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“A neighborhood restaurant worth a return trip!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Red Tomato Cafe

Red Tomato Cafe
4910 Saint Elmo Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814-6008
301-652-4499
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Ranked #20 of 296 restaurants in Bethesda
Price range: $30 - $35
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
bethesda, md
Top Contributor
243 reviews 243 reviews
162 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
“A neighborhood restaurant worth a return trip!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

It has been years since I stopped by Red Tomato Cafe, and I'm not sure why that is. And after last night's dinner, I'll be back much sooner and more frequently! My husband and I had dinner there, and enjoyed our salads and pizza- both fresh and made to order. Service was fast and pleasant despite the fact that the small dining room was packed. We had a reservation, but waited at the bar with a glass of wine for about 20 minutes. Our wait was quite pleasant and sitting by the wood burning oven convinced us we needed to order pizza. The pizza did not disappoint, and we'll definitely be back. There were several families as well as couples, so a nice mix of patrons for a wonderful and tasty evening!

  • Visited November 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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27 reviews from our community

77% Recommend
    11
    10
    5
    1
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Maryland
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Yummy food, decent portion sizes”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

My spouse and I visited the Red Tomato Cafe last night. We got there early, so we did not have to wait for a table. Both of us thought that the ambiance was pleasant and interesting. Even when the restaurant filled up, we could talk without having to scream at each other across the table.
Our server, Elizabeth, did an over-the-top job, patiently describing dishes and honoring any special requests with "no problem" rather than the answer that I often get at other restaurants "let me ask the chef."
Since I am used to seeing huge portion sizes at many restaurants, it was refreshing to see that our plates were not overflowing with food, rather just the perfect portion. We ate every drop of our appetizers and entrees, and split a delicious dessert.
We would definitely return to Red Tomato Cafe.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bethesda, Maryland
1 review
“Amazing pizza, served with a side of disappointment”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

Have you ever walked into a restaurant that you had heard was fabulous, only to have your high hopes squashed to a pulp? I experienced that deflating feeling when I dined at the Red Tomato, an Italian restaurant in the older part of Bethesda.
As I walked into the dimly lit restaurant, I got the impression that the place was desperate for customers. Three eager waiters leaped up to assist me to my greasy table, bumping into each other in their haste. I noticed several pieces of old pizza on my chair, so I was forced to change seats. I tried not to pay too much attention to these warning signs, thinking that the evening would get better. Sadly, I was wrong.
Once seated, I was handed a menu that consisted mostly of pizza. Now to be fair, the Red Tomato does make amazing pizza, some of the best I’ve ever had. The cheese is gooey and delicious, the sauce a chef’s dream. The pizza is served on a wooden pizza paddle, which adds a nice touch. My dining companion had the veggie pizza, and claimed that it was the best she had ever had.
The fact that the pizza is a work of art does not quite make up for the mediocre service and freezing temperatures that I had to endure. Sure, the food was pretty much on time, but it wasn’t exactly speedy. The waiters provided more comedy than service. They didn’t even bother to close the drafty windows that were next to our table. However, the Red Tomato does attract a fair amount of pizza lovers who can take the cold. This became apparent later on when several loud parties of people walked into the restaurant and filled all of the seats. The eager waiters jumped up to help them to their tables with a great amount of enthusiasm.
The Red Tomato is one of several Italian Restaurants in Bethesda. Mia’s Pizza is among the best of them. On comparing the two of them, I believe that the Red Tomato’s pizza is superior, but Mia’s has a much more pleasant atmosphere. I didn’t have the greatest time at the Red Tomato, and I probably wouldn’t dine there again. However, people who love pizza might want to try it. If only the Red Tomato had take-out, I would gladly order from them and eat in the comfort of my home.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Great oven baked pizzas!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2012 via mobile

They make fresh, delicious pizzas. My face is the white pizzas. Soooo yummy. Good wait staff and a nice place to dine with a fun decor.

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Maryland
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Disappointed”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2012

With all the hype we had heard we were expecting a cozy small restaurant with great homey food. We had to wait forever for a table for four and then felt very squeezed in at the table when we did finally get seated. The food was OK but nothing to rave about.

Visited September 2011
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