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Mar 11, 2008 07:02 AM

Review: Three Tomaotes in Williston, VT

As the choices for non-chain dining in Williston dwindle, we decided to try Three Tomatoes last Friday night.

We have been going here since it opened as Nicco's (same company, only a name change). The menu ranges from light salads and sandwiches to pizzas and entrees. It is located right next door to the movie theater making it quite convenient for "dinner and a movie".

One of the first signs of success is stability of staff. There are many of the same faces from a year or two ago with a few new ones added (unfortunatley one of them being an awful waiter from a nearby restaurant that likely fired him, which luckily we did not have as a server). Matt the bartender is gracious and professional so sitting at the bar is an option if the dining room is full. The wine selection is passable and fairly priced with full liquor options and a variety of beers also available. Due to the ice storm that night, tables were available so we had a drink at the bar and were then sat.

We started off with the Antipasta Italiana. This is a plate of cured meats, cheeses, and vegetables constructed in the shape of a cylinder for presentation purposes. I personally would prefer to have it more "deconstructed" as the taste of the roasted red peppers permeates all the other items. A decent dish at $8.95.

We then shared a specialty pizza consisiting of mozzarella, locally cured hot sausage, and goat cheese. We asked for crimini mushrooms to be substituted for the standard roasted red peppers (plenty of that in the aforementioned Antipasta). This is served with warm bread and olive oil with fresh chopped garlic. Having had a few pizzas here before, I always ask that the crust be brushed with olive oil to avoid the raw flour chalkiness that I do not like (some flour dusting that I'm not sure why their pizzas usually have). This greatly improves the taste and texture of the pizza. Their pizzas are very thin crusted, sometimes to the point of being so thin that they are like eating a potato chip. Fortunately this pie had a bit more chewiness making for a much better end result. The pizza was properly cooked, had ample toppings (with the exception of very little goat cheese). At $14.95 it is a bit pricey but worth a few more bucks compared to the run of the mill pie you get elsewhere in this area. We had a few drinks (two glasses of wine, a specialty martini, and a half bottle of Moscato di Asti (a very peachy Italian sparkling wine) in leiu of dessert. Our server, Chelsea, did a great job as always.

They also offer discounted movie tickets for patrons which is a nice touch.

I would give Three Tomatoes an 8.5 out of 10. In Williston, that is quite high praise and this is a worthwhile destination for adults and families.

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  1. I know, somone is going to point out that Three Tomatoes is a "chain". I define a chain as follows: Multiple locations in multiple states with no creedence given to local preferences or ingredients, a staff that is trained more in suggestive selling than proper service(or there is no table service), uses talentless characters from the Food Network to hawk their wares, the average menu item has over 1,000 calories and 50+ grams of fat, the "best" wine they offer is Woodbridge, their "kids" meals come with a toy, some or most locations have a drive-through window, soft drinks come in multiple sizes, and the "manager" is under the age of 17.

    5 Replies
    1. re: TonyO

      I know there's a Three Tomatoes in Rutland so I was wondering if the Williston restaurant was related. Frankly I don't consider two or three of the same to be a chain. Thanks for the report!!

      1. re: Gio

        Agree. I think they have a few locations including one on Church St. in Burlington and at least one in New Hampshire as well.

        1. re: TonyO

          Yes, the one in NH is in Lebanon and they serve lunch. A future stop next time we on our way to Shelburne, but we'll be in Rutland at the end of the month so it will be an alternative to Little Harry's.

          1. re: Gio

            I'd recommend giving the Lebanon one a pass. Obviously some of the other locations are doing well, but both myself and my friends have had tragically poor and slow service at the Lebanon location.

            1. re: kaszeta

              The Williston location has a couple weak servers as well (as do most places I have found, with the exception of the uppermost tier of dining establishments). There are some servers that drift from place to place until they finally run out of options and switch employment fields. I cringed when I saw the one server had resurfaced at Three Tomatoes. Absolutley dreadful (unless you like inept service and a really bad impersonation of Ru Paul).