The Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival, hosted at JCT and Westside Provisions, was bigger and better than ever this year. Considering how awesome last year was, that's no small feat!
Last year's only drawback was how blazing hot and crowded it was. So this year's expanded layout was welcome. And although plenty hot, it wasn't too bad as long as you kept to the shade!
So two year's in, here are some things I know:
- Tomatoes are totally versatile. In fact, olive oil ice cream with basil and a tomato compote from Morelli's might have been my favorite dish of the day.
- In keeping with that, tomatoes can also make for great cocktails. However, when bartenders are mixing up cocktails en masse, I find they tend to mix them a little strong. This was an issue for several bartenders this year. Fortunately a few standouts got the balance just write like People's Choice winner Paul Calvert of Pura Vida's Rio Rosa Swizzle and Best Cocktail Winner Miles Macquarrie of Leon's Full Service's tomato and tequila concoction.
- Tomatoes can be like candy. The sweet tomato marmalade crostini was candy sweet and uh-mazing!
- Pimento cheese makes everything better. Serpas and West Egg proved that with their cheesy dishes!
- Hot soups and hot days don't mix. I'm sure I might have liked Sean Doty's tomato and mussel soup on a chillier day, but it was a total no-go for me in the searing heat.
- You can't be a cool bartender these days without being a total dandy. See Exhibit A to the right.
- I will DEFINITELY be back next year!