Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tomatofest Kicks Off July 30

Atlantans seeking fresh, quality tomatoes don’t have to look any further than La Tavola Trattoria, which will host its sixth annual “Tomatofest” on Wednesday, July 30. This 11-day fete lasts through Saturday, Aug. 9, and features seasonally-inspired Italian dishes created by Executive Chef Craig Richards using locally grown heirloom tomato varieties from Georgia’s own Dillwood Farms.

“Tomatofest has become a local tradition, and I think it’s a great way to get guests excited about local products that have been grown by farmers we know in Loganville, Georgia,” says Fifth Group Restaurants Partner Robby Kukler. “Our diners are increasingly becoming more informed about fresh, heirloom produce and are actively seeking it out,” he adds.

Tomatofest offers a specially crafted menu that is available à la carte or for the prix fixe cost of $39 per person (a wine flight is also available for an additional $16). Prices on the Tomatofest menu range from $6 to $21.

Appetizers include an heirloom tomato tasting with Sicilian sea salt and Affiorato extra virgin olive oil; tomato, peach and fennel salad with mint vinaigrette; octopus carpaccio with tomato, basil and pickled red onion salad; and bruschetta with charred tomatoes, cannellini beans and speck.

The Tomatofest pasta selection presents Malloreddus pasta with tomatoes, housemade fennel sausage and ricotta salata; spaghetti alla chitarra with tomatoes, olives, capers and anchovies; and ravioli of tomato conserva and ricotta with almonds and marjoram.

Entrée options include grilled flatiron steak with roasted plum tomatoes, sunchokes and green beans; crispy bone-in pork chop with marinated tomatoes and soft polenta; braised rabbit with tomatoes, rosemary, Taggiasca olives and new potatoes; and roasted hake with eggplant, zucchini, capers, basil, Brandywine tomato vinaigrette.

For dessert, sweet tomato zuppa with basil granita and crisp almond biscotti provides a sweet finale to the tomato tasting menu.

La Tavola Trattoria is located at 992 Virginia Ave. and serves dinner nightly and brunch on Sunday. This special menu will be offered during regular dinner hours (Monday - Thursday, 5:30 p.m. - 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5:30 p.m. – 12 a.m.; Sunday, 5:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.). Reservations can be made by calling (404) 873-5430 or by visiting

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