Restaurant: Red Tomato
Location: 321 King Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 1J5
Price Range: $$
Recently I was invited to Pie Tunes event at the Red Tomato on King Street West, which is also owned by the same owners at Fred’s Not Here restaurant. The party was to celebrate the launch of their pizza menu which would offer samples of their new Neapolitan style thin crust pizza, popular cocktails, craft beers and wine.
I brought C as my plus 1 and when we arrived, there were no signs indicating where the event was so we were quite confused. We headed inside the restaurant to ask and turns out the party was downstairs. Since there were only around 10 people, the party haven’t started yet so the host told us to just go inside. Ok…so were we supposed to sit somewhere? What’s the menu? What are we supposed to do? I went to ask the host again and she told me to sit wherever I wanted, and no food nor drink menu were given.
The space was lively and by the time I arrived, most of the seats were already taken so it was first come first serve when it comes to that. The restaurant was spacious with an open space in the middle for everyone to dance and mingle with each other. I quite liked the modern decors with the black and white photographs contrasting the wooden walls.
I understand this was an open bar, so the drinks might have been slightly “modified” but they were super watered down… Both of us ordered the whisky sour and Long Island, and they tasted like lime juice and sprite respectively. C actually have a mild allergy to alcohol, she can still drink but not a lot, yet after those drinks she had no reactions so we knew for sure these had little to 0 alcohol in them.
The event started around 6:15PM and pizzas started coming out of the kitchen. However for quite a long time, the pizzas just went around the tables where most of the food bloggers that I know of were there, and the food wasn’t coming to the bar area at all. Quite confused, I went to ask a server and I was informed only bloggers would be fed the food and if I wasn’t one, I wouldn’t get any. Ok first of all, why would your manager invite me if I was not a food blogger? Secondly, everyone who was invited to the party was offered to try the new pizza, where on the invite did it specifically say “if you are not a blogger, you won’t get to eat”? After I told her I was a food blogger, she proceed to tell me to just sit down and the food will come.
By the time the food came, the servers expected us to each take a slice and be on with it. That’s why I was unable to take picture of the whole pie itself, unless I ordered one on my own.
The first one we got was the hangover cure pizza which I quite enjoyed, however it was extremely salty and there wasn’t anything to cut down the salt level at all. Not sure if I would want something overly salted as my hangover food, but overall it was decent.
This was my favorite of the night, and from my observation, it seems everyone loved it too! The moment it arrived, there was a strong aroma from the sweet and pungent hoisin sauce, and duck was moist and tender. It tasted just like a real Peking Duck but on a pizza instead of being wrapped in a thin pancake.
The pizza was a bit too oily from the fatty and succulent pork bellies, however the balsamic onions and radicchio brought some tanginess and helped to cut some of that down.
The prosciutto pizza had the potential to be good, however I was slightly let down by this. The prosciutto wasn’t salty enough so the entire pizza tasted bland, maybe it would have been better if the prosciutto was slightly cooked to bring out more flavors. The sweet pepper was a bit … too sweet and contrasted with the savory pesto sauce, not really a good combination.
I couldn’t taste any “smokiness” from the chicken, however I thought it was pretty good and the chicken pieces were juicy. The sauce was a bit sweet but had a slight kick from the sweet peppers, I quite enjoyed it.
Before ordering the whole pie for ourselves, the social media manager, Christine (I believe) came over to ask if we were bloggers. When I mentioned I ran my own food blog whereas my friend doesn’t, her face completely changed and was uninterested toward my friend. I’m sorry but that was unprofessional and disrespectful. A customer is still a customer. Fine, we were getting free food but isn’t the point of the event was to spread the words out about the new menu? I would think she would want to impress potential customers and leave a positive impression, rather than this kind of attitude. She also gave me a menu and notified that we could order anything we want on the menu. Wait, so for 2 HOURS I was sitting around waiting for food, yet in fact I could have ordered any pizzas I wanted on the menu? Why can’t the host or servers let me know this prior to the start of the event?
Anyways, C and I decided to order the classic margheritta pizza because you know, nothing can go wrong with a classic and basic pizza right?! Oh boy we were wrong, the tomato sauce was tasteless and there were barely any cheese…. Thinking back, I should have ordered the garlic shrimps as I heard it was another favorite beside the Peking Duck pizza.
Overall I was quite disappointed with this event. Don’t get me wrong, it was fun to meet and talk to other bloggers whom I follow on Instagram (hello! :D), but the entire event was unorganized and a lot of miscommunication between the staffs. Another blogger actually mentioned how the servers even talked behind her back and the social media person gave her an attitude as well. I would have given this place a 3/5 because the pizza wasn’t horrible, but the attitude of the staffs is why I’m giving such a low rating.
Disclaimer: While the food was provided by Red Tomato, I am not obliged to publish a review on the business. All opinions/thoughts are my own. For more information about my review policy, please click here.