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.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.