Looks can be deceiving.
From the outside, Tomato Pie Bistro looks like any other quick-bite Italian eatery. But inside, tables are covered in white linen, jazz fills the air and lots of garlic and spices tempt the taste buds.
The name suggests that pizza will be on the menu. And it is, but this is no ordinary pizza. Specialties include formaggia (fresh mozzarella, provolone, romano and ricotta) and Vento Alfredo (chicken or prosciutto).
Owner and chef Adam Brent opened Tomato Pie in January 2008, combining his restaurant training at Crystal Catering, Ivy Tech and the Indiana Roof Ballroom.
“You don’t just get pizza here. Everything is made fresh,” said Brent, 39, who has been working in kitchens since age 13. “All our sauces are made here. The green tomato is our signature, and shows we make our sauces from scratch. You can’t get green tomatoes just anywhere."
Make it beyond the list of interesting and unusual pizzas, and the menu offers a variety of sandwiches, including a Margherita grilled cheese and chicken stromboli. The salad list is equally tempting, featuring a variety of ingredients such as salmon, artichoke and prosciutto.
My eyes steered toward the southern Italian pasta offerings, settling on the seafood ravioli ($9.50). The cream-filled pasta was covered in a light white wine and roasted red pepper sauce, and included generous portions of scallops, shrimp and artichokes. The flavorful and hearty dish was served with a slice of garlic bread.
My dining companion chose a 10-inch chicken and spinach tomato pie ($9.50). The chicken was lightly sauteed, and the spinach was fresh but not overpowering. Roma tomatoes, chopped garlic, cloves, fresh mozzarella and ricotta cheeses completed the mix. The toppings were served on a thin, crisp, oven-baked crust.
The staff was attentive, continuously topping off our iced tea and offering complimentary remarks on our choices. The wait was a little long for a lunch hour, though, and there were no suggestions of salads or offerings of fresh bread to keep the diners content during the wait. When the food arrived, it was hot, and the portions were generous.
The evening menu is expanded and includes filet mignon, tilapia and stuffed pork. Weekends offer something different, such as mussels, swordfish and tuna. The menu features 26 different wines.