We ate here last year (also in January) and have been looking forward to going back every since. The 2nd time was even more delicious and memorable!
This time, I think we actually met the owner, Julien, who is a quiet and solicitious presence in the cozy, stone-walled restaurant. He greeted us and brought us to our table, and later when we were leaving, helped me on with my coat. He's fFench and I couldn't resist speaking French with him for a few minutes before we left. He is refreshingly approachable and I was surprised to learn later that this was, indeed, the owner. C'etait un vrai plaisirde faire votre connaissance, Julien! Merci pour un fete d'anniversaire fantastique.
The thin crust pizzas are incredible and did not disappoint at our table. We also ordered the shrimp /pasta dish (forgot the name of those thin noodles), and the Butternut Squash Ravioli which was heaven. We saw someone order the Goulash and made a note to order that the next time we are here. Soo many delicious choices to choose from.
The wine list is a refreshing change from another restaurant in town that serves mostly their own vintage. We had a 2009 Cahors and it was perfect.
The stone walls in the main room are beautiful in the soft light and I like the old plates that decorate the walls. Overall, it has a very warm, inviting feel and the service is excellent. We couldn't have asked for a more attentive, genuinely nice server. She even surprised me with a bread pudding dessert topped with a candle (she overheard that it was my birthday when we were talking about whether to have dessert).
I cannot say enough about how much we love Cafe Rustica. From our chats with those lucky enough to live in Carmel Valley, it seems they agree. Make a reservation several days ahead as it is a favorite with visitors and locals alike.,