Italian Tomato is an Italian restaurant here Richmond ( map ) that makes a pretty mean pasta. I can't honestly say that I've had much experience with authentic Italian cuisine, but I have a feeling that this little shop has it pretty close. Places like Old Spaghetti Factory and Boston Pizza
had been been my only reference to Italian style food for years and years. In comparison to what I know now, I consider their pasta a mockery. I don't know how many times I've told my friends that Boston Pizza serves pasta that really isn't much better than a can of Chef Boyardee, and Old Spaghetti Factory's spaghetti tastes like army noodles with ketchup. I discovered Anton's and my view on pasta completely changed. I was going almost every other weekend and subsequently gained about 40 lbs over a few months. Anton's is pretty damn good, and I still go there once in a while, despite the lengthy line-ups.
Italian Tomato opened a few years ago, and portions-wise, was neck and neck with Anton's. Their prices were only slightly more, but the big difference was Italian Tomato serves their pasta al dente. Anton's pasta is cooked a bit longer and the sauces are all very rich and thick.....yummy.
DaVinci - $19.95 - Chicken breast, fresh tomatoes, fresh spinach, asiago cheese in a garlic cream sauce.
Polpette Bolognese - $20.95 - Traditional home-made meatballs served with meat sauce, and your choice of pasta
I forgot the name of this pasta, but when I figure it out, I'll update this post.
Italian Tomato is a great place to get authentic (at least what I think is authentic) Italian pasta. It's convenient for people who live in Richmond and don't want to drive out to Burnaby, there generally aren't line-ups out the door and I've never had to wait an hour or two to get seated. The only thing that didn't sit well with me was all the prices have gone up dramatically. I realize with the rough economy and all, everything has gone up. Even Anton's has gone up on average by about a buck or two per dish. Italian Tomato's prices have gone up by about $5 or so per dish, which to me is a bit outrageous. That puts the average dish at about $7 or so more than a dish at Anton's. I think generally, I would rather drive all the way out to Burnaby and wait an hour or two in line and eat at Anton's. I'd probably go to Italian Tomato only if I'm craving al dente pasta, too lazy to drive to Burnaby, and too hungry to wait in line.