Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pizza with Duck Cracklings in Alexandria

The idea's been crackling away on my backburner ever since our March 24, 2007 post about Dominican Chicharrones de Pollo. When researching chicken cracklings on the Internet, I encountered a site that had nice things to say about a pizza spot in Manhattan which offered chicken cracklings as a topping for pizza. Though I never encountered that site again, a more recent search uncovered that the menu at Rustico, 827 Slaters Lane in Alexandria Virginia, offered something yet more intriguing: "duck confit and crackling pizza." Duck cracklings was one of the first items Unique Culinary Adventures ever covered, and word that an Alexandria restaurant was topping pizza with them, inspired me to drive south at the next available opportunity.

I was in for a treat. The duck confit and cracklings pizza was great, and so was Rustico and everything about it. Its beer menu features 50 draughts and 500 different bottled beers for which plenty of information can be had as to how best to pair them with food. Even better, the prices are extraordinarily reasonable. The cracklings and confit pizza that's pictured was $12. Notwithstanding very reasonable prices, Rustico's ambiance and space are plenty upscale, the latter graced by huge windows, intricate glass mosaics, marble tabletops, and more.

Soon Rustico will be cloning itself in Washington, DC. Should its management ever decide to do the same here in Baltimore, my prediction is that such an undertaking would almost immediately become one of the most popular restaurants in town and remain so indefinitely.