Tornatore’s, the College Park pizzeria and Italian cafe, was one of the first restaurants to use staff members to deliver food when restaurants were ordered to shut down dine-in operations. I appreciated that they seemingly adapted effortlessly.
I wanted to order takeout – I hadn’t had a chance to visit the restaurant before the lockdown to try newly hired chef Jason Wolfe’s food – but unfortunately my house falls a couple of miles outside the six-mile delivery radius.
So instead I phoned in my order for curbside pickup. I wish I had looked a little closer at the restaurant’s website because it has a nifty online ordering interface that would have made the process a lot smoother, even when it comes to the tip, which can be added at checkout.
The young woman who took my order on the phone was pleasant, but she apparently didn’t hear my request to add the tip to the credit card and it wasn’t until I got home that I saw only 10 percent had been added. That’s too small, especially for all the extra service the Tornatore’s team is providing.
There’s no need to go inside the restaurant or to even get out of your car. The restaurant has set up a tent in the parking lot and all operations are conducted there.
I rolled down my car window and gave a person in the tent the name on the order. Soon, the sack containing my pizza, stomboli, veal parmesan and fettuccine Alfredo was in my trunk and headed to my house, approximately 1.9 miles outside the delivery radius.
The pizza and stromboli were packaged in conventional cardboard pizza boxes and the dinners were in aluminum plates with clear plastic tops. I had taken a hard turn along the way and the plates fell over. The food was smooshed about a bit but I just replated it at home to make it pretty again, and everything arrived hot.
That included some unexpected rolls, which were impressively soft and fresh. However, with the pizza and stromboli, we had plenty of dough already, so I set them aside to enjoy another day.
I had chosen the Diesel Pizza, which had bacon, ham, meatball, pepperoni and sausage on a soft crust that had a pleasant elasticity. Not sure how it got its name; maybe it’s because all that meat is good fuel.
The only addition to the stromboli I requested was anchovies, and they added the perfect salty note to the gooey mozzarella inside.
The Veal Parmesan had a nice crisped breading and was served with a side of spaghetti with a deliciously thick red sauce. The meat was tender, and the melted cheese added a pleasant texture.
The sauce of the Fettuccine Alfredo was wonderfully creamy and cheesy and coated the al dente noodles completely.
It was a lot of food, certainly enough for another meal. (I’ll enjoy it with those rolls.)
Tornatore’s Pizzeria is at 3818 Edgewater Drive, Orlando. Takeout is available Tuesday through Sunday. Do checkout the online ordering system, though you may have to cross reference with the full menu on the website for more complete descriptions of some of the items. If you prefer to call, the phone number is 407-292-2248.