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This East Bay Restaurant Might Become Your New Favorite Italian Place

Photo Courtesy of Tomatina

Joining the ranks of the East Bay's most celebrated Italian restaurants comes a new dining experience that promises the best classic Italian flavors combined with a modern and comfortable atmosphere. 

The brainchild of Chef Michael Chiarello, (who opened the much-anticipated Coqueta on Pier 5 last April) Tomatina is a new string of restaurants popping up across the East Bay which promise a seasonal menu robust in flavor and with only the freshest ingredients.

Tomatina excels at being your classic Italian restaurant with a twist, and they make sure to provide patrons with all the traditional dishes you hope to see on the menu: Chicken Parmesan, Mom’s Spaghetti and Meatballs, Lasagna, homemade tiramisu, and of course, pizza. Each of Tomatina’s pizzas is made-to-order and large enough to make sure you leave full and happy.

 At the same time, Tomatina is willing to experiment with new dishes. In fact, Tomatina was the first restaurant to bring the Piadine to California. Their signature dish comes in several variations, including the popular Caprese where chunks of the restaurant’s house made mozzarella are served over pesto-seasoned homemade flatbread with hearts of Romaine, oven-roasted tomatoes, a dash of balsamic vinaigrette and Parmesan cheese. YUM.

Thankfully, Tomatina is not your typical restaurant chain, so don’t think you’ll be bored by the same menu at each of the five locations throughout the Bay Area. Chef Chiarello’s handpicked successor, Executive Chef Rogelio Jacinto, is now in charge of the kitchen, the business, and most importantly, the flavor. Under Jacinto, the restaurant has moved towards offering and perfecting individual dishes at each location -- each of the restaurants even employs its own chef to cook up seasonal dishes like the tasty Pumpkin Ravioli served in a Parmesan cheese basket. (Yes, ravioli served IN a cheese basket.) Head out to Alameda, Dublin, San Rafael, Santa Clara and Walnut Creek to try all the menu alternatives.

This modern but casual restaurant is perfect for date night, a family get-together, or even a quick stop after-work to grab a half-baked pizza for later.

Pair any of Tomatina's delightful dishes with a glass of Italian or Napa Valley vino from their expansive wine list. Add a scoop of gelato, and Tomatina could very well become your convenient, go-to Italian restaurant away from home.