CLOSED: The Red Tomato's "Pie Tunes" Party

Just before the craze of TIFF, Red Tomato threw a “pie tunes” party, treating us to tons of pizza and a lively band. Located under Fred’s Not Here, the restaurant’s mood was cheerful as fellow diners chatted and sipped drinks.

The suggested white wine sangria ($8.99) went down like an adult smoothie – dangerously delicious with no hint of alcohol until the cocktail is finished and the giddy happiness starts to hit. A combination of pinot grigio, freshly pureed peaches, vodka and lemon juice it was refreshing with a bit of grassiness from the basil when muddled into the drink.

Soon the “pie” portion of the party was being showcased. The Red Tomato’s crust has a thin and crispy centre surrounded by an airy border for those who like to munch on crusts – or dip into chili oil like me. The prosciutto ($16) pie used a flavourful thick grilled artichoke pesto, roasted red peppers slivers, mozzarella and ample amounts of thinly sliced prosciutto.

A heavenly smelling garlic shrimp ($18) pizza used a similar base: earthy walnut pesto, roasted red peppers and mozzarella. However, the plump garlicky shrimp added a richness to the pie, likely on account of the drizzles of butter.

I love potato ($15) pizza - a neutral ingredient but when combined with the right flavours can be absolutely delicious. Theirs used thinly sliced Yukon gold potatoes, sweet caramelized onion, fennel, mozzarella and a stronger grana padano cheese. The light sprinkle of rosemary on top was a smart choice to add freshness to it. However, without a strong sauce, the pizza felt very under seasoned; luckily a dash of salt helped to revive it.

Hands down what will have me coming back is their Peking duck pizza ($18). Thick roasted duck slices, enoki and shiitaki mushrooms, mozzarella and a sweet rich hoisin sauce base, was an inventive and delicious recipe. If that weren’t enough, it’s finished off with sliced fresh green onions and crispy flavourful duck skin cracklings.

Indeed, this hidden lower level restaurant would have been unknown to me without the event. But, the cozy restaurant with its large oval bar and ample tables is a great place for an inexpensive dinner. Hint: bar seating allows you to order from their little pastas menu with five options for $8 or less.  With Red Tomato’s proximity to The Bell Lightbox, Rogers Centre and the Metro Convention Centre, it certainly offers a convenient bite before or after events. 

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 321 King Street West

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