by Jessika Bella Mura
Venture around the bend from the Newton Centre T stop and you'll find the
upstart Sweet Tomatoes, a spunky, nine-seat boutique pizzeria with its own
philosophy about what makes a good pie.
"Every pizza should be amazing," says owner Hedy Jarras, who opened the shop in
early 1999 after a post-collegiate summer working for Sweet Tomatoes founder
Christopher Owens in Osterville. (One way to deflate the food-service jokes
directed at college English majors is just to give in.) With Owens's blessing,
she imported his recipes and techniques from the Cape, forgoing a traditional
red sauce in favor of chopped, uncooked tomatoes. Sometimes she even drops the
sauce (for a "white" pizza) or the cheese (a "red" pizza).
Plain cheese is still an option ($2.25 per slice, $9.95 for a 14-inch medium,
and $12.95 for an 18-inch large), but the star attractions are the
unapologetically pungent specialty pizzas, which lean heavily on ingredients
such as feta cheese, capers, and onions. The popular "Pesto Splash" (medium
$12.95, large $16.95) is lightly adorned with pesto, tomatoes, mozzarella, and
fresh, chopped garlic. "People absolutely love garlic," says Jarras, so she
includes it on most of the specialty pizzas -- although she admits that she
doesn't care for it herself.
As for the crust: although made with an oil-free dough, it's topped with a
little oil to keep it from getting crackery. It's got enough backbone to
support anything you throw on it, and also carries the merest hint of flavorful
char. Loyalists from the thin-crust camp will be pleased.
Sweet Tomatoes, located at 47 Langley Road, in Newton Centre, is open daily
from 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. for take-out and dining in. Call (617)
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