Italian Restaurant TOMA Opens in Lawrence Hall

There’s nothing quite like a recipe that’s endured for generations. The years of carefully handled, trusted secrets, perfected by skillful hands. These recipes are where TOMA, one of the latest restaurants to open in Pittsburgh’s Lawrence Hall food hall, excels and one of the reasons for their delicious success. 

Coming Together

Anthony and Katrina Tomacchio are a husband and wife team originally from North of Boston. After nearly 10 years in the restaurant industry, the two put their diverse skill sets together to create their modern Italian restaurant, TOMA.

“We work exceptionally well together because we each have a different skill set and a different eye,” said Anthony. “I can’t do what Katrina does, and she can’t do what I do. But neither of us can do anything without the influence and support from the other. It’s the perfect marriage of skills and opinions.” 

Maintaining a Family History

TOMA is a dedication to their families and the kitchens they grew up in. Both Anthony and Katrina were raised in households where cooking and family connection went hand in hand. In fact, many of their greatest family memories take place in the kitchen.

“Every Sunday was ‘Sunday Sauce,'” Anthony said. “My entire extended family on my mother’s side would go over to my grandparents’ house – we’re talking 30-40 people – but we couldn’t all fit in the house at the same time, so we’d all just rotate through and grab a plate. It was a full day affair and you could smell the sauce all the way from the street.” 

It’s moments like this that fuel the menu and passion of TOMA. In fact, that sauce is just one of the many updated traditional dishes that you can taste in Lawrence Hall. Another delectable feature is their house-made sausage recipe. This recipe comes from the 1930s, which Anthony learned from his Nanu (grandfather) and father at a young age. 

A white plate holds three Eggplant Rollatinis with a red sauce underneath from the restaurant TOMA in Lawrence Hall. The plate sits against a wooden table with a nice and glass nearby overtop.

Adding a Modern Touch

But it isn’t just family recipes that make up the menu at TOMA. Katrina added a family favorite that she and Anthony frequently share with their three daughters. It’s her Stracotto, an Italian pot roast with a creamy garlic and herb polenta, a recipe which she has perfected over the years.

“This restaurant is a little piece of history for our girls, that will carry them into the future,” Katrina said. “These are the recipes we’re teaching them in our own kitchen, and hopefully someday, they’ll adapt and cook them for their own families.” 

A Home in Pittsburgh

You can find TOMA at one of four stalls inside the Lawrence Hall food hall, a gathering place filled with culinary cuisine from around the world. Here the two get to share that history with not just around their own family table but with families all across Pittsburgh, they city they intend to be their forever home. 

“Have you ever met someone for the first time, yet it feels like you’ve known them forever? That’s how Pittsburgh feels for us.” Katrina said. “We’re not native Pittsburghers, yet everyday, this place feels like our true home. The people have been so unbelievably welcoming and we’re so grateful to be part of something special here.”  

“This is our home now,” Anthony said. “Lawrenceville is everything to us. It’s where we live, where we work, where we’re raising our children. So being able to contribute to this community in a real, meaningful way…that’s everything.” 

For more information on Lawrence Hall, check out our article on their official opening. Plus, read about another one of the food hall’s establishments, the soul food restaurant Cuddy’s.

Story by Kylie Thomas / Styling by Anna Franklin / Photography by Dave Bryce

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