Trending on Recent OpenTable Restaurant Reviews: Heirloom Tomatoes

Green Zebra tomatoes are easy to grow -- and even easier to eat!

Tomato-eating season has started, bringing with it some of the yummiest heirloom varieties you’ll find — Black Krim, Green Zebra, Purple Cherokee, Valenica, oh my! Typically defined as open-pollinated tomato cultivars, heirloom tomatoes are known for being much more flavorful than standard-issue supermarket (blech!) tomatoes — and more beautiful. They do have their own limitations, of which I am reminded every year when we inevitably lose fruit or entire plants to dreadful sounding things like fusarium wilt. It’s worth mentioning that even if a tomato isn’t an heirloom, as long as it was grown locally with care by someone using organic techniques, it will probably be just as tasty as an heirloom (see Tomato, Ramapo). Here’s what OpenTable diners are saying about the crown jewels of summer produce in recent reviews.

900 Wall, Bend, Oregon: “Adored the heirloom tomato risotto. Still trying to figure out a way to have it Fed Exed to Milwaukee!”

Bridges Restaurant, Grasonville, Maryland: “Great spot for dining on the water! Views, fun decor (check out the wine bottle chandelier), and good food. Four arrived in time for happy hour in the bar and took advantage of the specials (incredible clams in a wonderful bread-dunking broth, a tasty heirloom tomato pizza, and excellent housemade hummus).”

Carolina’s Restaurant, Charleston, South Carolina: “Enjoyed a delicious dinner made with local ingredients from the arugula to the ‘pink’ snapper. All were beautifully presented with interesting food combinations. The lemon dressing highlighted the flavor of the arugula combined with the heirloom cherry tomatoes, okra, and small deep-fried circles of eggplant.”

Ecco, Atlanta, Georgia: ” I got the spaghetti with heirloom tomatoes; incredible and perfectly portioned.”

Il Piatto, Santa Fe, New Mexico: “Loved the squid ink pasta, heirloom tomato gazpacho, arugula salad with apples, and gorgonzola ravioli. Will definitely come back.”

Jaleo DC, Washington, D.C.: “Love Jaleo! We walked in and there was Chef Andrés himself at the front door. Had the heirloom tomato salad — don’t miss if it’s on the menu when you go.”

Jean Farris Winery & Bistro, Lexington, Kentucky: “The food is very fresh and flavorful. The heirloom tomato appetizer featured all tomatoes from their own garden with a variety of salts. Very memorable.”

Mas (farmhouse), New York, New York: “The yellowfin tuna appetizer is a winner as was the heirloom tomato tart.”

Michael Smith, Kansas City, Missouri: “Started with a very fresh ahi app and heirloom tomato-watermelon salad; very refreshing way to start a meal — both set our expectations high.”

Next Wood Fired Bistro & Vino Bar, Colleyville, Texas: “The salad course was heirloom tomatoes and fresh peaches in a Champagne vinaigrette — fabulous.”

* Osteria D’Assisi, Santa Fe, New Mexico: “The sea bass special was phenomenal. I was blown away by the use of local heirloom tomatoes in the sauce.”

* Park 75, Atlanta, Georgia: “My husband’s venison loin was perfect, as was my bronzino fish entree. The heirloom tomato garnish on my plate with the salty sprout salad was worthy of entree status alone.”

* The Ranch Restaurant, Anaheim, California: ” I had the special salad — heirloom tomatoes and Point Reyes blue cheese. Very tasty and the colorful salad was a feast for the eyes too!”

* Red Canoe Bistro, Burlington, Ontario: “The scallop ceviche, pork belly heirloom tomato salad, lamb chops with fingerling potatoes, and chocolate mousse were well prepared, nicely seasoned, and beautifully presented.”

Restaurant Iris, Memphis, Tennessee: “The new crab and heirloom tomato appetizer and scallop entree (with Benton’s bacon!) are  wonderful additions to the menu.”

* St. Francis, Phoenix, Arizona: “The Sunday jazz brunch is a delight. The egg sandwich, which sounds so pedestrian, was raised to an art form with frisee and ever-so-ripe heirloom tomatoes.”




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