Carlstadt-based Terre à Terre Launches Winter Menu Pushing the Boundaries of Farm-to-Table with “Extreme Local”

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Farm-to-table eatery Terre à Terre warms up the chill with its new seasonal Winter menu which showcases top culinary trends for the coming year and the most unexpected local ingredients.

As we head deeper into winter, local farm-to-table eatery Terre à Terre warms up the chill with its new seasonal menu which showcases top culinary trends for the coming year and the most unexpected local ingredients.

“We’re really excited about New Jersey’s culinary scene,” says Chef Owner Todd Villani. “There are some dedicated growers and food artisans that are pushing the envelope on locally grown. For example, our partner Blue Moon Acres Farm in Pennington is now growing organic rice; they are, in fact, the only farm to grow rice in New Jersey, and in 2013, Blue Moon Acres produced the first organic commercially grown brown rice in the history of our state.”

“More farmers are growing small-batch alternatives to grain varieties so they can be freshly husked and have minimal time between the farm to your plate. That’s exciting for us as a state and as a restaurant featuring their ingredients.”

The New Power Player Ingredient: Tea
With a focus on keeping one step ahead of food trends, Terre a Terre features specially blended teas – not only in the teacup but in its cuisine. They have partnered with Hackensack-based Tavalon Tea, which specializes in developing unique tea blends with an emphasis on pushing tea back into the spotlight.

“The changing culinary role of tea develops from the notion that it is more than an after meal or an afterthought,” explains Villani. “We’re exploring all ways to incorporate tea into our menu – from tea-infused cocktails to tea and food pairings – and we’re tapping into the unique flavors that the tea leaves bring to a dish. Our ongoing partnership with Tavalon Tea will be expanding the role of tea as a viable and versatile ingredient that opens new and inventive culinary possibilities.”

Chef Villani embraces this idea on the winter menu with the Painted Arctic Char prepared with tea-smoked wheat berries, carrot confit, and citrus gastrique. The tea, Tavalon’s Lapsang Souchong, is an energizing traditional black tea, with a distinctive smoky and hearty flavor that is created when the leaves are smoked over Chinese pine wood.

Winter Menu Highlights
Chef Todd Villani focuses on seasonal stars for his winter fare. He has introduced a new take on French onion soup with short rib stuffed croissant and shaved Gruyère cheese. The Elysian Fields Farm lamb chops is prepared with spiced grit cake, kohlrabi puree, braised endive, hibiscus and mint demi. Creative preparation of the braised short rib includes Hop Devil IPA with herb spaetzle, slow-roasted Cippolini onion, and horseradish cream.

The menu also showcases hearty winter dug root vegetables, dried cranberries and nuts, grainy mustards, and other perfectly winter seasonal and local ingredients that create hearty dishes to combat the long, cold nights.

New Year, New Events
Terre a Terre is increasing its role as an advocate and educational voice for sustainable and local produce in New Jersey by becoming a community pick up point for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). A CSA is a program in which farmers grow for a group of members who have purchased “shares” in the harvest. Members pay at the beginning of the season in March, when the farmer most needs the money. One of the farms who supplies fresh fruits and vegetables to the restaurant, Orange County’s Bracco Farms, will be dropping off herbs, vegetables and some fruit during the 2015 growing season.

Small Plate Sunday Supper will be starting on Sunday evenings, beginning February 8, 2015. Half portion of any menu item will be available at half price. Also available will be half bottles of wine (Unionville Vineyards in Hunterdon County NJ) from 4pm to 8pm.

About Terre à Terre
In creating Terre à Terre, translated as down to earth, Chef Villani brings many years of restaurant experience working for some of Manhattan’s top restaurants, including Marcus Samuelsson’s renowned Aquavit restaurant and at his subsidiary interest, World Yacht, combining simple fresh foods with a creative blend of exotic flavors and ingredients – his signature approach to preparing foods with an international flair.

Highly rated by the New York Times, NJ Monthly and the Star Ledger, the restaurant was named as the first Meadowlands area restaurant to have received certification as a 2 Star Certified Green Restaurant® from the Green Restaurant Association (GRA), a national nonprofit organization that helps restaurants become more environmentally sustainable.

With nearly 50 seats, a private dining area and outdoor garden, the Chef’s Table, which offers a multi-course gourmand tasting menu, Terre à Terre serves a prix fixe lunch Wed-Friday from 12-2:30 and dinner Wednesday through Saturday 5:30 – 10:00 p.m. Brunch is served on Sundays from 11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Terre à Terre is a BYO but also proudly serves wine from Unionville Vineyards based in Hunterdon County.

The restaurant is located at 312 Hackensack Street. For more information, or to learn more about the farmers and artisans supplying Terre à Terre, visit http://www.terreaterre.biz. The restaurant takes reservations online at http://terreaterre.biz/reservations-2/ and by phone at 201.507.0500.

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Lisa Meyer
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