Had a great meal last night and wanted to share it with everyone here at CT. Two friends of mine just opened their first restaurant, Big Tomatoes, about 1 1/2 weeks ago. Last night was the first time Wanda and I had a chance to go and check it out. We weren't disappointed. The building is an old hardware store that was converted into a French Bistro about 5-7 years ago, I believe. They took it over and have created kind of Med. - Bistro kind of thing. The room is elegantly done in warm browns, earth tones and dark wood, with just enough fun accents, in the form of old hardware store drawers and fun tomato prints, to keep it casual. Service was good, warm and friendly yet still professional. A few small glitches in the service, but I know they will be taken care of as the staff gains more confidence in their duties and the level of service they are trying to achieve. The wine list is small, but quite varied in it's selections and very reasonably priced. I was really glad to see a wine list where Chardonnay didn't dominate the Whites section. As for the food, it was awesome. Not a small feat considering the short time they had to get the place opened and the usual fall out, of staff, during an opening. I started with the Potato Gnocchi tossed in a Gorgonzola cream. The gnocchis were good but the sauce was sublime. A rich gorgonzola cream sauce accented with bacon, more chunks of gorgonzola and just enough slivered green onions to keep the palate from getting fatigued from the sauce. Wanda started with the Carpaccio plate with freshly grated parmesan, caper berries, and a wonderful, small salad dressed in a sweet balsamic vinaigrette. Wanda next had a Poached Pear Salad. Good, but not great, but the pears themselves were fantastic. Medium sized chunks of pears poached in a spiced liquid so loaded with spices that it just screamed Falltime to me. For our entrees Wanda had the Pork Tenderloin with Sage Polenta which was a wonderful dish, but I think I picked the winner with Pan roasted Cod. Fresh cod pan roasted until cooked through, but still moist, with Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Rapini sauteed with garlic and a wonderful orange reduction. Finally, for dessert, Wanda had the Creme Brulee (big surprise as that is her all time favorite dessert). This one was coffee flavored and cooked to the perfect cream consistency, just wish the crust was a little thicker (my favorite part). I had the Choc. Crossiant Bread Pudding. It was a little dense for my tastes, but the flavors were wonderful. At the end of dinner Wanda joked that we need to come there every month. Personally, I didn't take it as a joke, and plan to be back next month! So next time you find yourself in the Green Bay area and are looking to eat dinner, check out Big Tomatoes!
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9/19/05 at 11:50am