Culinary ReviewNew Taste Sensationsby Matthew Hayden
Appearing in the September 2010 Issue of
The Women of Gloucester County Online Magazine
Imagine being able to visit a Napa or Sonoma Estate Vineyard, in the heart of Gloucester County. Well if you are looking for a diverse culinary experience, then you don’t need to venture any further than in your own backyard. Hey Dorothy, there’s no place like home!
Take an opportunity to experience a New World Cuisine, an extensive wine list, a Napa Valley Influenced décor, & the introduction of a Sushi & raw bar that is better than any Japanese restaurant in the area. Now, you can satisfy almost any culinary urge under just one roof, from Crab Cakes to Blue Cheese
Crusted Filet Mignon, from Monterey Seafood Cioppino to Cajun Jambalaya.
In addition, to their incredible menu, there are a great selection of unique events that change on a monthly basis. Such as, Celebrity Dinner’s with the likes of Phillies great Darren Daulton on September 17th, with a live Broadcast from 97.5-FM ESPN Radio, featuring a 1 hour open bar, apps, & a 3 course dinner. In addition, Terra Nova has compiled a wine list that encompasses every major wine –producing region of the world. “It highlights small, family run vineyards as well as a traditional selection of the classics." With notable vineyards such as; Sebastiani, Cakebread, Carneros, & more.
But behind the scene are strong Sicilian influences, as a result of the Chef/Owner, Tony Cammarata, who spent his early years growing up in Sicily and experienced the daily ritual of catching local marine life off the coastal waters, where he lived. He brings a wide variety of sumptuous flavors to the table, from seafood specialties to Italian pasta classics. But what really takes this restaurant to the next level is their Sushi Selection!
Monday through Saturday, during Happy Hour from 3 to 6 pm, there is a buzz that permeates the bar crowd, a dedicated, almost cult-like following, that lines up for the daily half priced Sushi Specials. For the novices you will want to start off with a few of the basic rolls such as, the Philly Roll with smoked Salmon, cream cheese, & avocado or the old standby the California roll, but what you really want to go for is the Crispy Tuna or Salmon Tempura roll, it’s totally addicting. But, for those more seasoned professionals, you want to try my 3 favorite rolls. The Sunflower roll with crunchy spicy tuna, wrapped with tuna, salmon and eel. Next, the Mango roll, eel, tuna, or salmon wrapped with succulent mango and stuffed with avocado and cucumber. To finish the evening in total bliss, the Kamikaze roll, spicy tuna, eel, avocado, masago, scallions and soy glaze. Try to understand that enjoying Sushi is all about the nuances, those little touches that make the experience so complete, that you can’t wait to plan your next visit. Just add a great bottle of vino, and your night is complete.
Now, if Sushi is not your passion, then you want to consider starting out the
evening with some of their other amazing fare. Some of the more memorable choices are the Bang-Bang Tempura Shrimp, lightly battered, with sweet chili dipping sauce or their Spicy “Firey” Mussels in vine-ripened tomato broth or pinot gris sauce, and make sure you ask for plenty of their homemade artisan breads for dipping into that delectable sauce.
For a lighter start, try the Terra Nova salad with an ample portion of goat cheese or the Crab and Avacado salad with roasted artichokes, sliced mangoes, and a lemon dill dressing.
If I haven’t taken you over the edge, there is still more to intoxicate you, such as the Wood Grilled Pork Chop, done in a Tuscan style with Grand Mariner reduction and rosemary garlic roasted potatoes or the amazing Fire Roasted Filet Mignon with asparagus, wild mushroom, roasted garlic, with a port reduction. So many of the pasta dishes are my favorite, but one of the standouts would have to be the Seafood Fazzoletti, ” hankerchief” pasta filled with scallops, shrimp, jumbo lump crab and fresh cheeses.
Terra Nova is like attending an intimate dinner party, the hospitality is warm and inviting and the décor is right out of Napa Valley. The dining experience is such that you will want to invite friends and family upon your return.