Thanks for the tip: A longtime family-owned West Seattle restaurant has changed families. The Pellegrinis have retired and sold La Rustica, the Italian bistro at 4100 Beach Drive SW, to the Hoffmans. Co-proprietor Kat Hoffman explained via email, when we asked, that she and her husband have owned La Rustica since November, but have loved it far longer:
My husband and I have been going to La Rustica since 2002, when my sister-in-law told us about the cutest place in West Seattle with the best cannelloni ever, garlic bread that we would eat baskets of, and the most amazing tiramisu. We have been going there ever since. I can’t tell you how many of our dates started out walking along Beach Dr while waiting for a table.
I don’t know if you believe in fate, but I do. I think things happen or don’t, when they are supposed to. We had been looking for a new business to buy since the summer of 2019, had even made some offers but deals fell through for one reason or another. So one morning in January of 2020, I was looking at a business-for-sale site and saw a listing that caught my eye. It said 25-year-old West Seattle Italian Restaurant. I told my husband, “I bet you this is La Rustica.” He lost the bet, and we bought the restaurant. It took almost 10 months to go through because of Covid.
The main thing people ask or are afraid of is, what is going to change. Really, most of the changes that have happened are more because of Covid than the ownership change. I have really only changed 4 things since taking over. I switched from paper gift certificates to plastic gift cards, made some labels for the to-go boxes and bread, started making the chocolate mousse cake instead of it being store-bought, and just introduced homemade panna cotta to the menu.
Other than that, the food/recipes, the chefs and wait staff, and everything else that makes La Rustica La Rustica has stayed the same because that is we fell in love with so long ago.
I know some people think we were crazy, buying a restaurant during a pandemic, especially with so many restaurants closing. But it’s La Rustica. The neighbors and community have been so supportive and welcoming. We haven’t made a big announcement not because we are hiding it, but because we want our guests to see nothing has really changed and that the food is still amazing. The Pellegrinis said they are planning to come back for a week this summer when things are hopefully back to normal to see everyone and to say goodbye.
La Rustica, open since 1996, is the only restaurant on Beach Drive and is across the street from Weather Watch Park.
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