Carlstadt-based Terre à Terre Opens Patio Dining With Vertical Edible Garden

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Operating within a small urban space, Carlstadt-based Terre à Terre opens patio dining with its vertical edible garden - a wall garden featuring all kinds of herbs, ornamentals and small crops.

In what used to be a dense cedar forest that was as large as midtown Manhattan, an urban center surrounded by salt hay – better known as the Meadowlands – now thrives. In its midst, Terre à Terre – a farm-to-table eatery and artisan market featuring locally sourced food – is redefining the dining scene by bringing a reminder of the state’s agricultural heritage to this urban setting through its new vertical edible garden.

“Urban gardening can be an intimidating process for many of us,” says Chef Owner Todd Villani. “But if you think creatively about where to grow a garden – in a container, on the roof, or even on a wall – the landscape-challenged can start considering what’s possible in the smallest spaces.”

The stylish eatery debuted late last year and has been creating some buzz for its efforts in sourcing the best in local and organic foods.  Chef Villani has taken the concept of fresh food to a whole new level with a design for an edgy gardening technique called vertical gardening that not only contributes to the modern natural cuisine, but also provides environmental benefits like sustainability, and brings guests closer – physically and in understanding – to the source of their food.

“Obviously, we’re not producing enough edibles to supply the restaurant,” explains Villani, “but we can grow all kinds of herbs, ornamentals and small crops to complement our dishes and add an interesting and tasty extra twist. More than anything, we think the garden really supports a philosophy we have around connecting people to the source of their food. Our guests will have the opportunity to see our plants grow and mature and end up in some way on their plates.”

As yet another reminder of New Jersey’s farming heritage, Terre à Terre’s small patio space also features a hand-painted wall mural by local artist and part-time restaurant server Justin Kinney. Kinney is a small-town artist with big dreams. At age twenty two, Justin has painted custom signs for small businesses, murals, and also commissioned countless paintings. Graduating with an art award from Weehawken High School, Justin further pursued his passion by attending Montclair State University.

“We’re a small restaurant with a big vision,” says Villani. “We’re trying to remind people that our food starts with the soil and not supermarket shelves. Justin has done a fabulous job taking that ideal vision of what a farm might look like and bringing it to Carlstadt.”

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.

With nearly 50 seats, the restaurant offers a private dining area, an outdoor garden courtyard which will open this spring, and the Chef’s Table, which offers a multi-course gourmand tasting menu, Terre à Terre provides dining from Wednesday through Saturday 5:30 – 10:00 and on Sunday for brunch 11:00 – 2:30 p.m. In addition to private parties, the restaurant also does catering.

Terre à Terre is located at 312 Hackensack Street. For more information, or to learn more about the farmers and artisans supplying Terre à Terre, visit The restaurant takes reservations online at and by phone at 201.507.0500.

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Lisa Meyer
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