Using Her Noodles

So, why doesn't Hot Tomatoe serve red-meat dishes? "I serve what I like to eat," Addario explained. "And I rarely eat red meat out." Still, she might serve meat as a special from time to time, particularly if there's customer demand for it.

The otherwise light entrees leave room for the tiramisu, which includes mascarpone cheese flavored with rum -- a taste I didn't care for. What I liked better was the homemade apple tart, a flaky crust covered with simmered apples.

Despite its unusual spelling and Addario's charisma, Hot Tomatoe isn't the most exciting restaurant. It's not cutting edge or overly creative. But it's exactly what the neighborhood requires: reasonably priced, family-oriented, and unpretentious. Like Lighthouse Point itself -- without the gunshots, that is.

Hot Tomatoe. 1817 NE 25th St., Lighthouse Point, 954-785-5058. Dinner nightly from 5:30 to 10 p.m.

Pasta fagioli
$2.95

Gnocchi pomodoro
$10.95

Chicken Palermo
$11.95

Snapper piccata
$12.95

Tiramisu
$3.95

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