This was our first visit to Da Terra but not our first time at this venue. We’d dined here at the Town Hall Hotel before when it was the Typing Room. Since then the restaurant and the bar has undergone a makeover turning it into a fantastic restaurant serving Latin American cuisine with an Italian influence. We arrived early on Saturday to enjoy a pre lunch drink in the bar. The bar which I remembered as being quite dark is now nice and bright and not only serves cocktails like before but also beer , wine and bar snacks. It was quiet so we sat up the bar which is quite nice as we could have a chat to the barman who I have to say was very friendly and a pleasure to talk to. After a discussion about what our favourite cocktails and spirits were we decided to order a Monkey 47 Gin & Tonic & a Negroni which I have to say was one of the best I’ve tasted. The barman asked us our plans for the afternoon and once we said we were dining in the restaurant he immediately went across to notify them that we’d arrived & were in the bar. A short time after that Head Chef Rafael Cagalli came over to say hello and have a quick chat before heading back to the restaurant only to reappear a few minutes later with a complimentary snack from the bar menu for us to enjoy. These were fabulous Cod Croquettes with Burnt Chive Mayo. As he headed back into the restaurant he told us to take our time and enjoy our drinks and come through when we were ready. This really gave you a great feeling of wanting to dine here.
Cod Croquettes with Burnt Chive Mayo
Once we’d finished our drinks & snacks we thanked the barman and headed into the restaurant where we were given another delightful welcome before being shown to our table. While seated we then had a quick look around to see that there seemed to be more floor space which was probably due to the majority of the tables were now round. The walls were now a light grey colour broken up with some nice artwork with the open kitchen remaining at the head of the restaurant. We were then shown the menus which are both Suprise Tasting Menus. One being a short six course and the other being the long eleven course. We both decided to go for the eleven course. With this I also decided to go with the eight glass matching wines which I must also say was great value for money. My wife on the other had wanted to have three glasses of wine to take her through the menu and the sommelier who’s wine selections were excellent was more than happy to oblige.
Now it was time for our first course and a truly fabulous way to start with a Mackerel , Beetroot & Creme Fraiche. This was followed by the Scallop , Fennel & Apple where they also served the coral in a crispy stone shaped shell.
Mackerel , Beetroot & Creme Fraiche
Scallop , Fennel & Apple
The Coral in a Shell
We then enjoyed a fabulous Chicken course before moving on to enjoy some amazing Bread with Bone Marrow & Butter. This was followed by a fantastic Risotto with Hen of the Woods & Wild Garlic
The Chicken Course
Bread , Bone Marrow & Butter
Our next course was a delightful Cod , Hispi Cabbage & Buerre Blanc which was accompanied by a Crispy Potato with Foie Gras filling and grated Truffle. It was then time for the main course which was a stunning Short Rib of Beef with Artichoke & Chard.
Cod , Cabbage & Buerre Blanc
Crispy Potato , Foie Gras & Truffle
Beef , Artichoke & Chard
We then moved on to the Cheese course which certainly was different. It was a Goats Cheese Flan with a Sweet Potato Gel. This was a flavour combination that really did work and was accompanied with Fennel & Wholegrain crackers.
The Cheese Course
Fennel & Wholegrain Crackers
It was now time for our pre dessert and an interesting choice of flavours it was to Rum Ice Cream , Avocado & Caviar and to be honest it was delicious. I would say though that to call it a palate cleanser it does need to be paired with the sommeliers matched wine a Moscato d’Asti which cut through the creamy texture of the dish. Now on to the main dessert a fabulous and another interesting flavour combination a Jerusalem Artichoke with White Chocolate Ice Cream.
Rum Ice Cream , Caviar & Avocado
Jerusalem Artichoke & White Chocolate Ice Cream
We finished with Coffee & Petit Fours which brought to an end a truly memorable dining experience. The food with some amazing flavour combinations was fantastic and matched by excellent wine pairings. It was a pleasure talking to Rafael & the Sous Chef as well as Manager Antonio. I also have to commend our waiters who’s service was first class. I will certainly look forward to a return in the not to distant future and would highly recommend putting this restaurant near the top on your dining list.