Opened in 1996 by Janie and chef Giulio Pellegrini, La Rustica is the culmination of over 45 years of crafting cuisine, relationships and love.
Janie and Giulio have been married for over 40 years and have been co-restaurateurs for as long. Hailing from Patrica, Italy, where he attended art school, Giulio emigrated to Michigan in 1965. He met his beautiful wife soon after and as a young family they began their careers rooted in Giuio's love for the regional Patricano cuisine and his passion for artistry, quality and hard work. Janie soon became a masterful baker. She baked all of the desserts for the restaurant including her now legendary Tiramisu.
In 2020, Janie and Giulio retired and sold La Rustica to Kat Hoffman, a long time customer and an amazing baker.
From Humble Beginings
Giulio is from a small picturesque village in the hills of Italy just south of Rome. His distinctive cuisine is inspired by the natural beauty and local flavors of his youth. View the village of Patrica on Google Maps.
A New Generation Begins
In 2020, Kat Hoffman bought the restaurant, but her story with La Rustica starts long before that.
"My husband, Dean, 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 I won a restaurant. It took almost 10 months for the sale to go through because of Covid but the best things are worth the wait."
For over 20 years, La Rustica has been a special place to both Kat and Dean. Even when they moved from Seattle to Federal Way, they continued to come up regularly. Prior to buying the restaurant, Dean had never ordered anything but the cannelloni, calling it the Italian Enchiladas, but he has finally branched out and tried the rest of the menu. Now Kat makes all the desserts in the restaurant including Janie's famous tiramisu & limoncello tiramisu. Most nights you will find her in walking through the restaurant or in the kitchen cooking. You might see Dean or their kids in the restaurant for dining, and sometimes the kids even pitch in to help bus tables.