Sunday, February 1, 2015

Smokin' Starters

The Rustic gives wood its day in the spotlight


Spinach-artichoke dip, your days are numbered.

In fact, when The Rustic opens next Monday with its spacious backyard patio, all your stalwart starters are going to have some trouble getting noticed.

Because that's where you'll find the best chicken-fried, eat-on-a-dare food available: calf fries. And as the menu declares, if you have to ask you probably shouldn't.

Perhaps the beer-battered cactus fritters, chorizo empanadas, or wild boar meatballs call for a little less courage.

But you'll want to move on from small bites thanks to the beckoning aroma of smoked and grilled meats. The Rustic's wood-of-the-day program finds hickory, oak, pecan, cherry, mesquite, and maple taking turns fueling the fire.

That means nuanced differences from one day to the next as you bite into black pepper skirt steak, Gulf shrimp (pictured), or boneless Texas quail, each pairing perfectly with one of 40 rotating Texas beers on draft.

Then kick back and listen to the live band. There's a good chance it's country legend
Pat Green.

Because he's not just a singer, he's also an owner.

Photo credit: Claire McCormack

The Rustic
3656 Howell St., Uptown
(214) 730-0596

Best Bets: Cactus fritters; smoked catfish; country style pork ribs
Nearby: Manny's Uptown; Mutt's Canine Cantina; Magnolia Theater

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