Getting your Italian fix of flavours on the regular can be a task in itself these days. Busy schedules and life’s endless little list of chores unvaryingly tend to get in the way of things. Until now, it seems. An Italian eatery that just so happens to coinhabit one of Burleigh’s busiest shopping centres has just opened its doors. It appears running errands and treating yourself to pasta and pizza is now a firm reality. Say hello to Rustica Italia at Treetops Shopping Centre, folks.
Offering seating inside and out, the restaurant’s visual nod to tradition is hinged on the red brick exterior and walls in its outdoor seating area, helping create a feeling of Italy even before your very first bite.
The menu itself is a twist on Italian flavours. While it isn’t designed to be wholly dedicated to the old country, the focus is on aiming to satisfy an Australian palate that will leave diners more than satisfied. All in all, the double-sided menu has more than enough plates for you to have a light bite or to indulge yourself in a much longer lunch. (Which we can certainly get around!)
Like any good Italian eatery, pasta and pizza are the mainstays. But work your way through some of their smaller plates, like their Pork and Veal Meatballs in nonna style sauce or melt in your mouth Mozzarella Sticks, and you may, in fact, not need anything bigger!
You’ll discover seven different style pasta dishes ranging from the more traditional Carbonara to a succulent and irresistible Slow-Cooked Beef Cheek with porcini mushrooms and red wine sauce. All sauces are available with either linguine, pappardelle, or penne pasta, meaning you can effectively choose between 21 different pasta dishes.
No corners have been cut with the pizza side of things either; as a pride of place in the heart of the kitchen, you’ll be able to spot an imported Stefan Ferrari pizza oven all the way from Naples. Although the oven hails from the very home of pizza, the crew here are cooking their pizza in a more universal style and we ain’t complaining!
Rustica Italia pizzas are cooked in a Roman-style oven at a slightly lower heat and for a little longer. Expect to bite your way into an assortment of red and white-based pizzas with delectable inclusions like the Diavolo with spicy hot sauce, pepperoni and mozzarella or a milder signature Rustica with pork, fennel sausage and potatoes with caramelised onions. Oh yes!
Other sections of the menu include hand-rolled gnocchis and slow-roasted meat dishes, a healthy selection of sweets such as Limoncello Ricotta Cake and of course, the little ones are catered for with their own mini pizzas and pasta dishes.
Rustica Italia is the easy-going and enjoyable taste of Italy awaiting you at Treetops. And with a daily $20 lunch special of pizza or pasta with a glass of wine or beer, there’s no excuse not to pop by!
Hours: Every day 11 am — 9 pm
Where: Treetops Plaza, 7 Classic Way, Burleigh Waters
Words by Alex Mitcheson.