Downtown Restaurant Warriors: Tonic

Achievement: #45. Try 10 House Specialty Drinks | #67. 10 Downtown Restaurants

Sometimes, an Achievement takes you by surprise. Like, you’re out, and you’re enjoying a gallery crawl, and you’re like… daaaaaaaaang I’m hungry.

This is how we found ourselves at Tonic Bar and Grill (well, that, and Michael telling me I’m not allowed to eat at August Henry’s EVERY time we’re downtown).

To be honest, I’d never even heard of Tonic. It’s located at the end of Liberty Avenue, before it turns into the stretch with the Greyhound and Amtrak Stations, and I guess I kind of forgot that there’s still food in that area. But Tonic was quite delicious, and if you’re early for your train or your bus, I think it’s worth hopping a block over to grab some food.

In addition to dinner, Tonic also has a great list of specialty and house cocktails and martinis, so we started with a round of those. I kept it standard with a pomegranate martini, which was tart and sweet and delicious all around. Michael took it a step further and ordered the key lime pie martini. I don’t think I need to elaborate on how he felt about this martini.

Because we were positively STARVING when we stopped into Tonic, we started with one of their appetizers, the squash flatbread. This little veggie pizza is stacked with good stuff: zucchini, squash, tomatoes, goat cheese, Parmesan, and pesto oil. It was delicious! All the veggies were fresh, the flatbread was just right in thickness, and the addition of goat cheese to a pizza was unique and yummy. I would go back just for this plate!

I have been on this monstrous Caesar salad kick lately (I have even been making Michael craft them in the home kitchen for me lol), so I got their southwest Caesar with chicken. This salad typically comes with black beans, but to keep it a little lighter, I had them make it without. It did come with tomatoes though, which I thought was an interesting addition to the Caesar.

(It also came with this wicked huge knife. Stabby time.)

I thought the salad was excellent. The amount of dressing was sizeable, but the lettuce stayed crisp. And I loved those little garlic Parmesan crostini things! Again, I was really impressed with the freshness of the ingredients.

Michael got this crazy burger for his entree. This is the Samurai burger, with wasabi mayo, fried wontons, and seaweed salad. While I can’t say I’ve ever thought of putting wontons on a burger before, this was a pretty good decision by the chefs. You don’t have to decide if you want to order Chinese food or burgers: you can have them both at once! (I snitched a few of the fries for my salad. What can I say? I’m a Yinzer girl through and through!)

While we might never have found Tonic if not for this blog, I can say with certainty that I’m glad we did! I imagine this would be a great spot for a business lunch if you work downtown, and it had plenty of seating on a busy Friday evening, so you could easily pop in here for a martini and dinner before going to a show in the Cultural District. Another bonus: they’re open late night! You could even stop in for a veggie pizza AFTER seeing a show (kitchen’s open until midnight).

Tonic was our sixth downtown restaurant, but I can’t help but feel like we might stretch this Achievement into more than just ten…. 😉

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Filed under #45, #45-12, #67, #67-12, dinner, downtown, late night, martinis, restaurant, salad

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