was Vegetable Lasagne but not here! There are many options on this menu including gnocchi which although it is Italian, I don't often actually see appearing on an Italian menu!
Puddings are not very extensive but to be fair you don't often have room anyway! They have not one kind of tiramissu but two! A normal one and an Amaretto one which is absoloutely gorgeous!
Side dishes include the usual Italian options such as garlic breads but also creamed spinach or courgettes too which I think adds something a little different.
When our order has been taken it never takes long for the food to arrive and you can see into the kitchens which is another feature I like! I like to see the chefs preparing our meals and when we do recieve our food it is always very hot and smells lovely.
The food has always been amazing. We have never had any bad experiences or complaints. It always tates extremely fresh and the ingredients are tasty. Often when I eat out and I have a vegetable based dish that the vegetables are soggy and tastless but here they are crisp and full of taste. We have never been able to find any reason to fault these dishes. I simply cannot praise them enough
the dining experience
What I always like about a place is when you are made to feel welcome and you certainly do here. Upon arriving you are shown to a table and given free freshly baked bread with olives and pesto. This bread is still warm and so yummy that I went away telling everyone about it as I was so impressed! Often, although not always, after your order has been taken you are also given free garlic tomato bread too which is another nice touch! The first time we ate here we were a bit suspicious and worried it may appear on the bill but it didn't it is just a welcoming gesture which really is what we love about this place, that they are willing to give something back to their customers. It really inspired us to keep coming! Often we don't even need a starter at all! It is a great gesture and it definitely works, it is what sets this restaurant apart from others.
After we had dined in this restaurant two times the third time we came the manager welcomed us as though we were old friends and asked how we were and how my mother was etc showing that he not only recognised us but remembered us. Every time we have been in since and the manager is there he is more than welcoming. He often comes over to ask us how we were and when we told him about our engagement he gave us free shots, when he found out about Baby Hope he gave us free drinks then too and the first time we went in with our new baby he came and welcomed her too.
When you eat here you are made to feel more than welcome and like a valued customer.
opening times/ contact
This restaurant is open weekdays (except Sunday) 5pm-10pm and is on Northgate. To contact: 01924 291 297. Although I would suggest before going you ring to book as it is so very popular now.
I cannot rate this restaurant highly enough. The main aspect of a restaurant is the food being spot on which this is and to top it off the atmosphere is a lovely, bustling yet friendly one and you are made to feel more than welcome by the members of staff. It is always very clean too with tables looking as though they are brand new. I dislike it when you go to a restaurant and sit at a table which has stains and crumbs all over it. You certainly don't get this here!
Also with this restaurant you can actually have the food to take away! We have been once and it was too busy to be seated but we didn't want to eat anywhere else so we ordered it as a take away and ate it at home which was a great option!
I really cannot find anything to say in terms of criticism except that maybe the chairs could be more comfortable but really that is all I can think of! This restaurant is now very busy, whenever we drive past we can see that it is bustling. I am always really pleased as this is the sort of restaurant which is trying hard to please people and to be part of the community and so deserves to be doing well for itself. I am definitely a huge fan.
price wise it's very reasonable! When we ate there last time we had 2 main meals, 1 side dish, a bottle of wine and 1 dessert and it came to £26 which I think is very reasonable especially when you consider we also got freshly baked bread and a garlic tomato pizza bread thrown in too for free!
This is a fantastic restaurant that I can only keep finding praise for. I have been here with various people over the last few years and everyone has said it was one of the nicest places they have eaten.
I definitely recommend this.