Tommy’s offers a variety of spaghetti options, with your choice of pomodoro, tomato basil or bolognese sauces and meatballs. 

click to enlarge Dylan Lynch makes a pizza in Tommy's wood fire oven. (Shannon Cornman)
  • Shannon Cornman
  • Dylan Lynch makes a pizza in Tommy's wood fire oven.

Welcome back to Oklahoma City, Tommy.

Formerly located in NorthPark Mall, Tommy’s Italian American Grill, 5516 W. Memorial Road, recently found a new life in a budding restaurant row on far west Memorial Road. It’s a bit of a drive, but the area now has great sushi at Tsubaki Sushi & Hibachi, top-notch pizza at Revolve Pizza Kitchen and, at Tommy’s, Italian dishes you won’t find everywhere else.

To start, though, an Italian dish you will find everywhere else: The bruschetta ($8). How do you pronounce bruschetta? Great question. Thank you for asking. You can put your hand down now. Oh, it’s in a cast? I couldn’t tell. It looks very natural. The proper way to say “bruschetta” is through a mouth filled with bruschetta. It’s soft bread with a crisp top, covered in tangy pesto, tomatoes and Parmesan cheese. However you mispronounce it, it tastes fresh and wonderful.

Another classic on the menu is the Caesar salad ($5), which is a big pile of romaine lettuce, croutons and dressing. Is it as good as Junior’s? Of course not. But if you’re in the mood for a pre-meal salad, it does the job well.

Tommy’s offers a variety of spaghetti options, with your choice of pomodoro, tomato basil or bolognese sauces and meatballs. For a simple, classic taste, I’d go with straight-up pomodoro, with its chunky tomatoes and garlicky seasoning. I was less taken with the tomato basil sauce, but only because I couldn’t taste the basil. If you get the meatballs, be prepared for a bit of a bite. They use a peppery sausage mixed in for a juicy, flavorful flourish.

Another great place for the pomodoro is in the Linguine Con Frutti Di Mare ($20), filled with shrimp, scallops and mussels. I prefer my seafood in a white wine or butter sauce, and the pomodoro plays well with the fresh “fruit of the sea.” The scallops were cooked perfectly, not chewy at all, and the mussels had a ton of that fresh-from-the-water sweetness.

I went with a friend who tried the lasagna ($17). The meat mix used is similar to what’s used in the meatballs, so expect some heat hiding under all that cheese. Lasagna is plenty filling, but unfortunately, some of the little touches get lost in the mix. If I hadn’t seen them, I wouldn’t have known there were artichokes hearts hiding in-between those rich pasta layers.

If you go for a pizza, I must warn you away from the prosciutto pie ($15), which was perfect except for one ingredient. Balsamic vinegar can be a lovely addition to many dishes, but the abundance of balsamic glaze on this pie overtook the flavor of the prosciutto and the eggs. Perhaps you like lots of balsamic, or maybe you can ask for it on the side. Otherwise, it was distinctive and flavorful.

My favorite dish at Tommy’s is the branzino ($25), a whole, roasted European sea bass. The skin is salty and crisp and underneath lies perfectly cooked flaky fish. There’s a bit of an oily flavor to the branzino, but in a good way. That’s the flavorful oil from the fish, keeping it moist and delectable. It’s enough you could share, but it tastes so good you won’t want to.

For dessert, the tiramisu ($8) was fine, but a bit dry in places. Better was the triple-chocolate cake ($8), which was creamy and packed with cocoa gusto.

Service is another high point at Tommy’s each time I visit; I find the staff gracious and attentive, if sometimes a tad bit lost about the expansive menu. Still, as time goes on, things will only improve. And with the food already at a high standard, and that bodes well for the reborn Tommy’s.

click to enlarge Tiramisu at Tommy's is the perfect ending to an Italian dinner.Photo/Shannon Cornman - SHANNON CORNMAN
  • Shannon Cornman
  • Tiramisu at Tommy's is the perfect ending to an Italian dinner.Photo/Shannon Cornman

Print headline: Savory sustenance, From appetizers to desert, Tommy’s Italian American Grill feeds your need for distinctive recipes.

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