8 Dishes to Celebrate Tomato Season in Philly
Consider this a challenge to eat as many tomatoes as possible before they’re gone.
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It may be a cliche to be excited about peak tomato season, but we honestly couldn’t care less. The bounty is almost limitless this time of year: heirlooms, cherries, plum, even classic slicers, and they’re popping up on menus across the city. Consider this your invitation to sample as many tomato dishes as possible before the season slips away.
High Street, Center City
Tender ricotta gnocchi are suspended in a sauce made with tomatoes used two ways: first, they’re fermented and folded into a tomato butter, and roasted and tossed into the sauce with ricotta, candied fennel and basil.
In general, we feel like we can make a tomato and burrata salad at home pretty well, but Joe Cicala’s version is the platonic ideal of this summer favorite, executed with a minimalism and simplicity we could never pull off: creamy burrata imported from Puglia, the most beautiful tomatoes in the tri-state area, and a few leaves of basil.
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We tend to lean toward raw tomatoes this time of year, but Huda has us reconsidering that preference. For their heirloom tomato melt, they layer roasted tomatoes with mustard and cheddar cheese, then griddle the whole thing for a cheesy, juicy flavor bomb.
A Mano, Fairmount
Tomatoes are all over the menu at A Mano, but we’re most excited for the zuppa di pomodoro with crab salad and melon, a nice reminder that tomatoes are indeed a fruit and pair nicely with other fruits.
Middle Child, Washington Square West
Is there some sort of cult connected to Middle Child’s BLT? Maybe. People wait all year to wait hours for these admittedly very good BLTs, which come so packed with heirloom tomatoes from Urban Roots that the bacon somehow becomes secondary.
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Fiore Fine Foods, Queen Village
Fiore’s summer vegetable crostata is exactly what we would make for ourselves for a nice brunch or casual dinner if we were better bakers and a little less lazy. But why bother with baking for ourselves when the fine people at Fiore have created this corn, pepper, tomato and caramelized onion-laden tart? We’ll take the whole thing.
River Twice, East Passyunk
River Twice is our go-to for dishes that are just a little bit elevated. Randy Rucker and his team of cooks always seem to take dishes to the next level, and this tomato season is no exception. They’re deploying tomatoes throughout the menu, but we’re opting for the gently seared bluefin tuna with fermented tomato water.
White Dog, University City
White Dog’s University City location takes heirloom tomatoes from Broad Wing farm, slices them, and serves them with watermelon for a light summer salad. The whole thing gets drizzled in saba, plus smoky sea salt and fruity pink peppercorns.