This restaurant features authentic Italian cuisine prepared by Italian cooking techniques.
I took Mrs. C and some friends to this place because we were craving Italian food. The restaurant is hard to get to, because of the weird arrangement of roads in the area. Once we got to the parking lot, we found a spot to park and were quickly inside. Unfortunately we had to wait for quite a while for a table. I was distracted by the scantily clad servers wandering around, but Mrs. C did not find the ambiance as entertaining. Finally we got a table and set to ordering. The menu is all pasta with no pizza, but there are lots of choices. We shared various pastas, including spaghetti with chicken and olive oil, and linguine with shrimp in the same sauce. I ordered the veal Marsala with #11 spicy clam and shrimp sauce on fettuccine.
We also ordered Focaccia bread, the spicy sausage in sauce appetizer, and a big house salad. All the appies were good but there is no need to order extra bread since they give you complementary bread at the table. I tried the wine but it was a little pricey for the size and quality.
The pastas were all huge portions, but surprisingly my veal was a minuscule portion, about the size of two toonies, and about as thick... The pasta that came with it was tasty, but I never saw any shrimps or clams in it. So my meal was a bit of a rip off. The other pasta dishes seemed like reasonable value. As for flavour, I would rate it a little better than the food at ESM.
Service was good, but a little slow due to the number of guests. The ambience was just fine except maybe a bit noisy with all the people packed into the space. The w/c’s were clean and so no complaints there.
Overall some good points and some bad. Not like mama used to make, but for family-style Italian/American, not too bad.
Though there is a minimum $$ order requirement, the prices seem fair enough. We each got to take home pasta that lasted another meal or two. There's actually plenty of noodle but not much in other contents (i.e., chicken, shrimp, sausages, etc.). I did not run into any fresh grated cheese or ground pepper problem from my server like some others experienced. When she offered them, I requested for plenty of pepper though I didn't try to ask for more cheese than she was grating...
The service was very professional. Checked on us a few times and smiled plenty. The only problem we saw was when we first entered the restaurant on a relatively slow night, the gentleman, I assume is the bartender and another guy standing just outside of the kitchen, was just glaring over at us (well, they might have been born with natural glaring features so they could just be blank expressions...) and even as we were led in by the hostess/server (she was the only one serving us for the night), they did not crack a smile in our direction. That didn't bother me too much since I'm sure it was nothing personal.
I guess the old Dem Bones look suits them well enough. It's functional. I wouldn't hesitate to return for another meal, but I'd still be on the hunt for a good pasta place that's not too stingy on the protein.
Browsing through the prices for the alcoholic beverages, it does seem a little up there for this type of restaurant especially. I just stuck with water and didn't try the bakery goods they order in for dessert....
We walked into Italian Tomato at approximately 5:52pm today (a Saturday night) and the restaurant was strangely quiet. We were greeted by a bubbly waitress who informed us that ALL the tables were booked and we would have to sit at the bar (note: make reservations even if you’re going as a party of 2, or expect to be seated at the bar and having the bartender play the role of your server). Quite surprised, we were reluctant to stay but eventually gave each other approving glances and accepted her offer. To be completely honest, Gabriel has been to this establishment a few times; perhaps a few too many times. Himself, along with his friends, probably come here once or twice a year because we usually forget about our past experiences eating at Italian Tomato. It’s always the same: We start off extremely hungry, chow down the first few delicious bites, and then eventually fill up before half of the plates are gone! If you haven’t heard about Italian Tomato yet, their portions are absolutely massive! One plate of pasta could easily feed three people but because of the minimum table charge, most people order one pasta dish each.
Complementary Bread (3.75/7)
The bread is simply just a cold baguette served with cold butter. When you try to spread the butter on, you end up with a layer of something that resembles cottage cheese. We ended up dipping the bread in the meat sauce later to make it more edible.
Mezza Luna with Linguine - $18.95 (3.75/7)
(diced chicken breast, bacon in a garlic cream sauce)
This rating may be a bit harsh, but compared to other Italian restaurants such as Cin Cin, Italian Kitchen, and Zefferelli’s, this honestly was not very good. The thick and heavy Alfredo sauce made the entire dish way too dense and it seemed like half a pound of butter was used. The linguine was still a bit chewy, as if they tried to cook it al dente but took it out way too early. While there were a few pieces of chicken (quite dry), it was hard to find any of the bacon at all.
Veneziana with Gnocchi (add $4 for gnocchi) - $17.95 (3.5)
(spicy Italian sausage, diced chicken breast, garlic in spicy tomato sauce)
The gnocchi itself was mediocre but the sauce and meat did not really live up to our expectations. We’ve had much better elsewhere and probably won’t be ordering this ever again. The sauce to pasta ratio was not up to par as there was an unnecessarily excessive amount of sauce, which totally drenched the entire dish.
The overall service was just OK. The bartender was a bit awkward and it took us a while to flag down a waiter. Diana isn’t coming here ever again. Gabriel might though.
I came here sometime in September 2008 with my mom and my friend for dinner because my other friend used to work here and he told me to try it out. So I did and the three of us ordered 3 dishes of pasta and the any one of the dishes portion turn out to be good for three people so we could not finish any of the pasta. The bad part is that none of them taste good and also there is barely any meat or seafood there, only an abundant amount of pasta. So, we are definitely not coming back again.
I decided to try this place after my friend recommended it to me. I went there with 2 of my guy friends on a Monday night. The restaurant was 3 quarters full, a good sign given it's a Monday night. Monday night is their martini night at $5.95 ea, and I love their selection of fruity martinis. I ordered a penne with spicy italian sausage, chicken and garlic in tomato sauce ($17.95) and both of my friends ordered tortellini with a white sauce and the other with a meat sauce. They had to add $4 for stuffed pasta. The pasta I ordered (penne) was HUGE and I was full just by looking at it. The leftovers I took home lasted me 2 more meals. The pasta itself was okay, tasty but not spectacular. However, the tortellinis my friend ordered were on the small side when compared to my pasta. They were both able to finish them and they were reported to be okay. They said they'll stick with non-stuffed pasta next time.
I would probably come back again, and maybe order the calamari since I saw a lot of other tables ordering it and they smelled good.
There aren't too many solid casual italian restaurants here in Richmond so whenever I'm in the mood for pasta (often) my boyfriend and I always somehow end up at the Italian Tomato even though we swear each time we'll never go back. Yes, their portions are gigantic but there is a serious issue with quality when it comes to this place, from ingredients, food preparation, and even service which can be a hit or miss. This place also requires a minimum of $17 (or something along those lines) per head so it's not like you can share a dish which means this place must be racking up those take-out expenses!
The bread they offer is always stale and cold, not room-temperature but literally refrigerator-cold and so is the butter. Food comes out fairly quickly and is usually pretty tasty, I especially enjoy the Funghi pasta which is just all mushrooms but it's so so good. I like their meat lasagna too but they are totally starting to skimp out on the ingredients, I mean cmon for $20 you would expect there to be some freaking NOODLES in the lasagna but it's really just all sauce and cheese, there is nothing to cut into because's just a hot pile of delicious mushy cheese-covered meat sauce, yum.
As for ambiance, I personally find the restaurant cold and awkwardly spaced, the floors are rickety and it's located in a tricky area. Not a big fan of the elementary-school faded brown color schematics, its not a place where I'd want to spend an evening it's more of a in-and-out dining area. Well with that said I'll probably still return every once in a while when I'm craving leftover pasta for the next few days!
I went to the restaurant with my family on a Friday night and were seated promptly. It was a pretty busy night, which is good to see that the restaurant is doing well. We ordered a few appetizers and a large salad to share, the food was excellent! My dad got his own pasta and my mom, sister and I shared two dishes of pasta, my favourite was the milano (number 21!) and I got that on rotini pasta, which was perfectly al dente. Our server was very polite and attentive, and the owners are always very personable and stop by our tables to see how we're liking everything. I highly recommend the restaurant, as a family outing or even a first date, its very versatile.
We went to this restaurant to celebrate a birthday. First, the whole restaurant was full, so we had to wait 45 minutes before being seated. Our server took a long time to take our drink orders and she was very impatient. The bread basket was full of stale bread so we refused to eat it. The appetizers were just as expensive as the pasta, but came in very small portions. The huge portion of pasta is perfect for sharing, so I recommend you don't order too many servings. Overall, the slow service, noisy surroundings, decent food and miniature-sized appetizers is a great reason for us to never return.
Just picked up for the first time and it was terrific once again. The massive serving came with bread and was 10% off because I was picking it up. For 15 or 16 bucks per massive serving this place in a no brainer...unless you are more of a $5 burger or sandwich person I guess. Worth a try if you like pasta and value.
I registered to write this review because i need to warn everyone to NOT go here. I have to say the did do a great job renovating the place. The server served us quickly and the servers were nice and pleasant, however the food was ridiculously a joke.
First of all, I enjoy food a lot and I’m a decent cook so please bear with my pickiness. First of all, I always ask the waitress what is good on the menu, this way, I usually get a great recommendation. Her recommendation that was with a white sauce and if I like seafood, would be the clams and shrimp Fettuccini Alfredo. How can one possible screw up on this. Well, they didn’t really screw up, they just didn’t deliver. We knew before hand that the portions would be HUGE, as in US American sized portions for two, which we were happy with, but it wasn’t the pasta that failed us.
The Fettuccini Alfredo came and to my surprise, the portion was huge. It could easily fill two people up. What was a total disappointment was the clams and shrimp. For the price that I paid for, it was $16+ which is almost the most expensive pasta on the menu. What I got was not even close to what I had in mind.
In a perfect world, I was expecting maybe 10-15 clams with shells and maybe 5 jumbo tiger prawns, esp with the portions I’m paying for and the fact being a huge two portioned meal. What I got was not 5 clams or even 5 regular shrimps (21-31/ pound size), it’s about 30 clams and 30 shrimps. Yes. The size of the clams were about HALF the size of a jelly belly bean. The shrimps were the size of these dried Chinese shrimps which was also the size of a grain of brown rice.
I’ve been to Olive garden and their sauce were drenched in fat but it was also very very tasty, however, with Italian Tomato, it was just dipped in Olive Oil and it was not tasty at all.
Please please please go anywhere but here for pasta.
So after hearing about this new restaurant from some friends I decided to check this place out with a couple of friends.
We came for lunch on a quiet friday and were expecting good service and good food.
We all ordered appetizers and pasta...the appetizers were great! (I reccomend the scallops!) The pasta was good as well! The pasta was cooked well and the sauce was just finger-licking good. (I reccomend the olive oil sauce with the olives and anchovies...can't remember the name!)
However, the service was poor. The restaurant was faily quiet and there were only one or two other tables, and yet our server was still not able to give good service. I would expect the opposite in this situation.
When I came in, there was no one to be seen to seat us so after waiting around for about 3-5 minutes, we decided to take a table ourselves. I guess, you are supposed to seat yourselves here?
There seemed to be only one server at the time...she wasn't very enthusiastic, instead she seemed like she would rather not be there at the time. She definitly seemed un-experienced and un-friendly.
I hope the service is not like this at night, as maybe I have come in and merely caught a bad server...not a bad restuarant!
The restaurant itself was quite beautiful, I loved the stone-wall and the bar. Great work on the walls!
I've eaten at the Italian Tomato on quite a few occasions, and they have yet to disappoint me. The short little hostess is always super cheery, and the waitresses are very attentive, not to mention pretty good-looking! I'm used to the sizes of the pasta portions now, the first time I went for dinner my jaw nearly dropped to the floor it was so huge! There aren't any booths for me to put my feet up, but the music and the decor make the restaurant fun for drinks and snacks with your friends, or a place to go for a romantic date. Every time we go I make a point to try something new, but the Marco Polo rosee sauce would have to be my fav! (chicken, shrimps, italian sausage, and mushrooms! Yummy) The staff is always smiling and friendly, and the owners have made an effort to come by our table on more than a couple occasions to ensure everything was to our liking. A couple times we went on the weekend with no reservation. It was busy, so we ate in the lounge instead of waiting for a table. I didn't mind, the tables are big enough for two, the bar tenders are cute and even make time to chat! My only complaint is how you feel walking out the doors... The food is so good, and there's so much of it, you don't want to stop eating until just before your stomach explodes!
I've been here twice because a friend recommend I try it because I love pasta. I'm really on the fence because the first time I went I really enjoyed it. Second time I suggested my friends try it out, so a big group of us went (15+). I'd say over half the table was displeased with their food. I found their alfredo sauce was very oily and lacked any depth in flavour. I ended up pouring alot of salt into it. I tried my friends tomato based pasta which was decent.
Prices are fair, portion size is huge, service is pretty good. I would come back, but probably not regularly. I now often commute all the way to Commercial Drive to satisfy my pasta fix instead.
All in all, if you pick the right dish it's satisfying. If you don't, you end up regretting it. I suggest giving it a try. I would've rated the food a "4" the first time I went, but a "1" the second time. So I gave it an average of "3" to be fair.
We had to wait about 45 minutes for our food to arrive and the waitresses explaination was "It's just that when its a full house, it gets a little busy and the chef's have to make the sauces from scratch". First of all, the chefs and the waiters were just standing around from what we saw, and secondly, the restaurant wasn't even half full.
The food was mediocre, I was expecting better. Don't go unless you are willing to wait 40-60 minutes (and this is during SLOW period) for your food.
A number of years back, Antonio's on Westminster Hwy between 3 Rd and Minoru was Richmond's answer to Anton's of Hastings in Bby, huge portions of pasta. Antonio moved his operations to Florida. His staff went their seperate ways. Richmond's loss! On May 15, 2007 Antonio's General Manager, PJ partnered with another of Antonio's staff and opened Italian Tomato Restaurant at the old Dem Bones location at 3 Rd & Bridgeport. Same huge portions, same attention to quality, in fact even better. Management that cares about the staff, the customer, and the food - rather a rare combo in this business. We have been back six times just to be certain that what we thought was worthy of a high rating, actually is worthy. Open kitchen, a bartender on a hockey scholorship, friendly knowledgable staff and owners that are visible and that care. As for sharing...be aware that there is a minimum charge per person. More detail later.
I've read some not so great reviews for this place but I heard really great word of mouth about it, so I took the family there last week. It wasn't hard to find at all considering its a block from the River Rock Casino. We ordered a thin crust pizza and tri colore for starters which were amazing the pizza crust was crisp and the toppings more than generous. We then ordered 2 plates of pasta for the 4 of us, the Mesa Luna and the Veneziana. The reviews about size of portions was true you get so much food. The pastas were perfect fresh tasting and delicious, for dessert we had the brownie for the kids with the ice cream. I don't know what was wrong with the other reviews for here but the food and service (we had Carrie as our server) was astounding we will be back many times in the future.
My husband and I went here along with my sis and her family.We got there first and were welcomed with a smile although the girl seemed very upset and the placed was very busy.Within a few minutes we were approached by our waiter who was very pleasant and cheerful.We asked for wine off there wine list which was discontinued after our waiter went and spoke to a guy wearing a chef's outfit so we were thinking it possibly was the manager.I wasn't too impressed that their wine list was not updated.So then we ordered a sangria which was enjoyable not great but good enough.When the kids and my sis and her husband came in again our waiter was very prompt and came by and got their orders for drinks even suggesting the kids to try Limonata, which the kids loved.We ordered a ceaser salad which was big for a regular size and a couple of appy's to started which were very tasty and the salad was fresh.For dinner we order the spaghetti bolognese(meat sauce), Penne Vene( I forgot what it was called) and the kids wanted to try the Pizza so the waiter recommended that the #6 pizza was customer's most popular choice or if not to make their own, so they went with the #6 pizza.It took a bit longer to get the food but when it came it was amazing we enjoyed it a lot.The waiter was also very helpful and friendly. So we will absolutely go back.
excellent food. very fresh and i have to admit a little too big portions. and doggy bags are a must. they can accomodate anybody that has food alergies, because all the food is made fresh. all the pasta soses are made right there. the only thing that bothered me, was the way the waitress was cleaning the tables. she used too much windex, and the air was so poluted of windex smell. i did not appreciate it too much. they should not use such strong cleaners while you eat.
If you've read through the reviews here you know the service isn't the best at Italian Tomato. It's not that the staff aren't nice or attentive, they're just run off their feet and have too many tables on busy nights so it takes them a long time to come back for orders and whatnot. I've gone on 2 different busy nights and had quick service the first time and slow service the second time. That said, the pasta is fantastic, I get 3 meals out of it and it's really, really good. I'm old-fashioned and a plain eater so I stick with the staple (Spaghetti Bolognese) and it's very flavourful. My friend tried the Chicken Parmesan and said it's the best of that dish he's ever had.
I say give it a try and just don't expect the servers to be waiting hand and foot on you, they get the job done and sometimes they're slow but it's worth it for the yummy pasta and at $14-15 a plate it's not a bad deal considering you can get 2 or 3 meals out of it!
I have to admit reading all these reviews I wasn't sure if i was going to like this place...since I live in Burnaby I've been a regular at antons and to be honest recently I haven't been to impressed with the food there,anyways so the wife and I went in couple of friday nights ago and this place was packed which i was surprised to see I mean the location isn't the best but any how.We sat down and looked over the menu and the prices were very discent and reasonable.Our server was very friendly and gave us some good service although the only down side was it did take longer to get the food after we ordered it but I guess it was because it was really busy and thats understandable.The seats are not so close to eachother which is a plus unlike Anton's.The atmosphere seemed to be a happy one and although it was packed we didn't have to stand outside for 15mins.All and all I had a great time and we will be back.Who knows since the wife is italian this might take over for Antons.