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“Enjoyable meal, perfect setting”
Review of The Tomato Palace

The Tomato Palace
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Ranked #25 of 261 Restaurants in Columbia
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$10 - US$25
Cuisines: Italian, Pizza
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly, Kids, Groups, View
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Little Patuxent Parkway
Description: The Tomato Palace, opened in 1993, is the family-style Italian restaurant adjacent to Clyde's of Columbia on Lake Kittamaqundi. The popular menu is affordably priced and includes pizza, pasta dishes and salads. The atmosphere is casual and fun, with colorful graphics enlivening the walls and menus. Seating is ample for families; and the whimsical tomato chairs by furniture maker Peter Danko are always a favorite. In warm weather there are 50 seats beneath the arbor for outdoor dining by the lake
Elkton, Maryland
Level Contributor
63 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Enjoyable meal, perfect setting”
Reviewed 22 September 2013

Like many others as we headed to Merriweather for a concert we stopped and ate dinner at Tomato Palace. Our family of 4, mom, dad, son one (13 yrs) son 2 (11 yrs), enjoyed our meals. The ceasar salad was very good, great tasting dressing - which makes the whole ceasar. Anchovies were extra, but they gave me a dozen. Side of meatballs was delicious. Son 1 liked his lasagne and Son 2 liked his Chicken Parmesan. The side of noodles that came with the Parmesan wasn't so appetizing. We did sit outside for a beautiful evening next to the lake. I think we would go back. The area however looks like it is going through renovations. Later in 2014 there will be a Whole Foods very close by and the restaurants around Tomato Palace are all getting a face lift. Next time there may be something else worth trying instead.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Lisamlo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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117 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Columbia, Maryland
Level Contributor
44 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Great Location, Terrible Eggplant Parmigiana, So Disappointing”
Reviewed 5 July 2013

There was a concert in the evening on the lawn at Columbia's lake front. It was a beautiful evening and we had an outdoor table at Tomato Palace facing the lake. Best setting in Columbia, fair weather, and wonderful friends--we were pumped. The service was good and everything worked except the food. While I hate being critical, we were so disappointed. Eggplant Parmigiana is one of our favorite dishes out and the rendition at Tomato Palace was the worst we have had--thick pieces of fried eggplant arranged in slightly overlapping rounds with a bit of tomato sauce and cheese. We ordered the pasta with garlic oil and it was literally swimming in oil. The vegetarian pizza has soggy spinach although the crust was thin and flavorful. The pizza has potential but there was no hope for the eggplant. Sorry Tomato Palace for this bad review but it is written in the hopes that learning will occur. Please TP, take note and make changes.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank pearleco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ellicott City, Maryland
Level Contributor
76 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“OMG - How Disappointing”
Reviewed 7 June 2013

We were glad to see that Tomato Palace had reopened as it had been one of our favorite "go to" places for the entire family. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that we will ever return without major changes to solve their current problems. The menu changed dramatically with most of what we enjoyed no longer being on the menu. The current items are lower in quality, smaller in portion, and a bit pricier. Service was slow, and even two of the items currently on the menu were not available that evening (as early as 6:00 pm). No longer are we able to order from the Clyde's menu. The asparagus was very gritty with dirt on it - possibly reflecting some health concerns in their handling of food. The bread came toward the end of the meal and did not compare to the previous garlic knots. Even the kids who had previously loved the place complained about the small portion sizes of their meals. What has ownership/management been thinking? Hopefully, they will consider the range of negative input that is being provided and make the adjustments necessary to attract back their prior customers.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank TuffNFair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
74 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Very disappointed at re-opening”
Reviewed 3 June 2013

We've loved the Tomato Palace for many years and I've written a glowing review in the past. So we were excited to return when they re-opened after being closed for several weeks for re-modeling. We were so disappointed.

Most of our favorite foods were removed from the menu. Garlic knots - gone. Shrimp and Scallop Pene - gone. Ravioli - gone. Good service - gone. I had the lobster diablo, which was recommended by the manager. It was way too spicy. I like spicy, I have spicy foods all the time but this was not good. It was so spicy it actually made me sick later. My meal was the worst but no one thought their meal was as good as before. The bread they brought out was tasteless and not worth eating.The only thing we liked was the house salad, which seemed about the same as before.

The hostess and the wait staff were friendly but seemed very new to working in a restaurant and needed help from the managers often. It seemed to me that they turned over the entire staff.

When we asked why the menu was changed we were told it was a corporate decision to make the menu more main-stream. So now it just like going to one of the Italian chain restaurants. I doubt well ever return.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank John M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
columbia, md
Level Contributor
35 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Change is not always a good thing...”
Reviewed 20 May 2013

My husband and I recently tried the new menu at the Tomato Palace. We have been dining here quite often for 10 years. There used to be very unique menu items that would continue to bring me back to the restaurant (garlic knots, chocolate bread pudding, combo special). These have been eliminated from their menu. I tried to go back with an open mind after their "renovation" and menu change. The appetizer (Crostini) was good. The pizza crust was thinner (a good thing), but the flavor was not there. My husband was not impressed with his pasta entree. We always get dessert here, but since they took off the bread pudding (the best bread pudding I have ever tasted), I was not interested. My husband ordered the tiramisu. It was just okay. The service was not the best, either. They seem to be new to the restaurant. I am very sad that this is yet another restaurant that takes the menu items that draw people in off the menu, and makes it just another place to eat. I don't think we will be going back any time soon. :(

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank heyjude444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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