Written by Rachel Handel
Tomato Pie Café
885 East Ingomar Road
It’s a sure sign that warmer weather is on the way when Tomato Pie Café opens up for the season. Located on the edge of North Park, the restaurant’s outdoor seating is a lovely place to dine—surrounded by pots of fragrant herbs and flowers.
Tomato Pie Café has a long history in the North Hills. It’s not pretentious but the waitstaff’s attentiveness varies wildly—luckily on my first visit back this year, we had both a wonderful waitress and a fantastic meal.
Going to Tomato Pie on a Saturday evening can be a risky proposition—there aren’t many tables and it can be very busy. Somehow we lucked into an open table right away. The restaurant is B.Y.O.B. and nearly every table had abided by the acronym’s directive.
The menu hasn’t changed much since last year—it’s small, featuring a few appetizers, salads, and entrees—as well as pizza—but its simplicity is a welcome change from the four-page menus found in many restaurants.
Upon learning that the café was featuring fresh asparagus as an appetizer, I asked if the chef/owner could whip up an entrée featuring asparagus (which happens to be my favorite vegetable). He was not only up to the challenge, but the dish he created was a work of culinary art—lovely to look at and delicious to eat. Grilled, crunchy asparagus was paired with artichokes, wild mushrooms, greens, sweet peppers, and chicken in a light balsamic sauce that perfectly complemented every ingredient. My dinner was the envy of everyone in the restaurant—more so after the chef came out and asked how I was enjoying the meal.
My dining buddy ordered chicken parmesan, an old reliable which he enjoyed. It comes paired with penne pasta and sauce—a summery tomato sauce with just the right addition of fresh herbs and seasonings. The DiPositano pizza is also a consistently delicious option—a simple pizza of tomatoes, basil, and oregano topped with mozzarella and feta cheeses.
Tomato Pie Café’s combination of fresh ingredients, B.Y.O.B goodness, and casual atmosphere makes for a pleasant and laid back dining experience. When the kitchen and waitstaff are in sync and the restaurant is really clicking, it’s hard to beat.