Want to know what makes a good Italian restaurant? Make sure you take a real Italian along for the feast! That’s exactly what I did when I took a trip to Terra Terra, North London’s new and rather trendy Italian restaurant. In fact, I was so confident that the food at Terra Terra would deliver, I took an Italian chef as my guest – and they were not disappointed.
Despite its sleek interior and contemporary design, Terra Terra is far from stuffy. The staff are incredibly friendly, and made us feel welcome from the moment we arrived. The all-day restaurant and café is complete with an open bakery and outdoor terrace, and is set across two floors just a stone’s throw away from Finchley Road Underground station.
Award-winning head chef Massimo Mioli was keen for us to try a variety of dishes, so to say we were spoiled is somewhat of understatement. To start we gorged on crispy polenta and caponata (£6), beef carpaccio with crispy parmesan (£11) and everyone’s favourite Italian cheese – burrata, smothered in tomatoes and chilli (£11).
Then it was onto the mains, which just kept coming. Terra Terra pride themselves on their selection of quality foods, hand-made pasta and rustic pizzas – so I knew we were in for a treat. A slice of their pizzette topped with fennel sausage, roasted peppers and chilli oil (£9) was enough to leave me wanting to eat the entire pizza to myself.
No trip to an Italian restaurant would be complete without a bowl of pasta, and Massimo’s casarecce, lamb ragù and gremolata (£16) was really something special. As always, I probably indulged in a bit too much shaved parmesan, but even without a help of grated cheese, it would be hard not to love this dish. The flavours were impeccable, as well as the presentation and Massimo even offered to pass on some past recipes when I told him how much I loved it.
We were then served steak, the smoothest mash potato I’ve ever tasted and butternut squash and sage risotto. Another dish full of flavour and perfect for warming you up in the winter. After enjoying a healthy dose of each dish, I panicked that I wouldn’t have room for dessert but somehow I found some space once I saw what was on offer. Chocolate fans will absolutely adore the chocolate orange cannoli (£6), a traditional Sicilian treat which consists of tube-shaped shells of fried pastry dough with a creamy filling. We also got to try Massimo’s original Tiramisu with a twist (£7) and cleansed our pallet with a light, citrus sorbet (£6).
The cocktails on offer at Terra Terra are also pretty special, thanks to award-winning mixologist Walter Pintus. As well as twists on Italian cocktails, the menu also offers traditional cocktails such as the 1860’s Negroni (£9) and Ground Mule 9 (£9). There’s also plenty of wine, prosecco and champagne to choose from.
Terra Terra are currently offering customers a decadent Italian festive feast, which consists of a three course menu for just £35 per person. Designed to be shared, Massimo and his team have created this special menu to celebrate the essence of Italian cooking; centred around the tradition of connecting people over heart-warming food. This decade is almost over and December is a time to indulge – you certainly won’t regret a trip to Terra Terra.
Terra Terra can be found at 120 Finchley Road, London, NW3 5JB.