Jersey Tomato Dinner with Todd Villani & Robbie Felice

Jersey Tomato Dinner with Todd Villani & Robbie Felice

I was thrilled to attend the first collaboration dinner between Chefs Todd Villani and Robbie Felice at Viaggio Ristorante earlier this year and super bummed to miss their August 20th Jersey tomato dinner again, held at Viaggio.

The dinner will feature:

Yellow tomato gazpacho

Heirloom tomato panzanella

Lemongrass meatballs with tomato jam

Spaghetti with blistered sungold tomatoes

Pork loin medallion with tomatillo and tomato granita.

The dinner is at 5:30PM and its price is $85/person plus tax and gratuity. Reservations can be made by VISITING THIS LINK.

Viaggio – 1055 Hamburg Turnpike, Wayne. 973-706-7277.

Todd Villani Featured Chef at Viaggio

Todd Villani Featured Chef at Viaggio

Fans of Chef Todd Villani who are still withdrawing from Terre à Terre closing last May (some of you may remember my rant) should rejoice! Chef Robbie Felice (get to know this talented young chef) of the very popular Viaggio in Wayne, NJ has invited Chef Villani in his Viaggio kitchen to serve up a six-course meal on Sunday June 4.

This is the proposed menu:

Guests will arrive at 5:30PM and will be greeted to a collaborated amuse-bouche followed by dinner at 6PM.

Seats are $75 per diner and available on a first come first serve basis. Costs of the dinner must be paid at reservation time.

Tickets can be purchased here: https://www.toasttab.com/viaggio-ristorante/menu  Simply select the 6/4 at 5:30PM dinner.

Instructions for purchasing tickets
1. Schedule order for 06/04/17 @ 5:30pm
2. Add desired quantity of “Guest Chef Dinner”
3. Follow prompts to check out

Viaggio is a BYO.

ADDRESS: 1055 Hamburg Turnpike Wayne, NJ 07470.

Cheers,

Veronique

Adieu Terre à Terre

Adieu Terre à Terre

Chef Villani

Chef Villani

A few weeks ago, when Chef Todd Villani told me he’d be shuttering down his restaurant, Terre à Terre, when his lease was up, I was truly saddened. When I received the written notice earlier about the impeding June 26th closing, it seemed impossible to think that all the hard work Chef Villani and his marketing/PR/event planner/cheerleader sister Lisa put into the Carlstadt restaurant was all for naught.

Folks not around the restaurant business truly have no concept of what these entrepreneurs take on when they open independent dining establishments. In New Jersey, what makes things even more difficult is the challenge and costs associated with acquiring a liquor license. Without the aforementioned license, the margins these restaurants operate on are incredibly low.

Another challenge Chef Villani faced, and a problem facing many other BYOs and independent restaurants in the area, was the chronic lack of consideration from diners who secure multiple reservations on busy evening and decide at 4PM which to actually honor. No-shows and last minute cancellations plague the restaurant business and New Jersey appears to be worse than other states based on the constant feedback from local chefs and restaurant managers. I truly don’t believe diners know how much a no-show for a table of six on a Saturday at a restaurant seating 50 can cripple small business owners – CANCEL YOUR DAMNED RESERVATIONS, AND NOT AT 5PM THE DAY OF!!!

Chef Villani at Beard House

Chef Villani at Beard House

From Chef Villani “Terre a Terre has given me gratifying achievements beyond my wildest dreams. I’ve made lifelong friends and colleagues. I’ve employed incredible, passionate people who joined me in redefining the dining experience. My family has been incredibly supportive. And as for my customers, what can I say?  You’ve made it all worth it.  We are grateful to everyone who has supported us and we hope to see you one last time. Reservations are greatly appreciated. Thank you again for your support”.

It’s a sad day in the New Jersey food scene and I know Chef Villani and his expecting wife Beth will find another rewarding path, whatever they opt to do next. I was glad to be a guest and a friend through your three-year journey.

Farewell to Terre à Terre.

Veronique

 

Terre à Terre Leap Year Dinner – February 29

Terre à Terre Leap Year Dinner – February 29

PrintOn Monday February 29th at 7PM, Chefs Bryan Gregg of Escape Montclair and Robert Ubhaus of Redux will join Terre à Terre Chef Todd Villani for a six-course dinner celebrating “leap year day”.

Menu details:

1st Course

Sautéed (make it hop) scallops / crispy prosciutto / Brussels / miso mushroom purée (Chef Villani)

2nd Course

“Spring” lamb carpaccio / pickled celery root / smoked apple vinaigrette (Chef Gregg)

3rd Course

Crisp frogs legs / parsley mousseline / black garlic chips / lemon powder (Chef Ubhaus)

4th Course

Rabbit confit vol-au-vent / prunes / root vegetables / grain mustard (Chef Villani)

5th Course

Pavé of “29th” day aged beef / trumpet mushrooms / parsnip purée / Bordelaise (Chef Ubhaus)

6th Course

Sweet corn bread pudding / caramel corn / popcorn ice cream (Chef Gregg)

The cost of the dinner is $92 plus tax and gratuity. Reservations can be made by calling 201-507-0500.

Cheers,

Veronique

Terre à Terre Supper Club: The Art of Local Cuisine Collaboration Dinner

Terre à Terre Supper Club: The Art of Local Cuisine Collaboration Dinner

In the Terre à Terre kitchen, Chefs Todd Villani and David Viana will present a 6-course dinner showcasing the art of locally-sourced cuisine. The dinner is January 12th at 7PM.

~  First  ~

Liver and Onions – chicken liver mousse and caramelized onion bread pudding (Chef Viana)

~  Second  ~

Beet Ménage – goat cheese mousse, wasabi walnuts (Chef Villani)

~  Third  ~

Local Trout “Puttanesca” – tomato confit, black olive emulsion (Chef Viana)

~  Fourth  ~

Smoked  Pork Tenderloin  – aerated parsnip, pomegranate jerk (Chef Villani)

~  Fifth  ~

Slow Braised Short Rib – glazed carrot, maple black sesame sauce (Chef Viana)

~  Sixth  ~

Sweet Potato Pound Cake “Brulée” – roasted marshmallow gelato, cinnamon potato skins (Chef Villani)

Cost is $92 p/p (not including tax & gratuity).  Reservations required by calling 201.507.0500. Please call Terre à Terre at 201-507-0500 to hold your spot. Terre à Terre – 312 Hackensack St, Carlstadt, New Jersey 07072

New Fall Menu at Terre à Terre

Chef Todd Villani

Chef Todd Villani

Fresh off its 2-year anniversary celebration, Terre à Terre  has a new fall menu showcasing the freshest locally-sourced ingredients the area has to offer.

With input from his new Chef de Cuisine, Ralph Perrotti, Chef/Owner Todd Villani has crafted an autumnal menu featuring Nicolosi Black Berkshire Braised Pork Ramen, Goffle Road Farm Quail, Crispy Local Black Bass and Sfoglini Seasonal Porcini Trumpet Pasta.

If you haven’t paid Chef Villani and his welcoming team a visit or haven’t eaten at Terre à Terre in a while, call to reserve a table now.

Terre à Terre – 312 Hackensack Street, Carlstadt, NJ. 201-507-0500.

Cheers,

Veronique

Chef Todd Villani at James Beard House

Chef Todd Villani at James Beard House

This week, I was invited to attend the “Jersey Bounty” dinner at the prestigious James Beard House. The event was the brainchild of Chef Todd Villani of Carlstadt’s Terre à Terre.

The menu featured seasonal dishes showcasing the state’s peak summer produce. The cocktail hour was peppered with Jersey fresh hors d’oeuvres:

  • Juniper-Cured Goffle Road Poultry Farm Duck Prosciutto with Ginger Mustard on Pretzels
  • Vietnamese Crab Spring Rolls with Rice Noodles, Spiced Peanuts, and Micro-Shiso
  • East Coast Oysters with Borage, Riesling Mignonette, and Cucumber Caviar
  • New Jersey Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with Lovage and Pickled Ramps

The 6-course dinner included:

  • Tuna with Beet Mousse, Melon, Radishes, and Microgreens
  • Viking Village Scallops with Charred Corn, Shibumi Farm Mushrooms, and Corn Milk
  • Duck Confit with Seeds-and-Grains, August Lettuces, Blackberry Confiture, and Nutmeg Vinaigrette
  • Nicolosi Fine Foods Berkshire Black Pork Belly with Sumac Grits, New Jersey Peaches, and Wild Basil
  • Elysian Fields Farm Lamb with Caramelized Leek–Lamb Bacon Gratin and Rapini Purée
  • Lavender–Raspberry Crostata with Lemon–Mascarpone Gelato, Raspberry Curd, and Frangipane

It’s always exciting to see even the most seasoned chefs in awe in the Beard House kitchen and it was no different seeing Chef Villani and his support team.

A great evening made even better with Jean Edwards Cellars wines in my glass.

Cheers,

Veronique

Terre a Terre Supper Club

Terre a Terre Supper Club

Twice a month, Terre à Terre turns its dining room into a supper club where folks who have a passion for seasonal, local foods gather, often at a communal table, to enjoy a themed meal.

Up until now, Chef Todd Villani has personally selected the themes and menus, but over time, his guests will offer ideas for themes, speakers and guest chefs.

A couple weeks ago, I joined a convivial group for the “Italian Godfather Dinner” supper club. Chef Villani, of Italian decent, prepared his own version of traditional Sunday supper, with a modern twist. The menu featured house made Focaccia with herb and roasted garlic oil for guests to share, a summer vegetable bruschetta, Insalata Caprese, Sunday Gravy, veal Marsala and a cannoli.

The Caprese salad offered fresh local Mozzarella, basil, Cappicolla and Jersey tomato. The Mozzarella was from Antonio Mozzarella and was some of the best I’ve had in the area. The traditional Sunday Gravy was prepared with love by Chef Villani and is a take on a family recipe he modified to suit his own taste. The thick tomato sauce simmered for hours and was packed with braciole, meatballs and ribs. The veal Marsala featured Shibumi-cultivated mushrooms and aged Marsala. It wouldn’t have been a true “Godfather” dinner without a cannoli for dessert. The shell was properly crunchy and the goat ricotta gave a light tang that I enjoyed. The dinner was peppered with Italian music, which added a nice touch to the evening.

The next Supper Club will be on 8/19 and the theme is “From the Sea”. Chef Villani will prepare a 5-course dinner featuring the freshest seafood on the market. The cost of the dinner will be $87.63 (including tax and gratuity) and seats can be secured by calling Terre à Terre at 201-507-0500 or by visiting the website.

Terre à Terre is BYO but serves local wine from Unionville.

312 Hackensack Street, Carlstadt, NJ.

Cheers,

Veronique

Supper Club at Terre a Terre – Italian Godfather Dinner

Supper Club at Terre a Terre – Italian Godfather Dinner

Todd Villani

Todd Villani

UPDATED 6/29/15

Twice a month, join others who have a passion for local, seasonal foods for themed dinners in the heart of Bergen County. Terre à Terre is taking the underground Supper Club concept above ground with its own monthly events that are open to members only.

To get the Supper Club started, Chef Todd Villani selected the initial menus – but over time, members will weigh in on themes, speakers and guest chefs, entertainment, special trips and featured wines.

The next Supper Club dinner is named “Italian Godfather Dinner”. It will take place on July 15 at 7:00 p.m. and Chef Villani will prepare his own version of a “meal you can’t refuse”.

The menu will feature:

Housemade Focaccia with herb and roasted garlic oil for table

~  Appertivo   ~
Summer vegetable bruschetta

~  Antipasto  ~
“Insalata Caprese” fresh local mozzarella, basil, cappicolla, and Jersey tomato

~  Primo  ~
“Sunday Gravy” with sausage, meatballs, bracciole and spare ribs over Sfoglini  pasta

~  Il Secondo  ~
Veal with Shibumi cultivated mushrooms and aged Marsala

~  A Dolce  ~
“Leave the gun and take the cannoli”

The 5-course dinner is $69 per person (not incl. tax & gratuity) and seating is very limited. To reserve call 201.507.0500 or CLICK HERE.

Terre à Terre is BYO but serves local wine from Unionville.

312 Hackensack Street, Carlstadt, NJ. 201-

Cheers,

Veronique

FEAST OF FLOWERS – A Greek dinner featuring Chefs Todd Villani and Peter Minaki

FEAST OF FLOWERS – A Greek dinner featuring Chefs Todd Villani and Peter Minaki

Chef Todd Villani

Chef Todd Villani

A Connection to Greece and a Passion for Fresh, Seasonal Ingredients Unite Two Chefs for a Mediterranean-Style Feast at Terre à Terre on May 19th at 7:30PM.

Todd’s culinary journeys started in Greece when he accepted a cooking post at Sani Resort – a luxury 5-star resort in Northern Greece.  The resort is made up of 17 restaurants, four hotels and a marina complex that’s an attraction for Europe’s rich and famous.  The resort has a huge private nature reserve that features rare plants, flowers, herbs and other edibles.  The 1,000 acres is fringed by pine forests and beautiful beaches.  It’s here that the kitchen staff would wander for hours picking ingredients for the evening’s dinner.  And the bounty of the sea provided fresh-caught fish each day.  Chef Gogo called the cuisine “New Greek” because the dishes featured a lot of fresh ingredients and imaginative ideas based on classic French cooking technique.

One of the first dishes Todd remembers preparing was a culture-bending combination of flavors and ingredients:  Salmon and potato cake dressed with Dijon Crème Fraiche, on a bed of julienne carrot with pickled caper leaves and Beluga caviar.

Chef Peter Minaki Photo Credit: Kalofagas

Chef Peter Minaki
Photo Credit: Kalofagas

With these vivid memories of fresh local ingredients and a diversity of tastes, Todd enters the kitchen with chef and cookbook author Peter Minaki for an evening of good food and, in true Greek style, good stories.

Amuse: Yellow Springs Farm Feta cheese in puff pastry – Chef Todd

1st Course: Black Berkshire braised pork “gyro” – Chef Peter

2nd Course: Blue Moon Acres Farm arugula fennel and orange salad – Chef Todd

3rd Course: Charred baby octopus, smoked eggplant in tomato sauce – Chef Peter

4th Course: Elysian Fields Farm rosemary lamb, oregano roasted potato coins, crispy artichokes with mint yogurt – Chef Todd

Dessert: A Chefs’ Collaboration, Mastiha Crème brulée

The cost of the dinner is $79/person plus tax and gratuity.

Reservations can be made by calling Terre à Terre at 201.507.0500.

Terre à Terre – 312 Hackensack Street, Carlstadt, New Jersey 07072.

Cheers,

Veronique