We were delighted to join a full house at Rustico Ristorante & Pizzeria last Sunday night to celebrate their sixth anniversary with a wine dinner.  And what a dinner it was. Owners and representatives from 5 Temecula wineries were pouring tastes to compliment Chef Francesco Cusimano’s 4 course meal.  The appetizer was a choice between a crab stack with Wiens Cellars Solice white wine poured by Doug Wiens himself; or a grilled cheese short ribs sandwich and Masia De Yabar Tempranillo.  Mr. WINEormous and I made different selections and shared.

The Insalata Fantasia topped with fried honey goat cheese followed, refreshingly paired with Frangipani Estates Sauvignon Blanc.  So far all plates were cleaned and wine glasses emptied at our table.

The entrée selections forced difficult decisions but we managed to agree to share the Agnolotti All Emiliana (home made dumplings in a short ribs Bolognese sauce) with Leonesse Cellars Meritage and the equally delectable Mare e Monti (grilled tenderloin and jumbo shrimp) enhanced by Robert Renzoni Vineyards Concerto.  The meal concluded with a Chocolate Lava Souffle which I paired with a cappuccino.

Throughout the evening both Chef Francesco and his wife Filippa circulated charming everyone with their genuine warmth and hospitality.  Owner Mike Rennie represented Leonesse and it appeared the entire Renzoni clan was there, continuing to celebrate Robert and Leila’s recent marriage.

Although the attendees were boisterous at times, Robert Rankin Walker provided pleasurable background music and later dance music for all to enjoy.  There were heartfelt speeches, raffle prizes and many congratulations.  Kudos go out to the entire staff who kept the food and wine flowing. We at WINEormous look forward to many more years of meals and events at Rustico.

Our thanks to Ed Ananian for his excellent photographs.

Crab Stack

Newlyweds Leila & Robert Renzoni

Filippa Cusiman & Fred Renzoni