Friday, May 23, 2008

A Bit of Nostalgia at Cafe Rustica

After a day of pure work hell, I twisted my husband's arm and demanded that he take me out to eat. And we just had to go to Cafe Rustica. I had heard a boatload of praise for this tiny boite at 414 E. Main St. The place was small indeed and all of the tables, booths and bar seats were taken. So, we stood at the bar for a bit and soaked up the atmosphere. Rustica fit the decor. I liked the oil paintings (I presume by local artists). I also adored the German gewgaws that graced the bar from the banks that had the German girl and boy kissing to the cuckoo clock that still needed to be hung on the wall. After about 7 minutes folks moved from the bar to a booth. The wine list was an ode to Europe and we selected a 2005 Roux Pere and Fils Bourgogne - a light, easy drinking bottle.

The menu featured a smattering of Italian, French, and, yes, German dishes. When both of us espied the Schweineschnitzel we were intrigued. The dish could be served with lemon slices or "a la Holstien." What, pray tell was "a la Holstien?" It was the breaded pork cutlet with a sunny side up egg on top. We were both game. Why it was called what it was called remains a mystery to us, but it is a legitimate designation for schnitzel. The dish took a while to get to our place at the bar, but it gave us some to relax a bit and put the rigors of the day behind us. When we finally received our pork it was accompanied by spatzle that had been pan sauteed, featuring just a bit of crunchy browning, and red cabbage brasied in Bass Ale and brown sugar. My hubby loved the cabbage. He thought the egg should have been a bit more runny. I really enjoyed it all. Mainly because it made me think of my Mom. Not because she ever made anything like this, but because when she and my father were first married they lived in Germany for a couple of years. She always talked about having schnitzel with a fried egg on top. When I was younger, I thought this was the strangest concept. The scant number of German places that I have visited here in Virginia never featured it (or at least I did not inquire about "a al Holstien!"). In any case, I got a great dose of homey nolstagia, good food, good wine, and a good place to visit again.

1 comment:

Eiffel Tartan said...

Our German Club is having their end of year special lunch at Cafe Rustica next week. Of course, our French Club is going to La Petite France. :)