By Marilyn Gale
In my next life, I will go to Venice, Italy on my honeymoon. While I’m waiting for that to happen, I can just go and dine at Pomodori’s in Montgomery for a short Venetian vacation. It definitely boasts an Italian countryside atmosphere, and as a friend remarked when I told her I had planned to visit this restaurant, it also has “all that marble!” Yes, caramel cream colored marble with many windows, skylights and the big wood burning oven, whose glow one can see while eating, makes dining here a visual pleasure.
Jim Kerstetter is the general manager and has been working at Pomodori’s in Montgomery since 1999. Still a young man, I believe he started working here while in high school, his long blonde hair and tall thin frame do not scream Italian. When I asked what has kept him at this spot for over ten years, he shrugs, gives a shy smile, and then modestly says the people – it is a young staff, mostly students from the high school and local colleges, the food concept – Pomodori’s can boast that it brought wood fired pizza to the Tri-state, and the freshness of the ingredients. Kerstetter wears two hats; in addition to being general manager he’s also the chef.
“This spring, we’ll have fresh gelato.” I learned this dessert is made fresh from milk, fruit, sugar, and no preservatives. The flavors will include chocolate, hazelnut, and various kinds of fruits. Besides being creamy and delicious, gelato has less butter fat than ice cream, just in case you need an extra excuse to indulge in this tasty treat.
Business is good. Kerstetter saw a turnaround at the beginning of the year. People want to get out, so to encourage social dining, Pomodori’s is offering half price bottles of wine on Wednesdays. Also, the carry out option is popular.
There are little yellow cards on the tables promoting wine from Tarrica wine cellars. A family affair, the wine is named after the winemaker couples’ daughter, Taryn and Erica. Paso Robles, (Petite Sirah,) is described as rich and seductive with cola, cherry, nectarine and plum flavors with peppery spices and toasty oak notes. Full-bodied with round tannins and a lengthy finish, aged in a combination of American and French Oak barrels for 18 months, glass $8.00, bottle $32.00. Sounds intriguing and an adventure for your taste buds. Strong tannins blend nicely with food.
Pomodori’s has its old favorites. I am sure they all go well with red wine. The true mother of wood fired pizza in the queen city, the pizza topping choices are endless. Roma and basil, goat cheese, leeks, artichoke hearts, caramelized onions, gorgonzola walnut, eggplant are vegetarian friendly. Perhaps you are in the mood for a sweet pizza, yes, they exist at Pomodori’s, and they don’t have pineapple. Turkish figs on a garlic and olive oil crust, or granny smith apples, with a touch of apricot preserves, streusel topping and ricotta cheese might satisfy the maverick in you.
In fact, in my second sojourn as an adult into “single,” status, carry out from Pomodori’s was a favorite date night meal, one to be eaten in more private settings, while sipping a full body red Italian wine. The Roma and basil pizza, and apple pizza, combined a rainbow of flavors that pleased your palate. Also, both are now designated by a check mark as meeting the American healthy heart guidelines. Both are priced at around $10.00. Think of it as a Friday after work ritual and a treat to yourself and a friend. Light candles, play music and dine in the comfort of your home.
A return to the present day Pomodori’s finds growing additions to the menu. The salads and pastas reflect a vibrancy of tastes. The fresh goat cheese and rosemary salad served on crusty wedges of bread with strips of roasted peppers on top of mixed greens is a good starter item for two. All salad dressings are made daily as freshness is a priority.
Bianco pasta; fettuccini, sautéed artichokes hearts, fresh mushrooms, red onions and garlic seasoned with pepper and parmigiano reggiano, priced at $13.50, and eggplant parmesan served on a bed of spinach spaghettini topped with rich tomato sauce and provolone for $13.50 are intriguing pasta options. Pomodori’s promises that all noodles are made fresh on the premises.
If you tend to prefer the familiar, don’t fret. Pomodori’s has the traditional, too, in choice of pizza crust — traditional or Sicilian, sandwiches and in pasta. Mix and match ingredients. Add a salad. Don’t forget the wine and enjoy a good meal at a Tristate favorite restaurant.
7880 Remington Road
Montgomery, Ohio 45242