London’s RustiKo Brings Italian Soul to Old Compton Street

The new Soho restaurant and bar specializes in “Italian soul food” and classic cocktails

RustiKo’s extensive bar menu includes classic sips and rare spirits.

Soho’s busy, buzzy Old Compton Street has a new neighbor, the Italian restaurant RusitKo (which means “rustic”), which serves home-style Italian fare in an old-meets-new dining room. Dark, earthy tones harken visitors to the soily fields of Tuscany while the young, cool staff and music playlist keep the vibe “tres Soho”.

Starters are cheekily labeled “Pots & Mugs”- dishes such as tiny, shell-on garlic chili shrimp will appear in a terra cotta flower pot and bolognese-filled arancini balls in a white designer mug- while diners can opt for piattinis (small plates) like a trio of smoked scamorza and Parma ham on a dense bed of rocket.

Mains are a plenty and offer items such as pizzas that include margherita and garlic and mozzarella pizza; pastas, such as gnocchi and lobster linguine; fish like grilled salmon with quinoa salad; and meat dishes including grilled lamb chops with polenta chips. The spirits list feature many classic cocktails such as bellinis and spritz cocktails, as well as an all-Italian wine list; however, summon the knowledgeable bartenders for an array of off-menu options and try a liqueur you haven’t before.      

With weekly specials, late night opening hours, and the spanking-new debut of its basement bar “The Shed,” RustiKo’s goings-on have arrived just in time for the summer rush of diners and drink revelers.  

Hot Dish: For £18, the slim and juicy rib-eye steak with grilled mushrooms, truffle oil, rocket and a side of zesty salsa verde is a steal in this pricey part of London.

For more London dining and travel news, click here.