Though pizza pie charts have proven a useful business tool, they also tend to annoy board members, who inevitably end up fighting over the key demographic slice. Chomp on some equally sliced charts with today's Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of pizza, pasta, and desserts at The Big Tomato Pizzeria in Wilmette.
The chefs at The Big Tomato Pizzeria pair pasta and sandwiches with doughy disks buried beneath fresh, customizable toppings. The menu encourages crusty discourse with pies baked in thin-crust, Chicago-style deep-dish, stuffed, and art deco styles. A medium Chicago-style pizza ($13.50+) holds toppings such as canadian bacon and spinach captive in its cheesy catacombs. Hand-helds include the italian beef and italian sausage sandwiches ($6.50 each), each dunked in au jus and paired with grilled onions and peppers, or try fork-friendly helpings of cheese-stuffed tortellini ($9.50). Kid-friendly selections such as pizza or spaghetti platters ($6 each) accommodate pickier palates, especially those who'd prefer to simply make a meal out of a plate of ricotta- and chocolate-chip-stuffed cannolis ($3.25).
The Big Tomato's cozy interior is as pleasing to the eye as the kitchen's plates are to the tongue. The space is awash in the glow of overhead lights and extra-spicy, mostly luminescent giardiniera. A liberal BYOB policy allows diners to bring their own bottles of wine or beer to pair with plates or to supplement any post-meal blow-jug performances.
Big Tomato Pizza
The menu at Big Tomato Pizza tags three distinct species of pizza pie: thin, stuffed, and Chicago-style deep dish. Diners can adorn their pies with more than a dozen toppings, including pepperoni, giardiniera, and pine nuts. To entertain pintsize taste buds, the kitchen bakes pizzas into kid-friendly shapes such as dinosaurs, teddy bears, and, since they suggest clown noses and games of ring around the rosie, circles. Stuffed pastas such as ravioli and manicotti brim with creamy cheese and a choice of five sauces, and local, organic coffee couples nicely with international desserts such as chocolate cannoli.