No Need to Rusch Greatness: New Sports Bar Storms Dining Scene

Hamilton’s latest local dining spot allows for diversity in atmosphere and a variety of good food.

Fans of Nichol’s & Beal have a new place to look for: a restaurant bar that delivers on its menu! With Rusch’s, the menu was unassuming and the food did the talking. Eating on a relatively quiet Sunday night, which also happened to be the one week anniversary of Rusch’s opening, I couldn’t help but think that I would be revisiting in the future. For my part, I very much enjoyed my meal and would recommend this new spot to any student on the Colgate campus.

From the outset, I was impressed by the atmosphere. In my experience, the behavior of the staff imparts to the customer is an integral part of shaping an attitude both in anticipation of and towards a meal. My server was a young woman with tremendous personality and vivacity. Not to mention, in the main restaurant, everything was well lit and furnished. In fact, the menus were already waiting on the table in anticipation. The environment is so conducive to hanging out, stimulating conversation and being a little louder and more casual. Indeed, some restaurant spaces, like the new wing of Parkside or Slices (sans late-night crowd) make you almost intimidated to speak a word. So what did I have to eat?

Spinach and artichoke dip: In my opinion, it was better than the dip at the Colgate Inn. The appetizer was full of flavor and big pieces of artichoke, with a garnish of juicy tomatoes. The chips to compliment were equally exciting. If you know the feeling of eating light and crispy, authentic tortilla chips after getting used to salty Tostitos, then you can imagine the feeling of biting into these airy chips. Loaded with butter and fat, they are definitely not a diet choice, but they were undeniably good. The portion size was perfect: just enough to satisfy two people without being uncomfortably stuffed.

Shrimp scampi over rice pilaf: A solid dish that demonstrates the variety at Rusch’s. They are not just wings and burgers, but have reasonably priced steaks, salads and seafood. The creamy rice pilaf was cooked well, with a fluffy, buttery consistency. The sauce, when I added some extra lemon, cut into the creaminess in a delicious way, and, bite for bite, the shrimp with the rice was a great combination. I would have liked to have seen bigger or more shrimp, however. The quantity of the rice overshadowed the title protein.

Cr??me brulee: This dish is a personal favorite of mine, and Rusch’s did not disappoint! The creamy custard was smooth and cold. The hard, carmelized top was sweet, leading away to a sugary rim-where the flame reaches the least but is still delicious. My recommendation for this dish would be, however, to lose the whipped cream as a garnish, and replace it with a berry-to provide a small tartness that the dish lacked.

Everything was served in an extremely timely manner; I enjoyed the meal in little more than an hour. But in an atmosphere like that, I would almost like the food to take a little longer!