Texas-Style Sips, Smoke, and Songs at The Rustic

06.01.2015 by: Katie Breckenridge
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Uptown is known for its vibrant happy hour scene and wide variety of restaurants, so it’s no surprise that another gem has made its home there. However, this one's a bit different than your average watering hole as you won’t find fancy, highfalutin ambiance and offerings here. But if you’re in the mood for drinking out of a mason jar or enjoying your meal on a patio with a side of live music, The Rustic will leave you feeling like you stepped right into the Austin city limits.

Nestled right next to the new Richard’s Group building on Howell St. (almost directly off 75), the place is the brainchild and collaboration of Texas singer/songwriter Pat Green and Free-Range Concepts owners Kyle Noonan and Josh Sepkowitz (who also created Mutts Canine Cantina and Bowl & Barrel). As you can imagine, the result is a space is brimming with Texas flair and fun.

The kitchen crew, and Bevo of course, fire different varieties of wood each day.

As soon as you walk in, you are hit with the aroma of smoked meats and wood. Visually, that notion is reinforced with the exposed logs in the entry. The indoor portion of the restaurant is a visual treat, combining urban elements such as wood and steel, but with Texas touches such as a beer can Lone Star flag and lots of longhorns in the décor…and somehow, it’s not tacky, it’s cool! Seating is community-style, with large group tables and bar tops.

The exposed kitchen adds to the casual vibe. 

The bar area features high-top tables and lots of communal seating. 

As cool as the vibe is on the inside, the patio is really where the place comes to life. Garage-style doors open up to a huge patio and grassy area that can seat around 400 patrons at a time.  

Patio complete with grassy knoll, adirondak chairs, rustic tables, and yard games!

Twinkly lights make everything more fun.

Here, you can listen to music, enjoy a meal or a drink, or play yard games. Music starts after dark - usually around 7:30 or 8. If you are going for good conversation, make sure to arrive a bit early as the concert gets a little loud, as does the crowd.

Cornhole, anyone?

In the winter, I hear they break out the fire pits. In the summer, they offer fans with misters. 

There's really not a bad seat in the house. 

The drink menu features over 40 Texas-brewed beers and wines, hand-crafted cocktails paying homage to Texas-grown ingredients such as the Lone Star Sour, and of course, a specialty margarita of the day. Most beers and margs are served in either a mason jar or one of their huge glass chalices. Everything’s bigger in Texas, right? 

The daily special, featuring strawberry preserves, a triple sec popsicle, and agave nectar. Literally the best margarita I've ever tasted!

You might think that with all this atmosphere and such a focus on the drink menu, the food would come up short. I was pleasantly surprised to find this not to be the case. Served homestyle, each dish features fresh, local (most from Texas farms) ingredients done up right. Not your average bar food, to say the least. You can add house-smoked meat to most main course salads and dishes, and sides are ordered for the table to share.

We started with Cold Queso - aka pimiento cheese. 

Then it was on to Texas Quail for dinner. 

When it came time for dessert, the key lime pie and banana pudding took the cake.

Definitely sized for sharing! 

You can also enjoy The Rustic at home with delivery from Caviar if you live in their Dallas delivery coverage area.

Be sure to check their site for a listing of shows and events before you go! 

The Rustic Official Site

TAGS : Uptown/Victory Park , The Rustic