Tomaso’s – for the Love of Italian

by RaeAnne Marsh

Tomaso’s on Camelback’s longevity in a prominent Phoenix corridor is well-deserved. Chef restaurateur Tomaso Maggiore imbues the experience — from entering the warm timelessness of the upscale establishment to the final forkful of dessert — with an obvious love for what he creates. This is not a place for a hurried lunch; rather, it is a perfect choice to savor conversation and repast with a favored client or colleague.

The menu continually evolves as Tomaso brings new ideas back with him from his regular visits to his native Sicily. Another import that results from those visits is Monte Olimpa wines – a winery where, as a partner, he makes sure to be onsite for the wine blendings. Good wine is a necessity with a good meal, he fervently believes, and offers a selection of wines by the glass for the mid-day occasions, when a full bottle might not be appropriate.

A great starter to enjoy with the fresh, crusty but light bread brought to every table is an antipasto plate highlighted by Tomaso’s house-cured olives (locally sourced), mellow and supremely flavorful. A couple of newer items on the menu are a seafood risotto, with baby octopus, calamari and lightly crusted scampi; and Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe, fresh pasta prepared simply with Pecorino Romano cheese and ground black pepper. While traditional favorite Veal Marsala resides on the dinner menu, a chicken dish with this rich mushroom-Marsala demi-glaze is available for lunch. 

And, of course, dessert (a culinary treat that, with the recent opening of The Sicilian Baker, now holds its own among The Maggiore Group’s restaurants). Among the choices: a classic tiramisu; cannoli, its creamy filling bursting out of its light, flaky cylinder; and cassata al forno, warmed ever so slightly to enhance the creaminess of the ricotta filling dotted with chocolate chips.

To enable patrons to sample several dishes, the wait staff is happy to split an order into shareable portions.

3225 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix
(602) 956-0836

[An illuminating quote from Chef Tomaso Maggiore, who has welcomed guests to the Old World atmosphere of Tomaso’s since 1977: “Great food is symbolic of love when the word alone is inadequate.”]

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