Flush with the success of their first restaurant, The Couch Tomato Cafe, business partners and college buddies Craig Mosmen and Michael Cassano have expanded their plant-themed empire with The Tomato Bistro. Situated in the Manayunk district among an array of boutiques, salons, and nightclubs, the comfortable yet formal dining space surrounds diners with loft seating, cut-stone walls, hardwood floors, and modern lighting fixtures.
The Bistro’s dinner menu is filled with thin-crust, New York style gourmet pizza creations topped in San Marzano sauces and Grande mozzarella cheese. Produce is ordered and prepared daily and used to cover pizzas, fill salads served with homemade dressings and rolls, and add splashes of color to otherwise lackluster chef uniforms. Gourmet small plates encourage sharing, while an intentionally limited menu of specialty pizzas, salads, wraps, paninis, and homemade soups allows The Tomato Bistro’s cooks to maintain a high level of quality.
Question the regulars at Keystone Pizza on their favorite pie, and you’re not likely to reach a consensus. Some will praise the margherita pizza, citing the juiciness of the crushed plum tomatoes and the bite of fresh garlic. Others will laud the tender gyro meat on the Greek Zorba pizza, or extol the gooey mozzarella and ricotta cheeses that blanket the signature white pie. Still others will interrupt pizza discussions to defend the virtues of the restaurant’s plump calzones, crispy Italian-style sandwiches, or shy but handsome delivery boy. And there are always a few wing aficionados who insist that the true stars of the menu are the buffalo wings—juicy morsels of chicken slathered in hot, mild, and barbecue sauces.
The calzone constructivists at D.P. Dough comfort stomachs 'til the wee hours of the morning every night, using made-to-order dough stuffed with a multitude of tasty ingredients. Topping a menu of more than 40 'zones ($6.85 each), and carefully chaperoned by sides of marinara sauce, are a bevy of breaded-bird beauties like the Chicken Parma-Zone and the bleu-cheese-bedecked Buffer Zone. Gift a generous green thumb with veggie variables like the Time Zone, which is a garden of peppers, mushrooms, onions, and cheeses. Outside the doughy dimension, the baked D.P. Dough Wings let taste buds takeoff with six ($4.50) to 24 ($16.05) wings sheathed in hot sauce, barbecue, or ranch seasoning.
Tony Altomare’s Italian eatery crafts Neapolitan-style pizzas with freshly made dough and homemade sauces, gaining accolades such as the title of best pizza from the Philly Hot List in 2010. Diners can peruse the menu and sink teeth into one of the pre-designed pies, such as the mozzarella-, basil-, and tomato-sauce-adorned margherita pizza ($13.99 for a large), or the romano pizza splattered with pepperoni, sausage, philly steak, and bacon ($15.99 for a large). The grilled eggplant and verdant fillings of the veggie delight wrap ($6.59) offer a tastier alternative to nibbling on various houseplants; a buffalo chicken stromboli ($7.59–$15.59) or one of the homemade hoagies ($6.29–$6.59) reenergize patrons who have spent long hours writing a book in binary code. Tony’s menu varies with each location, so check each restaurant’s website for a complete listing of its belly-tickling fare selection.