Phantom Gourmet’s Gourmet Greatness

Phantom Gourmet : September 10, 2005

In a culinary community that’s saturated with Italian menus, Tomasso springs to the top. The rustic food, alone, is worth your reservation, with multi-course meals of small, traditional plates. The wine and city-caliber service are just the parmigiano on top.

Atmosphere: 8

Tomasso Trattoria is a handsome space of wide striped floors and ceiling arches, wrapped in earth tones. Acorn lanterns stretch the enoteca wine bar and kitchen counter seats, and suburbanites relax into leather booths and spread out tables.

Menu: 9

The traditional Italian menu is rich with exciting wines, antipasti for mixing and matching, house made pasta, and rustic entrees.

Appetizers: 9

Starting with small antipasti bites, the crispy chickpea fries gushed an incredible, velvety mash that practically dissolved on contact, leaving a fragrant trail of fennel. The marinara dressed meatballs managed an amazing, silky blend of beef and pork with a rich, milky finish of whole milk ricotta.

Entrees: 8

Moving on, the orecchiette pasta resembled dime-sized dimples that gave sturdy backbone to the garlicky broccoli raab and crumbled, spicy sausage. A light veal stew tenderized in a rich brown sauce with a bitter relief of braised radicchio and bright fava beans.

Dessert: 9

Desserts defied the bounds of decadence with dense, dreamy vanilla bean gelato that slowly melted and infused in a shot of potent espresso. The Tuscan chocolate pudding managed the thick consistency of butter and the intense flavor of unadulterated chocolate.

Portions: 9

Dishes are served small, as they are in Italy, so you can easily eat to 6 delicious courses.

Service: 9

City-caliber servers pay attention to what you want, and Phantom even got a complimentary glass of wine to contrast and compare with his selection.

Cleanliness: 9

Commendable cleanliness was illuminated by interesting candelabras and chandeliers.

Value: 9

The trattoria is a rare value, with $6 antipasti, $9 pasta, and entrees at an unbelievable $16 to $21.

Location: 7

Tomasso sits on Route 9E in Southborough, in The Crossings retail complex.