Arriving at 7PM on a bustling Thursday night in North Adelaide, there was not a table left unseated at renowned Adelaide pizza restaurant Tony Tomatoes. Families, couples and groups of friends were excitedly interacting, creating a buzzing atmosphere both inside and out. As we made our way through to our table, inviting aromas of wood-fired pizza dough and herbs wafted through the air, causing our stomachs to grumble instantly. We could not wait for the decadent degustation of pizza that awaited us.
However, peering at the menu, we soon realised Tony Tomatoes is so much more than just pizza. Options of porchetta plates, cannelloni, spatchcock, steamed greens and so much more made up the contents of the first page of the menu, followed by a page dedicated to Tony’s pizza selection. The back page bore pizza and pasta specials, as well as five sweet dessert options. There was no lack of variety on this menu!
We began the night in style, ordering the Pomegranate Martini and the Italian Passion cocktails. While both appeared sickly sweet in colour (one bright red and one pink), the flavours were surprisingly quite balanced. The martini was refreshing and light, while the Italian Passion was fizzy and semi-sour.
Our waitress came over and offered recommendations for the entrees, of which we ordered four. We started with the Italian Fish and Chips which was – in fact – not fish, but a serving of soft squid alongside crunchy zucchini chips. Both were lightly battered for flavour; you could say they were a slightly more sophisticated version of your standard fish and chips dish.
Next came the Prosciutto Plate, combining thinly sliced parma prosciutto served with rocket, shaved parmesan and pizzetta bread. The prosciutto was softer than your regular, store-bought prosciutto, offering a texture that simply melted in your mouth. The saltiness of the cured meat worked well alongside the fresh and crunchy rocket, and the crispy pizzetta bread provided a delectable herb flavour, tasting strongly of rosemary.
The Pork and Veal Poplette and Asparagus Arancini came as a small serving of two or larger serving of four. Opting for one each, we ordered the small plate. The arancini balls were everything arancini balls should be: crispy on the outside, velvety and soft on the inside, rich in flavour and super cheesy. They contained a filling of asparagus, leek and asagio cheese risotto. The poplette was, again, very flavoursome, with two large meatballs doused in a rich tomato sugo with peas. You could tell the tomatoes were freshly crushed to create the sugo, and the meatballs themselves were delightfully juicy and tender.
Moving onto mains, we naturally had to order a couple of pizzas. I mean, who goes to Tony’s and doesn’t order a pizza? We picked two of the more unique pizzas, steering away from the traditional Margherita and Pepperoni types: the PSSS and the Contadino.
The PSSS was served with mozzarella, basil pesto, Barossa speck topped with house smoked salmon and a fresh rocket and shaved fennel salad with dehydrated prosciutto and cream goats cheese. Upon ordering, we hadn’t actually thought to ask whether the salmon came raw or cooked, so we were a tad disappointed when we found it was cooked. However, all disappointment faded when we took our first bite. The complex combination of ingredients came together so seamlessly, with a rich flavour that had very minimal fishy-ness from the cooked salmon. Soft textures of salmon and speck contrasted nicely alongside the crispy dehydrated prosciutto pieces. Result? Winner!
As for the Contandino, we knew we’d love this one due to a singular ingredient: truffle. This particular pizza came with a topping of mozzarella, mushrooms, truffle paste, fresh prosciutto and fresh basil. Rich and crispy, the Contandino was our favourite of the night. There’s only really one other pizza we’ve tried that could be considered on par with this delicious pizza and that would be the Prosciutto pizza from 2KW Bar and Restaurant, topped with truffle oil. Is it obvious we can’t get enough of the prosciutto-and-truffle pairing right now?
We have nothing but good words to say about Tony Tomatoes; it’s no wonder why the restaurant is consistently busy. As for the menu, while the pizzas are undoubtedly incredible, we do recommend trying from the other options next time you’re there. You might be surprised at just how much diversity there really is!