MEAT ME IN ITALIA The Prosciuitto Bar at Le Tomate is just one reason to visit the exemplary, traditional Italian restaurant LETOMATEBISTRO.COM
MEAT ME IN ITALIA The Prosciuitto Bar at Le Tomate is just one reason to visit the exemplary, traditional Italian restaurant

4/5 stars


Situated in the heart of Dupont Circle, La Tomate offers the perfect location to take a moment in your busy day to enjoy a meal with friends. With both indoor and outdoor seating, this bistro is ideal for simply sitting back and watching the D.C. hustle and bustle. As waiters charm tables with humor and attentive service, the dishes satisfy the taste buds of those craving traditional Italian favorites or those looking to try something new.

Upon entering, it’s hard to miss the clean and modern look. Mirrors are juxtaposed against white walls, Italian posters decorate the back room, deep red chairs contrast with the polished, hardwood floors.

After we took our seats, we received menus, water and a basket of warm bread with olive oil. For starters, we ordered the prosciutto sampler and the bruschette miste. La Tomate is famous for its Prosciutto Bar, which serves prosciutto from all over North America and Europe, so we would have been remiss if we had not tried its different variations of smoked ham. The sampler presented us with four different types of prosciutto, each thinly sliced, perfectly balanced between saltiness and bitterness, and so tender that it melted in our mouths.

Next was the bruschetta miste, which was fantastic. Made with special ingredients selected daily by the chef, this appetizer contained two types of bruschetta. We enjoyed the fresh yellow and red tomatoes atop lightly toasted baguette slices, but the mozzarella, olive and sweet pepper topping was clearly the winner in terms of taste. The creaminess of the cheese, the tanginess of the green olives and the juiciness of the peppers blended together nicely and left a flavor that was anything but bland.

In my opinion, the quality of an Italian restaurant is based on how well they serve the basics (think lasagna), so I chose the pasta al pomodoro as my main course. Having mistakenly accepted the option of whole-wheat pasta, I expected my selection to negatively affect my dining experience, but it did not. The consistency of the pomodoro sauce was spot on. It was actually a chunky sauce instead of a liquefied tomato soup. It was not overly rich or sweet and exhibited freshness with the additional basil, oregano and garlic. As someone who does not like al dente noodles, I appreciated that the chef cooked the pasta completely without leaving it too chewy or too soft. All in all, this dish left my cravings for a hearty and savory Italian meal fully satisfied.
Along with these more traditional entrees, La Tomate offers many nightly specials to its guests. One of my friends even to its guests rabbit from the specials options. Having felt slightly nervous to try it, I must say that it was actually quite good. Served in a light marsala sauce with potatoes, the rabbit meat tasted just like chicken, though it was a little thicker in consistency.

If your budget is less than $30 for an appetizer and main dish, I would suggest straying away from the fish and meat entrees, since their prices range anywhere from $19 to $28 an item. Fortunately, there are many other choices in the college budget range. I would definitely recommend La Tomate to any student looking for a restaurant with delicious Italian food and friendly, efficient service.

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