Isn’t it a happy day when you go to a restaurant and the food you thought was going to be good tastes so much better than you anticipated? It happened to me at The Tomato Bistro in Manayunk, a hip Philadelphia neighborhood where there’s no shortage of food options any time of day or night.
I met a friend for lunch last week at this cute, two-story spot just off Main Street. The menu is creative and casual, with soups, sliders, salads, pizzas, and a buffet during the week and adding omelettes and a brunch buffet on weekends. While we were trying to pick just the right thing to eat, our server brought us each a complementary starter – an herby, little-bit-chunky tomato soup in an espresso cup and house-made mini almond biscotti, to dunk in the soup of course. A tasty way to begin lunch, indeed.
We finally decided on pizzas. My friend went with the Fig, a no-sauce pie with a layer of gorgonzola and mozzarella covered with dollops of fig pesto, sliced pears, bacon, and caramelized onions. I had to try the Short Rib pie (also without sauce), with fontina, mascarpone, and mozzarella and topped with juicy pieces of short ribs, small spoonfuls of fig pesto, rosemary, and micro greens. We went traditional crust, but wheat or gluten-free are available.
Served on rectangular peels, the pizzas were hot and delicious. The sweetness of the fig pesto stood up to the bacon and blended well with the pears and onions on my friend’s pie, and the short ribs and fig pesto melded nicely with the cheeses and texture of the micro greens.
If you’re in the area, give this bistro (or its sister place, The Couch Tomato Café, on the first floor) a try.
The Tomato Bistro
102 Rector Street
Philadelphia (Manayunk), PA 19127