New restaurant Tomatina has great atmosphere

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Tomatina’s homemade Bruschetta is a restaurant staple

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The Pizza Con Cavolfiore is healthier than other traditional pizzas

Montgomery Village is a historic piece of Santa Rosa’s many shopping centers. Built in 1950 by Hugh Codding, Montgomery Village was the first main shopping center brought to Santa Rosa. Not only does the open shopping center offer a variety of over 76 retail shops and services but it also hosts weekly events and concerts. The newest addition to Montgomery Village’s dining experience is Tomatina.

Tomatina is a small Bay Area chain that was started in 1998 and offers customers the experience of “modern and fresh interpretations of traditional Italian recipes that are becoming as legendary as their creator, Executive Chef Rogelio Jacinto.” Although Tomatina offers pastas with made-from-scratch sauces and homemade pizzas, the local chain is most popular for it’s signature piadine; a fresh, hot flatbread topped with crisp salad, ready to fold and eat. For nearly 20 years, the caprese piadine with homemade mozzarella, basil pesto and oven-roasted tomatoes has been their best seller.

The Tomatina atmosphere is really welcoming. Although the restaurant was packed on a Wednesday night at 7:30, the wait staff was friendly and accommodating; always making sure the guests were comfortable and had something to drink while they were waiting for a table. Not only was the wait staff friendly and willing to talk to patrons, but they were extremely knowledgable of the menu and its best sellers.

The waitress suggested to start with Tomatina’s homemade Bruschetta; toasted bread with basil pesto, oven roasted tomatoes, freshly made mozzarella, Parmesan, field greens and tomato vinaigrette. Although the portion for a $9.50 appetizer was small, the quality of the food and the fresh ingredients made up for it.

Each month Tomatina offers a special menu that is hand crafted by their Executive Chef and inspired by the current fresh and seasonal ingredients. The special pizza of the month, Pizza Con Cavolfiore, was not only delicious but also healthier than other greasy pizza options. The hand-tossed pizza with roasted cauliflower, pancetta, garlic purée, fontina and Parmesan, topped with baby arugula was large enough for two people to share in the personal size. Again on the pricier side of things, a $14.95 personal pizza was worth the expense. The monthly pizza special is filling, savory, and delicious!

Another great tasting dish is the Italian Cobb Salad. With iceberg and Romaine lettuce topped with housemade ranch dressing, chopped roasted chicken breast, gorgonzola, tomatoes, crispy pancetta and diced hard-boiled egg, this salad is anything but weak. This was yet another plate that was well worth the money. At $12.25, the Italian Cobb was the most reasonably priced meal.

Overall, Tomatina has a great atmosphere for dining out. Whether it is a formal dinner with your prom date or a Thursday night meal with family and friends, the modern Italian cuisine will surely satisfy!