Lights and lasagna. Cameras and cake. And an action filled kitchen pumping out some of the best dishes on the South Shore.
It’s all happening at Bar Rustic.
Located in the Kingston Collection, just off of Route 3, Bar Rustic is unlike any other restaurant you’ve ever been to. And that’s because this sprawling space houses an active bar where craft cocktails are created, a kitchen set right in the dining room where pizzas and pastas get added flavor from the open flame and a state of the art television studio, where guests can enjoy a multi-course meal, while serving as an audience for an award winning show called The Studio Kitchen.
“So this is the studio kitchen. Every Friday night we do a three course meal with wine pairings. The executive sous chef, Liz Bramwell, will walk you through the entire steps of making your entrée. Whenever anyone asks me about it, I always compare it to an Emeril Live thing. You get your three courses, you get your wine pairings, and it’s a good time.”
Chef de Cuisine Joseph DiFrancesco is the driving force behind the menu. And when he’s not behind the scenes, making camera ready dishes for television, he’s back in the actual kitchen firing up an upscale comfort food menu that rivals any downtown Boston restaurant.
“We try to take the elements of Boston and bring it to the South Shore for people to enjoy.”
And the best way to kick off your meal is with a bucket of the ‘popcorn of the moment’ which can change at anytime.
“So popcorn of the moment literally changes every couple hours on a busy shift. Currently, it’s kettle curried popcorn. It’s a nice creative outlet every day that we get to mess around with something cool and surprise people.”
From there, Bar Rustic offers a line up inventive apps. There’s Ahi Tuna in a sweet chili ginger glaze with diced avocado, sesame seeds and toasted macadamia nuts. And Spanish Style Meatballs topped off with a tres leches queso. But if you ask Chef, he’ll tell you the House Smoked Wings are a must order. Dry rubbed, smoked for hours and dropped in the deep fryer for some crunch, these wings are ultra addictive.
“Super crispy outside, a little bit of a smoke ring going on, and then just really moist and tender. And then we make our own sweet and spicy Kansas City style barbecue sauce, a creamy blue cheese dressing and some celery sticks and it’s just great bar food.”
Since you’re on the south shore, oysters are a must- especially when they’re wood fired.
“We take them, shuck them, throw them right on the wood fire grill. A big dollop of andouille compound butter that we make in house so it’s smoky, a little bit of spice to it. We do a little chicharoone crumble esplit and fried garlic on top just to give it some texture. They’ve been a big hit.”
Pizzas at Bar Rustic are fire kissed at about 700 degrees and came be ordered traditionally with crumbled sausage or creatively- like this one which mimics a Reuben sandwich.
“It’s pizza dough with some Swiss cheese, mozzarella. We use a really nice pastrami some house made sauerkraut. Finish the pizza with a little kupe thousand island dressing and a little bit of everything bagel seasoning on the crust. You think you’re eating a Reuben sandwich but it’s better because it’s a pizza.”
Pastas also get the added flavor of that fire with options like Skillet Baked Lasagna- crisped up to perfection.
“It’s not your traditional lasagna. We roll it up in Voltini style, slice it, and finish it in the pizza oven. So you get a little bit of smokiness from the wood and you get a nice hard sear on the top of the lasagna so you get some real nice texture to it and it really just locks the flavor in.”
For a flavor explosion and a full belly, get the pulled pork mac and cheese. Topped with crispy onion strings, fried pickles and bbq sauce, this plate of pasta is one delicious pile up.
“As soon as a server comes out with a dish, two or three more get ordered right away. They see the height on it. They see the steam coming off and people just start ordering it.”
Just as impressive is Bar Rustic’s Burger- loaded up with pulled pork, fried pickles, apple slaw, jalapenos and cheddar. And while it’s tasty, its can be hard to get your mouth around.
“It’s definitely a fork and knife type burger. If you want to get messy, you could throw a napkin on and give it the hunch. People love it.”
Bar Rustic also offer elevated cuisine, like this Brick Chicken presented over roasted butternut squash and cranberry quinoa or the Pan Seared Long Island Duck a top a sweet potato puree. There’s authentic Seafood Gumbo filled with fresh shellfish and a ribeye that rivals all others.
“We do a nice thick center cut 16 ounce rib eye, bone in, right on the wood fired grill and then, we do a crazy twice-baked potato stuffed with pancetta, broccoli, cheddar cheese. Definitely not my dad’s meat and potatoes.”
And the 12 Layer Chocolate Cake is definitely not your average dessert.
“It’s super rich. It’s a chocolate lover’s dream. It’s just chocolate on chocolate.”
Whether you come for the dinner or the show, you just gotta go, to Bar Rustic.
101 Kingston Collection Way
Kingston, MA 02364