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Pomodoros South

Posted by eemilla on December 13, 2009

We ate at Pomodoros on a slow weeknight, and  I have been hesitant to post this review considering how few quality, local options we have on the south side.  The place was mostly empty, aside from a really subdued large party in  the other half of the restaurant, and I believe someone may have been at the bar.  After we had received our drinks, another table was set in the booth directly behind us, which irked me because of the number of empty tables.  Aside from that, the service was prompt and attentive without any hovering.

My reluctance is the food.  While it is not bad, I really feel pretty much everything on their menu could come down a few dollars in order to make the price match the quality.  The saving grace of the meal was the appetizer special: sweet potato gnocchi.  The gnocchi were delightfully fluffy, and the portion was good.  They were served over a small bed of lightly sauteed spinach with a light garlic olive oil sauce.  Our visit was partially encouraged by their $39.99 four course menu, but we couldn’t turn down the appetizer so we opted out.  My roasted eggplant entree came with a salad so I opted for the caesar.  The romaine was okay, but the dressing was sweet.  When I asked about it, the manager said they make it in house with honey to make it a signature dressing.  I would expect them to make the dressing in house based on the image they are presenting; my issue, however, is the menu states a classic caesar dressing not Pomodoros signature caesar dressing.  We were also served warm bread and olive oil; the bread was crusty with soft interior.

Our entrees were good portions, and my roasted eggplant had a neat presentation with the fried leeks exploding from the eggplant base.  The ravioli my husband ordered was fine, but the asparagus were terribly bitter and somewhat overcooked (serves us right for ordering a dish served with spring vegetables at the beginning of winter).  He also felt it was oversauced, but he enjoyed pesto cream sauce itself as well as the ravioli.  My sauce was again too sweet; it tasted like ketchup with smoke flavor added which brought to mind barbeque sauce.  The menu states there were portobellas and feta, but I don’t recall either.  Fortunately, the eggplant was served as a whole half piece so I could enjoy the dish while mostly avoiding the sauce.  If I had liked the sauce the eggplant’s tough skin would have been a hinderance rather than a benefit.

Since the appetizer was so enjoyable, I decided to give dessert a try.  I opted for tiramisu as I will not stop searching for a La Caterina Trattoria replacement until I have found one.  While Pomodoros doesn’t come close, it does a good job.  The chocolate sauce on the plate tasted like Hershey’s saccharin concoction (even though it is purportedly house made), but fortunately the cake and cheese didn’t share that flavor.  I still wanted some bitterness from either the cocoa powder topping or preferably from lady fingers soaked in strong espresso.

The beer and wine prices are fairly steep; I didn’t feel impelled to order a liquor drink based on the beer and wine prices and the “martini” menu, and with a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, the wine has to be prestigious and dear.  My husband convinced me to split a pitcher of beer as the pitcher seemed to offer the only reasonably priced option.  It may have been a fluke of a small pitcher (although it looked like a normal sized pitcher), but we were only able to get three pours out of the pitcher.  Normally one should be able to pour four pints from a pitcher of beer.  Neither the server nor the manager addressed my complaint about the pitcher so I don’t know if it is a fluke, but when one does the math it seems intentional.  A pitcher of Gaelic is $13.65, and the pint is $4.65 a pint.  I’d be interested to see how a server would handle a party ordering a pitcher and requesting four glasses.

Nona Mia remains Asheville’s best Italian restaurant in both quality of food and price, but Pomodoros does offer a better tiramisu.

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7 Responses to “Pomodoros South”

  1. Have you had the Tiramisu at Ianucci’s? Not my fave Italian food place but the Tiramisu… Oh My God!!

  2. Beth said

    Another well-written restaurant review—thank you!

  3. eemilla said

    I’ve not been there since we purchased our house four and a half years ago, but I’ve been craving sesame coated bread so maybe I’ll walk down and try it out. Thanks!

  4. Eemilla,

    Thank you for your detailed review of your dining experience at out South Asheville Pomodoros location. We appreciate a guest that takes the time to write comments about their experience even if the comments are not all positive. We are always striving to improve and always welcome constructive criticism. I have carefully read through your review a couple of times and would like to clarify some details and make some comments.

    I let my Chef know you enjoyed the Sweet Potato Gnocchi appetizer feature. I always encourage them to use the features as a way to express their creativity and try new items. It seems this one was a hit.

    I am afraid you were misinformed about the Caesar dressing containing honey by our manager. It is a classic Caesar containing only; egg yolk, Dijon Mustard, garlic, lemon juice, white balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire, anchovy, Tabasco, parmesan and olive oil. I am baffled at what would have caused it to have a sweet flavor. On the other hand, the housemade Pomodoro sauce that you commented was also sweet does have a little honey to help cut the acidity of the tomatoes. In addition, the eggplant dish you ordered is topped with a balsamic reduction which is fairly sweet so this added further sweetness. The filling for the eggplant does contain pieces of portabella and the feta cheese. I will ask my Chef to review the quantity and cut of the mushrooms so it will make the dish more balanced.

    Based on your comment that you only got three pints of beer from your pitcher I have reviewed the proper methods for pouring a draft beer with all my managers and bartenders. We use a 64 ounce pitcher so assuming it is filled to the top it should contain four, 16 ounce pints of beer. In your situation it sounds as though they needed to top off your pitcher after the foam settled in order to give you the fourth glass. I apologize for this oversight.

    In conclusion, I appreciate your thorough reflection on your experience. In these tough economic times we strive hard to strike the balance between price, value and quality. We never sacrifice quality, but have incorporated aggressive offers into our menu in order to give our guests value oriented options. The “Dinner for Two” offer you mentioned is a great example of one of the offers we have added recently. For alcohol options, we have always had “Wine Lovers’ Wednesdays” where every bottle of wine on our list is half price. In addition we run affordable wine features each day showcasing top notch wines for less than $30. We currently have a 90 point Super Tuscan that is on the Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list this year; for $28 a bottle. We understand the economic climate we are currently in and realize that today’s guest is looking for both value and quality and we continually work to provide that. Comments like yours are always welcome and we take them as a challenge to improve.

    Warmest regards,
    Tommy Tsiros
    Proprietor

  5. eemilla said

    Thanks for stopping by! The guy at the liquor store strongly recommended your calamari appetizer so we plan on returning and trying another pitcher.

  6. Terry said

    After your review, we stopped by and really were not that impressed.Ianucci’s seemed better for the value.

  7. A. Dub said

    I have to agree that Pomodoros South seemed lackluster, but meant well. If you are looking for a delicious Tiramisu, you have to try Travinia!

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