The Crust, with the vocal stylings of Jean Knight and the like playing through speakers that can be heard from Richmond Road, and dim lighting welcoming you at the door, is a casual, yet polished dining experience. The atmosphere really sets a charming mood, readying you for the delicious meal, as they serve breakfast and lunch, and the friendly service you’ll receive while dining with friends.
While still fairly new, the authentic wooden tables, comfortable leather chairs and walls of exposed brick and oranges and browns combine to really create a cohesive and warm feeling. The wall around the door is painted with chalkboard paint and covered with quotes, the menu’s specials and the bar’s happy hours for both convenience and decoration.
There are many different areas available for seating: couches outside, large and comfortable booths against the walls, long rectangular tables in the center of the room and stools at the fully stocked bar with flat-screen televisions showing Fox News reports instead of the typical sports game.
The menu consists of pretty standard Italian dishes that are themed fairly similarly, save for a few oddities such as the hummus platter, the buffalo wings and the Jamaican crepe dessert. Each of the many options for starters, soups or entrees can be personalized, mixed or substituted with whatever variations or additions you want.
Although the food is delicious, the options available are not as extensive or traditional as some of the other popular restaurants around town such as The College Delly or Paul’s Deli. Prices at The Crust are a little on the pricey side, averaging between $7 and $10 for entrees, and some appetizers are as expensive, if not more, than the entrees themselves.
While enjoying live bands or quiet chatter, you can also see the food coming out of the oven, which is visible over the counter. Although it makes the wait for your food much harder, the service is fast, and it is comforting to know that everything is made fresh.
The sandwich I chose was the roasted tomato and mozzarella panini, which had mozzarella, tomato, basil, pesto and roasted peppers in it. It tasted very similar to the roasted pepper sandwich from The Cheese Shop, one of my favorites, although it was not nearly as satisfying. I would recommend the pizza, instead of one of the sub sandwiches.
This restaurant has the perfect date atmosphere, especially in the winter, when you can order a cup of hot tea and sit at a private table for two against the wall while enjoying the ambiance and whispering sweet nothings to one another over a nice bruschetta. However, it is equally as accommodating to families and groups of students or alumni who come to enjoy the campus atmosphere without the high prices of The Trellis or The Fat Canary.
With its convenient proximity to campus, the future of The Crust is sure to continue on a positive trend and its delicious food will undoubtedly remain a popular choice. I would definitely recommend sitting down to enjoy a nice meal there.