Wednesday date night. A friend recommended Terra Mia, although he liked the old location quite well, but I wanted to see the new location just around the corner. I think the move is a savvy one, given the higher visibility and ease of finding it. The ambiance is vibrant; lots of professionals stopping in for happy hour and socializing at the bar. I went with my boyfriend and were seated in the bar area near the service area, and I found it a bit too busy for a quiet meal. Perhaps next time I'll have a better feel for the place and ask for something different.
We started with the Salsiccia E Peperonata, and found it wonderfully fresh and sweet for a hot dish (I didn't realize their version was a hot dish). The bread provided was rustic, crusty and thinly sliced, perfect for sopping up the delicious sauce. Nothing worse than billowy, heavy bread that reminds me of marshmellows - Olive Garden et all. For our entrees, he had the Spaghetti Ragu (Grandma's sauce) a very good dish of large and juicy meatballs while I had the Gnocchi Sorrentina. I actually preferred his traditional dish, although we both agreed his meatballs are just as good at home. Potato gnocchi is a difficult dish to prepare; the aim is to keep the pillow like texture light and airy. Unfortunately, this particular serving was a bit rubbery and over salted; too much handling or too much cooking was the likely problem. I have never sent anything back to the kitchen and I considered it last night. We chose these dishes primarily to see how they handled the basics.
As for service, our server was switched out at the beginning of our order, so it felt a bit chaotic. It looked like the bartender was either MIA or our new server was doing double duty. She seems a bit frazzled with the happy hour crowd although the other servers seemed steady and composed. She was extremely pleasant and since we were new, gave us a quick rundown on her favorites. We also had the owner/manager? on the floor, we're guessing. My boyfriend commented that he didn't look like a manager in his khakis and polo shirt while all the other waitstaff were dressed more formally. But, overall, the service was pleasant and generally attentive.
Cost at happy hour was reasonable, actually very well priced for the area. One shared appetizer, two pastas, 2 cocktails, 2 house wines were $50 before taxes and tip. I would have liked to have ordered a different wine, but it was a quick decision and it the house wine is decent, usually the rest is too. Overall I think I will go back when it's not so crowded and take my time, try a few more dishes as I think they have wonderful potential. They obviously use fresh ingredients and traditional methods, which makes them a cut above many of the local restaurants. I just think after reading a few other reviews, the chef or sous chef needs to watch the salt seasoning. The good ingredients don't need it.
This is 'Go Again' place.
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