Saturday, February 22, 2014

Farm-to-Table Comes to Jersey

Finally a farm-to-table restaurant that resembles those in the Hudson Valley region has come to northern Jersey! Everything is sourced from within 300 miles and most is organic. It's a little on the pricey side, but totally worth it. Plus, eating farm-to-table is always pricey so it's not like it's a surprise! My boyfriend and I celebrated our anniversary here, but it could definitely be a spot for just going out with friends to catch up at a nice restaurant instead of the usual pizza joint or diner that so many resort to. It's also byob and out of the 10 tables of people I was at the only table without wine. It's one of those restaurants where everyone brings a bottle apparently.

There were two of us dining there, so our bread basket had two bread sticks (I would assume the more people you have the more bread you get). One was a pretzel stick and the other was multigrain. Aside from the fact that the presentation was so nice, the bread was so good.

We ordered two appetizers and it was beyond difficult to narrow it down from all of the options. Because I'm obsessed with beets the roasted and raw heirloom beet salad was a must. The beets were over mixed farm lettuce, peppercorn fromage blanc, brown sugar, and were topped with smoked paprika almonds. The dish is big enough for two people, but one person could definitely finish it by themselves (you know I did). It was so worth it. The flavors all worked extremely well together and the beets were amazing.

The one app was a special- beet fusili mac and cheese with truffled crumbs on top. The pasta came from Sfoglini Pasta in Brooklyn where they source many of the organic ingredients in their pasta from NYC's rooftop farms. This should be added to the regular appetizer menu because the dish alone was delicious and the truffle crumbs on top were exceptional. You could definitely split this between two or even three people.

My boyfriend ordered the GUS root beer braised Rosenkrans Farm short ribs, which comes over roasted brussels sprout petals with cauliflower, braising greens, and crushed potatoes with sour cream and bacon. Terre a Terre sells the GUS root beer when you first walk in, along with other items from local places, such as pasta, tomato sauce, crackers, and salsas. GUS stands for Grown-up Soda, based in NYC. You can also order the sodas to enjoy at the restaurant. Matt loved the dish and regardless of the fact that he ate a decent size portion of mac and cheese, he almost cleaned the plate.

I hate to even write about my entree because it was so amazing and it was a special, so chances are it won't be an option when you go. Sorry for the tease! I've recently become a fish person (at 20 years old I had never tried fish..ever), so now I'm into trying different fish dishes at restaurants because I prefer it over any other meat. Who would have thought we'd see the day? Any who, I had a line caught halibut fillet with heirloom carrots served over wheat berry and sun dried tomatoes and topped with this sauce that the waiter described as a "bisque." It was a shellfish something that sounds like "soo-buy." I've never had halibut and this was a great first intro to it.

Our server was fantastic. He had almost every single special memorized (he rattled off about 6 and then goes "and now for the entree specials." I couldn't get over how many there were!) and when he had to check the details for two he apologized. I was impressed he could remember as many as he did! I introduced myself to the chef afterwords because it was completely necessary to compliment all of the dishes and he seemed like an awesome person. I'm pretty sure he used the phrase "right on."

The atmosphere is super cozy with dim lighting and a warm, neutral color palette. The lights hanging above the tables are made from mason jars and I must have mentioned how much I loved them about 6 times. I'd say the restaurant only seats around 50 and it's tiny but isn't loud at all. I'm excited that it's almost spring to see what the new seasonal menu has! Out of 5 stars I would give Terre a Terre 4/4.5. It's definitely worth it to give this new restaurant a shot!


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