Yesterday I was invited to the soft opening of Tomatina, in it’s new location in San Mateo on South B street. As the name suggests, Tomatina is an Italian restaurant, that offers a variety of freshly made Italian dishes with their famous housemade sauces.
So R picked me up at around 8 and we headed down to San Mateo, ready for an Italian flavored night! Before we entered Tomatina, R suggested a quick photoshoot and how can I say no to that? He always takes great portraits of me ( being a photographer and shit… you know. You can check his work here)
Lately, I have been loving winter dresses. Usually in winter I cocoon myself with clothes from head to toe, but this year, as the winter here in California is a bit more mild than in Lebanon, I am embracing winter dresses. I love to pair them with high heeled booties or knee length boots. And I usually wear a tight Cami under them to keep me warm as the dress alone isn’t enough for me.
This dress I got for a great bargain at H&M, and my shoes are from Lulu’s.
We found the cutest bicycle shop with the most colorful bicycles! I have been wanting a bicycle for a while now, as it is so convenient here in Cali. But maybe I should get some practice first as I haven’t ridden a bicycle since I was like 8!
Anyway, after a few snaps, we were ready for some food!
I think by now, you guys should know that both R & I are a couple of foodie freeks ! We love our food, we know how to really ” taste ” the food and one of our passions is exploring new cuisines and of course cooking! Yup we both have a passion for cooking and we both cook delicious stuff.
As we entered Tomatina, we could immediately feel the warmth emanating from the pizza oven located at the end of the room. The kitchen is an open area overlooking the restaurant and the big pizza oven with its, raging flames, gives such a warm light on the entire space.
Our waiter took a little while to check on us, but after he finally did (and apologized for his lateness) he took our order and suggest that we have a glass of Quattro Mani red wine and we did. His suggestion was spot on! the wine was fruity and light and paired excellently with our food.
He took our order and went to get us some of their freshly baked bread that never made it to our table. Later on, he came and apologized for never giving us the bread, but that was after we finished the appetizers and right before we got the entrees. I don’t know if they were out out bread, but as he was apologizing for his mistake he should have fixed it with actually getting us some bread. Even though probably, at that point we wouldn’t have tried it anymore as we have started our meal already.
Anyway, our meal consisted of the Tomatina garlic rolls, two shared entrees, a Carne Combo pizza, the pork & pear risotto, and some bread pudding dessert.
The garlic rolls, even tough we order the small size (4 pieces, enough for two people) came in the big size (not complaining here!). But the big size, on the menu is stated that comes with 8 pieces, we only got 7. I guess the kitchen staff should be more attentive for these small mistakes next time, because later on people that are paying for 8 pieces would not accept only 7.
The rolls usually come with your choice of a sauce, marinara or ranch. But our waiter was kind enough to get us both so we can try them and pick our favorite. Let me tell you a thing about their ranch sauce, it is the best I have ever had. It was spectacular! The rolls even tough were a bit too hard, they were delicious, specially when dipped in the sauces. Kinda reminded me of a pizza crust …
Finished with our appetizers, the entrees took a little while to come to our table but when they did they looked mouthwatering. The pizza was good, I particularly enjoyed the sweet Italian sausage that was crumbled on top of it. The crust was thin, it’s the Italian way, and the cheese was stingy just what you want in a pizza. The prosciutto well it’s prosciutto, it is always good, I only wished there was a little more of it.
As for the pork and pear risotto, unfortunately it wasn’t as successful. The dish lacked a serious amount of salt, and the risotto tasted as if it is done with milk, not a good flavor… The pork and pear were a bit underdone too. Our waiter offered to replace it but we were already getting full on the pizza.
Finally it was bread pudding time! oh my oh my what a beautiful time it is ! The dessert was perfect. A tender and warm bread pudding topped with whipped cream and Marsala caramel, you can substitute the whipped cream with vanilla ice cream which we are gonna try next time for sure. Too damn good! My only comment about the desert is that we only got one small piece of banana, definitely not enough. Other than that, it was definitely the highlight of the meal.
At the end of the meal, the manager visited our table and listened to the comments we had about the good and the bad of our meal.
In conclusion, Tomatina San Mateo, definitely needs some fine tuning before the opening. The staff should be a little more attentive and the restaurant definitely need a higher number of servers to avoid the long wait to be served. But it is a decent Italian restaurant, that will please your craving for some low key not so fancy Italian food whenever it strikes.
Do visit them and please trust me try their amazing bread pudding!
Good luck Tomatina and thank you for the invite !
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