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“Upscale, great food!”
Review of Terre a Terre - CLOSED

Terre a Terre
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Reviewed 25 January 2014

We had dinner here with friends and it was a very nice experience. All the details mentioned in other reviews are spot on-its a small place but nicely laid out and comfortable. Its not your average large portions of food slopped on a plate kind of place - this is a culinary delight. I thought portions were perfect and everything tasted fresh. Very creative menu - not for those who like the simple standard fare. We had short rib empanadas-amazing! The beet salad was amazing! Duck risotto was so different but so delicious. Our entrees were perfect and our flourless chocolate cake for dessert was incredible. We left happy and satisfied.

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Thank rg66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (43)
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36 - 40 of 43 reviews

Reviewed 24 January 2014

My stay in northern part of New Jersey included visiting the restaurant Terre a' Terre located in Carlstadt, New Jersey .
The experience was a definite pleasurable one. The food was excellent and the atmosphere was
a home at home experience. Do visit this restaurant when in town.

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Thank Marie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 December 2013

My husband and I went for a quiet dinner and that is exactly what we got. The staff was friendly our food was delicious and it was the ambience was extremely welcoming. I am so happy that there is a great farm fresh restaurant nearby. I can't wait to go back and try another amazing dish.

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Thank coreym207
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2013

We visited this restaurant on a recent weeknight. There was one other table occupied. We were seated promptly. Our wine was opened, served and removed to another area. We had to ask each time we wanted another glass. The menu was different. I personally ordered a soup and an appetizer since nothing on the menu appealed to me. There was no chicken or normal beef. Rolls were served, one to a person with a 3/4 inch pat of butter per 3 people. We had to ask for more. When eating my soup, i could not remember what kind i had ordered and couldn't tell because it had no taste, My crab cakes were the size of silver dollar, there were two, and also had no taste The only entree that looked enticing and substantial was the pasta. No one had anything to take home because the portions were small. A cup of tea was $3.50 and had neither color or taste. the bill came to $85 per couple which i found to be high for what we got.
I most certainly would not recommend this restaurant to anyone...

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Thank Lynn L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 December 2013

“I want to save the little guy,” Chef Todd Villani said softly, seated at the burlap and craft paper covered farmstyle table of his new farm-to-table Carlstadt gem of a restaurant, “Terre à Terre” (or, “Down to Earth”).

Villani’s restaurant name, one he picked out years ago while conjuring his life’s dream (which cleverly creates the word “EAT” in the center with the “a” as an apple, boldfaced on his simply embossed storefront window), is a threefold descriptor. It captures his food, the ambience of his eatery, and most importantly, him.

In his humbly passionate statement, Villani answered the question that rings loudly in any industry mind familiar with the massive cost and effort implicit with any restaurant venture, much less one that features exclusively local-farmed and screamingly fresh produce: why make farm-to-table your raison d’être?

Mass produced food cost these days is teeth-grindingly high as it is, not also to mention rent and labor in an economy that has certainly been kinder to the food industry than it has over the past decade. It’s all enough to send any well-established restaurant under the table, much less a 50-seat eight-weeker run solely by a brave chef-owner that serves only local meat, fish, dairy, and produce, right down to its counterintuitively awesome cups of New Hope joe.

And the buck doesn’t stop there for Villani.

Every single item in his shop-come-restaurant-come-culinary institution is bought Jersey local (or as close as possible), sustainable, and downright farm chic, from the quaint mini picnic baskets that hold every table’s share of fresh, steaming hot pretzel bread to the burlap curtains hung on rods made of branches.

Even the utensils rest on little branches reminiscent of Asian chopstick holders, and the seasonally shifting menu is propped up by a thin slab of bark. This sort of integrity and attention to detail –
needless to say, really – extends to his food.

The menu reads like a repertoire of superior small local farms, with the farm name preceding the food. For instance, the Marolda Farms Beet and Backyard Green Salad available for an incredible $12. (For the record, the prices at Terre à Terre are as wonderfully surprising as its concept, location, and flavors.)

The beets, both golden and red, are cubed and sliced thinly, creating this ethereal beet-chip effect over the “backyard” salad which is just as fresh as if picked from a spring yard; and if you really think about it, given the local sourcing, it’s not too far off. And the diner can tell, in a great way. All of this rests on top of a fluffy cloud of what Villani calls goat cheese mousse, which takes the oftentimes overwhelming flavor to a whole new level of smooth, creamy, dreamy incredible. Not also to mention, there’s smoked paprika which – fear not, vegetarians – tastes just like bacon, but isn’t. Oh yeah, and then there’s the truffle reduction.

For the less veggie-inclined, there’s the house-smoked pork belly app which consists of, again, fluffy clouds (see a theme developing here?) of pork which is rarely an association made with pork. Pork. And the Brussels sprouts are perfectly crispy and hold their own in this mix.

And then you have the dish dear to Villani’s heart: the Rosenkrans Farm Short Ribs, served pinot noir melty tender over a potato leek puree that might just make you weep gently once you’ve licked the last bit off the plate.

If you still have room after all of this, there is an equally impressive collection of handcrafted desserts whose freshness will make you forget you’re consuming dessert, but will remind you how much you can’t do without it. I recommend you take your confectionary indulgence accompanied by a magic blossoming tea leaf or some of that addictive local coffee.

Bottom line, folks, is this: eat here. First, for the mindblowing food, and foremost for the fact that the act of eating here is not only good for your soul, but for the good of the collective soul, good for what’s right and true, good for the earth, and good for Jersey. It’s just good.

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Thank Gennarose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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