Open late Fri.-Sat.
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Rustic Kitchen Restaurant Review: Owner Jim Cafarelli closed both the original Rustic Kitchen in Faneuil Hall and its Cambridge twin in preparation for this branch in Park Square near the Theater District. The results are anything but rustic, and nothing short of theatrical Friday nights when TV segments are filmed. Indeed, with its arcaded ceilings, Vidalia onion shaped lights, copper-domed stone pizza oven, exhibition pasta station, and a glassed-in studio kitchen, the space is so dramatic that one hardly expects the menu to offer relatively simple Italian fare --- but so it does, just like its predecessors. Starters range from veal meatballs to sweet sausage Italian spring rolls with marinara sauce. The selection of main dishes is as small as the seating capacity is large (250), with only a handful each of pizzas (try the fig and prosciutto) and pastas (slow-braised beef short rib stroganoff is a must); this, we think, is a good thing, as it’s less likely quality will suffer regardless of high volume. Also consider meaty tagliatelle Bolognese served over soft egg noodles and a nice selection of steaks, including a juicy 16-ounce bone-in rib-eye. An extensive wine list represents almost exclusively Italian vintners, proposing many lesser-known labels using unsung grapes. End the meal with rich warm chocolate cake.