Three Tomatoes Trattoria, Lebanon, NH

Posted by annabelle On May - 25 - 2011ADD COMMENTS

three tomatoes west lebanon brick oven

I have to admit, I’m a little surprised that in our five years living in the Upper Valley we have not once been to Three Tomatoes Trattoria in Lebanon, N.H. I’m usually drawn to restaurants that offer food that I can’t make at home. Italian and Mexican dishes are inexpensive and easy to make at my house- sushi and lobster, not so much. However, I do think we need to break out of our norm once in a while. I was excited about trying Three Tomatoes when my husband and I were invited to a powerlifting competition afterparty being held there by our trainer. Were we on a mission to load up on carbs for our weightlifting endeavors? Sure, why not.
Upon entering Three Tomatoes the first thing I saw was a big, beautiful brick oven. The scent inside the restaurant is wonderful, like an herby campfire. It’s decorated tastefully- the big front dining room has a bistro/cafe kind of feel, and the private dining room where our gathering was held had a beautiful mural hand-drawn on the wall and a more intimate setting.

three tomatoes harpoon ipa

It took a while for all of us (a party of at least 30) to get settled in, but our waitress was attentive and pretty darn quick for serving such a big group. My husband and I started off with a Harpoon IPA, which went great with the baguettes and garlic-infused olive oil that were waiting for us when we arrived.

The menu boasts an extensive menu of traditional Italian dishes, but since it was our first time there my husband and I decided to stay safe with alfredo. He ordered the penne, chicken and broccoli alfredo, and I had the same but was able to substitute shrimp for the chicken. My six-year-old daughter had her eye on getting her own pizza, simple marinara and mozzarella.

three tomatoes shrimp alfredo

Alfredo sauce is easy to make, and easy to make into a boring, starchy mess. Three Tomatoes makes a nice, rich-but-not-oily alfredo that is nearly addicting, and it makes me never want to waste money on stale alfredo from a jar (or Olive Garden) ever again.  My daughter’s “personal” pizza was huge- the pizzas are made one size (14 inches), and we had delicious leftovers the next day. The pizza is a very flavorful wood-fired thin crust, and the brick oven makes all the difference. I’m told I make pretty good pizza, and I won’t disagree, but unless I find myself gifted with a brick oven it won’t be the same as this.

Three Tomatoes is kind of a splurge, at least for dinner, with courses ranging from $13 to $20. The food, however, is worth every penny- the ingredients are high quality, fresh and local. I will definitely be going again, and next time I plan on eating something much more bold than alfredo. I wish we’d experienced this restaurant years ago!