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Monday, November 5, 2012

The not-so-crazy tomato

The corner of O'Connor and St. Clair is not really Danforth East, but for some reason Pioneer seems to fly through there often enough to honestly say that it's part of "our" hood (if not yours!). The reason we bring this up, is because it's a little nook on the edge of the east side that is really starting to boom, with a few new eateries opening up there within the last few months.

One of the new hot spots is the oft talked about Crazy Tomato (which Pioneer has been dying to try, but was not keen to take the two Junior Pioneers there even though it says family trattoria - does that mean family 'style' or family as in 'we welcome your 1-year old who will definitely throw their baked ziti on the floor'? We decided to put it to the test. One rainy night (correction, one of the many rainy nights we've had recently) when the Pioneer clan was feeling a wee bit soggy and in no mood to cook, we headed out.

Our fear of a hurricane-like food tantrum aside, the outing was a success. The staff are great, starting with a peace offering to Junior Pioneer #1 of crayons and colouring pages and immediately whipping out a plate of bread which we hastily fed to the screaming bottomless pit (JP #2).

We know everyone wants to know about the decor. It's great. It's exactly what you want in a cozy, local trattoria. Warm and inviting, with a large harvest table in the middle that seats ten. That's right! Ten. Mental note for the next big birthday dinner we won't be hosting at our house.

As for the food - last but not least. This is definitely not fine dining, and they don't make any pretence to be. The food is actually really good, homestyle cooking. We know this, because we sat right next to the kitchen so the juniors could ogle the wood-burning pizza oven. The dishes coming out were piled high with pasta and stacks of juicy roasted meats. Daddy Pioneer's comment about his own chicken dish: "This is not how I make's way better!" Our pizza was perfect: we reached this verdict when two full pieces were actually consumed by someone under the age of 5.

What clinched it for The Crazy Tomato Trattoria, as one of our new go-to spots, was when a staff member posted Junior Pioneer's colouring pages up in the kitchen doorway. Any restaurant that can make a four year old that happy is definitely part of the Pioneer family. Salute!

The Crazy Tomato on Urbanspoon

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