Who doesn’t love a great deal? I do! I recently purchased a Groupon for The Tomato Bistro in Manayunk. The Tomato Bistro is the newly renovated “upstairs” at the Couch Tomato. The deal was $25 for a FOUR course meal for TWO!
I felt like this would be a perfect time to mention- until about five months ago, I have hated, and I mean HATED tomatoes my entire life! It’s actually just raw tomatoes that get me. The seeds, the goo in the middle… it’s disgusting! Everything ordered in a restaurant, sandwiches, salads… I always had to request “absolutely no tomatoes please”. When the kitchen would forget (this happened often, since who doesn’t love a good tomato??) someone else at the table would have to pick them off for me, since I couldn’t bear to touch them.
Thankfully, I recently forced myself to try a cherry tomato on a big bite of salad with a friend of mine in Philly. I could hardly taste it but decided then and there that I was over my fear of tomatoes, and have been eating them ever since! It took some getting used to but I do enjoy them now, and even choose to include them in my sandwiches and omelets!
Now, back to the Tomato Bistro! One of my close friends, Allie (who is my inspiration for starting my blog) was the perfect date for the four-course evening. When we arrived at the restaurant, we decided to sit on the third floor. The atmosphere was bright and happy but cozy, perfect for our date. Along with our wine, the waitress delivered us a small cup of their Tomato (duh) Bisque and a few cheese croutons. It was an unexpected nice touch and it was so yummy!
For our first course, we were able to pick any three items from their small plates menu. Allie and I decided on trying the Crab Crepe, the Cornflake Chicken, and Popcorn Mac & Cheese. Everything was so good we couldn’t decide what we liked better. Allie also convinced me to try grilled artichokes- one of the only things i don’t like to eat these days. Turns out, I was pleasantly surprised and wished there was more of it!
Crab Crepe: Leeks, Carrots, Jumbo Crab, Dijon Cream
Cornflake Cicken: Artichockes, Prosciutto, Cornflakes, Caramelized Onion, Ricotta, Arugula
The Popcorn Mac & Cheese is actually not listed on their online menu! Weird!
Crispy Artichokes: Baby Long-Stem Marinated Artichokes, Olive Tapenade, Lemon Aioli … we ate this one too fast to snap a picture! DUH!
Next, we got to pick a salad and a pizza. The decision was so hard, but we finally decided on the Prosciutto Di Parma Salad & the Mushroom Pizza. Neither of our boyfriends eat mushrooms, so we jumped on the opportunity to be able to order them.
Prosciutto Di Parma Salad: Arugula, Red Onion, Olives, Piave Cheese, Prosciutto, Grapes, Lemon, Olive Oil
Mushroom Pizza: Garlic Oil, Assorted Mushrooms, Goat Cheese
I didn’t love the salad, but the pizza was to die for! The thin crust was perfectly crusty without being burnt, and the goat cheese tasted amazing with the mushrooms.
We also got to choose a dessert, but we had already talked ourselves into (or I talked Allie into) making a stop at Whirled Peace, the DIY Frozen Yogurt place down a block or two. We did try Tomato Bistro’s Lavender Scented Crème Brûlée. It was a perfectly tiny little dessert for a bite or two, but the garnish was pretty strange, don’t you think?
Overall, the Couch Tomato’s new sister restaurant “upstairs” Tomato Bistro was delish. Maybe it was the creative tapas, maybe it was the crispy crust pizza, or maybe it even is the FREE vallet service (so clutch in Manayunk, for this non-paralell parker!) … but I think it’s my new found respect for the TOMATO!
By the way, you can find my awesome date Allie’s food blog here! She started it over a year ago, and has some amazing suggestions and recipes. ENJOY!