My wife and I enjoyed going to the Tomato Cafe when it was on Cambie but had not been to the new location until last night. Friends from out of town were visiting and we were looking for a restaurant that would accomodate three kids aged 7 months to 5 years. We searched the net and read some of the reviews of Tomato on this site and were surprised to see some rather negative reviews. Despite this we booked a reservation.
First thing we noticed when we arrived was how modern and open the restaurant was. It wasn't the cramped retro dinner on Cambie...although some of the feel was re-created with the stools along the bar. The staff was friendly and greeted us with smiles. Being a Sunday night the restaurant was fairly quiet. The restaurant was about 1/4 to 1/3 full.
I started my meal with a roasted tomato soup that had a wonderful smokey flavour. It came dressed with croutons and a drizzle of chive oil. For my main course I was wanting pizza but which one? There were about 4 to choose from. I hummed and hawed but could not decide between the French and the Sicilian. When it came time to order I told the waitress of my dilema and asked her if the cooks would mind making my pizza half Frech and half Sicilian? "It can't hurt to ask was her response and away she went. When my order arrived it came just as I had asked for. The crust was very nice and the toppings near perfect. My only "complaint" for lack of a better word was that there were too many olives on the Sicilian, otherwise it was a delicious pizza. My wife had the pan seared wild salmon with a basamti brown rice cake. It was perfectly cooked,not overdone at all and the rice cake resembled a polenta cake, nicely crusted. To drink my wife and I shared a half litre of Merlot.
My five year old daughter has a palate beyond her years and wasn't interested in the children's menu. Instead, she opted for the Sicilian pizza as well because she wanted the spicy chorizo sausage and kalamata olives. She was excited to take the leftovers for lunch at school! My two year old son had a "sophisticated" grilled cheese off of the kids menu. Thick sliced bread with I think a couple of types of cheese. One of which I think was Swiss. The sandwich came with Tomatoes signature potato salad and a nice pickle. I would have been totally happy with his meal! Tonight while cleaning up leftovers I found that a smattering of the sicilian olives goes very well with their potato salad!
I was full but my dinner couldn't be complete without dessert. I had the strawberry toffee cake and my wife ordered the chocolate molten cake, both which were simply divine.
Our friends were happy with our choice in restaurant. Even though it appreared to be an upscaled restaurant, it still had the feel of being family-oriented and kid-friendly. They were more than satisified with their food. Our waitress was totally cool and chatted with us about the old restraunt and the changes she had seen. She was impressed with how our children enjoyed their meals and how well behaved they were. As a reward, she gave my kids a complimentary baked good from their treat jars. It totally made the kids night.
We are confident to say we will be back.