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The Black Tomato
The Black Tomato
The Black Tomato
The Black Tomato
The Black Tomato
The Black Tomato
The Black Tomato
Foods from The Black Tomato

2009 Jul 29
The Black Tomato is a pretty local-driven restaurant with good food, a great atmosphere (unless it’s the middle of summer and scorching hot – they’re in a heritage building that doesn’t allow them to install air conditioning, so if you aren’t so lucky to get a spot on the patio you may end up cooking inside – I have no idea how the kitchen staff survive), and ok service (nothing special). They’ve been around for a while and so has their menu. I used to go quite regularly until a year or two ago when I had bad service and was honestly just bored seeing the same dishes over and over. So when they renovated and opened a new section in the restaurant, I assumed the change would also bring a menu update. Not so. There were a few new dishes since my last visit, but overall, pretty much the same. Although disappointing to me, it doesn’t seem to bother anyone else, as they continue to be super busy. Thankfully, I hadn’t been in a while, so I no longer felt so uninspired by the menu, and actually had a hard time deciding between a few of the dishes.

We started off with the cheese board. As described on the menu, creamy Soignon Caractère de Chèvre, Bleu de Sophie (Oxford Mills ON) blue cheese and the deliciously Tomme de Gaston (Oxford Mills ON) cheese. Accompanied by dried apricots, fruit, walnuts, honey and crackers, all designed to bring out each cheese’s rich and complex flavours. If you’re looking at the photo, yes, this is the cheese plate. I know, hard to find the cheese. The description should have read, fruit plate accompanied by some cheese. I did enjoy the walnuts drizzled in honey though. The few morsels of cheese I had were also very good, but a pretty big tease.

I was much happier with my main, Smoked Wild BC Sockeye Salmon harvested using sustainable methods, marinated in delicious maple syrup and flavoured with a hint of garlic. The salmon is then smoked to perfection and served on a potato cake (with bacon) and accompanied by market vegetables. This dish was indeed fantastic. I love maple and smoked salmon and I have a huge weakness for potato cakes. This dish was an obvious choice in my mind. So much so that I started eating it before taking the photo! I tried to make up for it but the photo I did take doesn’t do it justice. With that we sipped on a 2007 Venetio Pinot Grigio. I will probably eat there again at some point. But not unless they change their menu. The staff could be a little more enthusiastic as well. Apps range from $8 to $17, sandwiches from $12 to $14 and entrées from $14 to $33. Oh and if you still purchase CDs, they have a great selection of new releases in the genres of roots and dub reggae, jazz, improvised, modern classic, indie rock, alternative country, ambient, electronic and electro-acoustic music, as well as some other styles for sale. If you like what you hear while you're dining, you can pick it up on your way out. They also have a listening station at the end of the bar.

2009 Jul 25
Had an excellent meal last week and am only writing review now.

Meal was so delicious (and filling!) that I'm salivating as I type.

Arrived around 8ish and were lucky to have found a table.

To begin: great (virgin) caesars!

I ordered the open-face rib steak (sliced) sandwich which was topped with melted brie and paired with roasted potatoes and salad (great vinagrette). SOOO delicious! I will definitely be going back for that one. The seasoning of the beef and the way it had been cooked gave it so much flavour. Bite after bite, my proclamations of yumminess were not getting old (at least not to me).

My friend had the philly cheesesteak meal and was also very pleased.

The price of our dishes were exceptional given the quality and quantity. The service was also really good. Thumbs up all the way!

2009 Jul 1
I visited for a birthday dinner. Overall, I was impressed.

My first reaction upon entering the restaurant was that the layout was awkward and the tables were too close together. But, this didn't really bother me when I was sitting down. Our server was friendly and attentive. We were curious about a particular beer and he brought us a sample of it. The service was pretty fast/time-appropriate between drinks and courses. Also, the music was pretty awesome and there was a nice ambiance overall.

We ordered the naan & tzatziki as an appetizer (pictured). The portion was a bit small for $11 but it was still very good.

As a main, I ordered the thai noodle bowl, and my partner ordered the chicken & shrimp jambalaya. The portions were pretty large... neither of us made much of a dent. But, I wasn't really impressed with my entree. My thai noodle bowl wasn't very flavourful at all and I think they claimed it was "thai" due to the addition of a few peanuts. My partner ordered the jambalaya half-spicy as recommended by the server, and he still found it VERY spicy for someone who enjoys spicy food.

I was a bit confused about the "formality" of the place. Some of the guests were dressed quite nicely, and others casually. The same went for the servers, which I found odd. A lot of the female servers were dressed nicely, but our server was wearing cargo shorts. As a moderately-priced place, I would have expected it to be a bit more formal, but I'm not really one to complain about how the servers or patrons are dressed. This wasn't an issue... just interesting I guess.

Our bill came to $90 after tax, before tip. I found this was pretty reasonable for 2 entrees, 1 app and 2 drinks each.

I was disappointed with my entree, but I might return here again because I felt the atmosphere made up for any shortcomings. For example, the place seemed a bit cluttered... it was pretty obvious that they didn't have much storage space, even after their expansion... there were napkins & linens sticking out of cupboards (in plain view), for example.

I've heard a rumour that they don't have air conditioning, so this might be a deciding factor for me later in the summer.

2009 Mar 25
I just got back from a lunch time stroll around the market to discover that the Black Tomato is closed for renovations. They will be expanding into the vacant retail space next door which I think was formerly a Timothys. They are expected to re-open next week.

2009 Mar 20
Went here for lunch today and was very disappointed. We both started with the soup of the day which was roasted red was not good at all. It tasted like a bowl of canned tomatoes. Next we ordered the philly cheesesteak sandwich to share which was good and then we had the grilled artichoke and tomato sandwich on was awful. It did not have much flavour and had huge chunks of barely ripe tomatoes on top. THe side salad was good and the dressing was really nice. As I looked around I wished I had just ordered a salad because they did look quite good. THe food was really disappointing ...I had heard a lot of great things about the black tomato...but I will not be going back.

2009 Mar 17
We went for a staff lunch at The Black Tomato recently because my boss was leaving us at the end of the week. We like her very much however she left us for bigger and better things so we felt it was only appropriate to take her for a really nice lunch. A few of us like The Black Tomato so this is where we took her. We were a fairly large group (around 28 of us) so I can’t comment on other dishes but the large group certainly made the restaurant feel cozy. The restaurant itself is quite small but they have large windows at the front and back of the restaurant with white curtains tied back giving the restaurant a sunny warm atmosphere. There are paintings by local artists mounted on the wall and I believe the artwork is available for purchase. There was music playing in the background but of course I was too busy chatting away to notice what they were playing-;)

The menu itself is quite daunting since it is several pages long and everything looks good. I was really tempted to start with an appetizer but I recalled from eating dinner here awhile back the portions are generous so I decided to stick with a main. I chose the spicy Thai noodle bowl with shrimp, scallops, and vegetables served over rice noodles. The meal had a nice tang to it but I like VERY SPICY food so I would have loved something a little hotter.

The standout for me was ordering my very first Beau’s beer and I think I died and went to heaven! Not sure why I waited so long to try a Beau’s but I am looking forward to stocking some in the fridge for when the warm weather finally arrives.

2008 Mar 5
Always a decent meal to be had here. I haven't been in awhile, but I will be going sometime soon for sure. I have always liked how you can pick music to play in the restaurant, and even buy something you enjoy as well.

2007 Dec 21
Vegetarian tofu noodle bowl!

2007 Dec 21
One of my favourite places to grab a bite to eat in the Market. Great service, delicious food, and a good selection of beer on tap and wine at the bar.

I could go on, but instead I'll show you some food!

Pictured: Grilled Tomato and Artichoke 'Flatina' (which I guess is their made up term for flat bread with tasty things on it).

2007 May 1
My partner and I had dinner here Saturday night. We arrived around 5:00 and I think it's best to arrive early. Fifteen minutes after we were seated the place was packed and although we had friendly, timely, and professional service some of the late-comers were left waiting. As for the other comments about the place being cold – My partner and I also noticed this. We were sitting by the door and they had the door to the patio open although it was much too windy for the breeze to be enjoyable.

Our food was excellent. We started with the toasted naan bread with tzatziki which we both enjoyed a great deal. We enjoyed how crunchy the naan was but my boyfriend pointed out that we could easily make this at home for half the cost. (We are definitely not equal in our passion for food!)

I had the smoked salmon antojito which is smoked salmon, goat cheese, cream cheese and spinach toasted in a wrap. It was very rich and I could only finish half of it (I filled up on naan bread); however, the leftovers were excellent cold the next day. My boyfriend had the Cajun Chicken sandwich with Cheddar cheese melted on top. He really enjoyed it. The only criticism we had was about the dressing on the salad. It was a citrus scented dressing and it just did not work with either of our sandwiches. The roasted potatoes were yummy though!

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2007 Mar 11
I've only been here once about 5 or 6 years ago and the selection was good. But the venue is well-known amongst local homebrewers as a spot for great beer.

2006 Oct 16
Besides the usual suspects, the Black Tomato usually has a few gems from nearby microbreweries available on tap (notably Church Key and Scotch Irish).


2007 Jul 16
I had brunch here several weeks ago. They do a table d'hote brunch menu.
The day I was there the options were:

Black Bean Soup OR
House Made Granola

Breakfast Burrito OR
French Toast with Bananas and Chocolate Sauce

Choice of Dessert

I opted for the Granola, followed by the French toast.

I had a latte to start, and the granola which was really good, and fortunately in a small portion because it's pretty heavy as a starter. It was nicely carmelized and really tasty.

The french toast was was a large wedge of brioche type bread that had been coated in oats before frying. It came with sliced bananas and chocolate sauce, 2 large pieces of thick cut bacon that were a little too crunchy for my taste and 2 sausages that were slightly longer and thinner than the standard breakfast sausage, and a lot less greasy. I wish I knew where they get them. There was also a nice salad on the plate, and fried potatoes (not deep fried, either!).

Upside: The latte was included in the price, which was about $17 so there was a lot of food for the price. And almost everything was tasty. I had to have them box my dessert (Peanut Butter Pie) to go, as there was no way I could eat it after all that.

Downside: This is not the place to go if you have plans after. I was seated shortly after 12:00 and had my bill dropped at 1:40. Also, it is a lot of food, so go hungry, or with someone who has a bigger appetite than you. Also, I liked the table d'hote format, but probably wouldn't have if they'd offered choices that didn't appeal to me.

All in all, I'd go again.