Sunday, November 23, 2008

Red Tomato Cafe - Bethesda, MD

The bf and I were hungry on Election night and decided to try out an Italian restaurant called Red Tomato in Bethesda. The closest metro stop is Bethesda on the Red Line.

The restaurant is up the street from Olazzo, so there is street parking, and a metered garage a few stores down from the restaurant.

The interior had dim lighting, dark wood, and brightly tiled tables.

The menu was a fair size with around 8 appetizers, salads or pastas to choose from, and around 15 brick-oven pizzas. We were given bread while we waited for our food to arrive. Unfortunately it tasted like store bought white bread with plain butter.

For our appetizer we ordered the 'Calamari e Zuca Fritti con Pomodoro - Fried calamari and fried zucchini with spicy pomodoro sauce' for $8.95. I didn't really like the dish because it tasted frozen and the 'spicy' sauce resembled salsa.

The bf and I decided to both order pizza since they are known for their brick oven pizzas. He ordered the 'Pollo con Pesto - Oven Roasted Breast of Chicken, Tomatoes, Caramelized Onions with Pesto and Mozzarella' for $9.95. I thought it was delicious. The chicken was well-seasoned, the thin crust was just thin enough, and the cheese tasted great.

I ordered the 'Verdure - Mozzarella and Fresh Tomato Sauce, Eggplant, Caramelized Onions, Tomatoes and Portobello’s' for $9.95. I loved my pizza as well. The cheese really made the pizza for me. I'm not usually a crust eater, but I did eat them there. Very well seasoned over all too.

The pizzas are well portioned for an individual to finish by themselves.

For dessert we ordered cannoli that had chocolate syrup on them. I've had better only because the chocolate syrup tasted like it was from a Hershey's syrup bottle.

I was slightly disappointed that evening when I really wanted to like it. I was recommended by a friend but I think the restaurant was having an off night due to the Elections. We were one of 2 couples there. The food besides the pizza was mediocre, the service was inattentive, servers were yelling at one another right next to us, and they were cleaning up to close early while we were there without a warning notice on the door.

On a more positive note, if you want to go some where casual and cute then this place is for you. It has a nice ambiance, but uses paper napkins which make the feel less formal. The pizza was very good since the brick oven gives the pizza great depth of flavor. The prices are very reasonable, with the most expensive item being $16.95.

4910 St. Elmo Ave
Bethesda, MD 20814

Red Tomato on Urbanspoon


Penang Tua Pui said...

as a food blogger, we always write down what we experience on the restaurant during our visit, it might not be the same throughout other's visit.

As it is kind of unfair to the restaurant sometime when we are lucky enough to slot in the wrong timing...

so normally we will write about a restaurant after few visit... unless the food is really really bad...

about the yelling part, it is totally unacceptable.

vialentino said...

hi hi...visiting u ere....hv a nice day....c yeah.