On May 2, the Herald Democrat published an article about Rustico bringing a taste of Mexico to Denison. From reading the article, I was able to confirm this restaurant is in the old Palazzo building.

Facility: There is a huge parking area so parking won’t be a problem for patrons wishing to dine here.

The exterior of this building is beautifully done. I love the huge, custom wood doors that you see as you enter. The interior is also gorgeous — a lot of wood details and nostalgic pictures throughout.

When we entered the building, there was salsa music playing, and the atmosphere had a good vibe. We were greeted and seated immediately. Our waiter, Fil, introduced himself and welcomed us to Rustico. Fil gave us our menus, which are so unique themselves and he then went to get our water. A young man brought chips and salsa while we waited.

Food: When Fil returned he asked for our drink order. We both chose the Panama beach ($7.50) — mango, tequila, granite gala and organic agave nectar. I love mango flavored anything and everything. The drink was very sweet and one was sufficient. It was a nice, easy start to our meal.

When Fil returned I ask about the evening specials to which he responded, that at this time they have not started having any specials. That it is something they’re looking at doing possibly in the future.

For our appetizer, we ordered a bowl queso dip ($5) for a bowl. It is a smooth, white cheese dip, served hot.

For my meal, I ordered the chicken cilantro ($16) — grilled chicken breast served with Sherry wine cilantro sauce, poblano rice and tatuma squash. The chicken was served on top of my vegetables with the sauce poured over both. The flavor of the chicken was nice. The rice was cooked just right and the veggies were cooked soft. Yellow squash, green beans and zucchini strips. They also included another side with this meal — shredded cabbage, carrots and jicama with chunks of pineapple. This was an interesting choice of flavors and textures. Fil explained to me that this was an authentic Mexican side. It had a standard cabbage flavor with a burst of sweetness, a very enjoyable combination of flavors.

I really thought a splash of vinaigrette would have probably enhanced the flavor of the cabbage side, but if it’s a cultural dish I didn’t want to be disrespectful.

My guest ordered the Camarones in Pipian Verde ($17) — sautéed shrimp in cilantro pepito pesto sauce served with poblano rice and tatuma squash. She also had the shredded cabbage, carrots, jicama with chunks of pineapple. The presentation of this plate was fantastic, very eye appealing and the burst of flavor from the cilantro sauce on the shrimp is divine. The shrimp were tender and flavorful.

For dessert we ordered the peach cobbler ($6.50). The cobbler comes with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. When it came out I couldn’t see peaches. I reiterated to Fil, we had ordered the peach cobbler. He said the blueberries on the side are just part of the peach cobbler. The addition of the blueberries was an interesting combination of flavors with the sweet peaches, but very much worth the try.

As we were leaving, we were thanked for coming in by the owner and his employees. He told us to always enjoy our life. He must’ve picked up on the enjoyable experience we had in his place.

Final thoughts: This restaurant was awesome and the food was great. Denison should be proud this man chose to build his business in their community. It is a classy establishment and very clean. It’s not your run-of-the-mill restaurant. The owner invested a lot of money to give patrons a nice place to be proud of in their community.

Fil did say part of the building could be used for larger gatherings.

I only have one recommendation for this particular restaurant, because of the presentation of your restaurant and the classy atmosphere that you provide, I would strongly recommend that somebody go through and clean the window ledges regularly. No one wants to look at dead flies while they’re enjoying their meal. I know this year they are particularly bad and you have to be careful what you use to control them.

Have you tried Rustico? Tell us about your experience.