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All Hail the Tomato: Dowtown Dining to Fete a Favorite Fruit

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Yes, I said fruit. Let's get that out of the way immediately, shall we? The tomato--versatile, plentiful, flavorful, and local--is a fruit. It's also something that is in season right now (although you can conceivably make a go of growing your own right now and celebrating a little later on). The Patina Group of restaurants is celebrating this stellar ingredient with Tomato Festival menus at nine of their eateries, and to show off the spoils of the season they brought together a crew of food bloggers and Paul and Maryann Carpenter (the couple who operate Coastal Organics, the 17-acre Santa Paula farm from which the Patina Group sources produce) for a caravan tour of three Downtown eateries, with one course per stop, each showing off the tasty tomato.