Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Napa Valley Day 3: Terra

For dinner this evening, after a day of some really delicious wine (V. Sattui and Castello di Amarosa were our faves!), we headed into St. Helena to go to Terra.

Neither of us were that hungry, but the menu here looked fantastic.

For appetizer, my mother ordered the kampachi carpaccio with radish salad, yuzu tobiko and ponzu sauce. It was good, although the kampachi should have been sliced much thinner I think. Again, while it was a good rendition of a Japanese dish, I kept thinking that it would have been fantastic at a real Japanese restaurant.

I ordered the monterey grilled squid with chickpeas and chard. It was good, though a tad on the salty side. Also, the micro greens on top turned out to be micro cilantro. It had a very delicate flavor which my mother loved, but as a hater of cilantro, I picked it off.

For entree, we both had the lobster tail with abalone and scallop in a escargot sauce. No escargot was actually present, but the sauce actually had the slight flavor of escargot. It came with a couple sugar snap peas and oven dried tomatoes that were delish, as well as mashed potatoes and trumpet mushrooms. Everything was really delicate and delicious, perfectly balanced. I didn't finish my potatoes because I was trying to avoid the carbs, but it was creamy when I tried it. The oven dried tomatoes were extraordinary... firmer and fleshier than a regular stewed tomato, but not quite as raisiny as a full on sun-dried tomato. This dish was very very good.

For dessert, my mother ordered the orange risotto with passion fruit sauce. It actually came out kinda like a cannoli. It was good, but heavier than we expected. The plate was dotted with fruit though, including wild strawberries. If you've never had a wild strawberry before, they are amazing. Completely bursting with a flavor slightly different than the strawberries we've come to know.

I had the strawberry soup with ricotta fritters. This also was different than I expected. I expected more soup, less fritter, but was presented with four donut-type balls dusted with sugar in a strawberry sauce pretty much. It was good, but I'm not a fan of fried dough balls (not a donut person), so I wished there was more soup. But if you like this kind of stuff, it's very good.

Overall, I'd say this restaurant is very good, and I wouldn't mind coming back to try some of their other stuff. A lot of interesting combos and seasonal ingredients.

1345 Railroad Ave.
St. Helena, CA 94574
(707) 963-8931


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