Terra in St. Helena
- Hiko Ikeda
Today the food section of the San Francisco Chronicle had the following article written by Hiro Sone, a owner of Terra at 1345 Railroad Ave., St Helena.
Although I have been reading many newspapers, magazines, and books, I have never found any story about that restaurant--even on this discussion board.
Has anybody been there?
This is also our all-time favorite restaurant, anywhere.
We ate there this Sunday night, in celebration of a close friend's (visiting from Minnesota) 50th birthday.
I will get a copy of the menu that night in order to do grace to how beautiful the food was in language for this board, but as far as the meal, it was absolutely perfect. Seriously. We were there for hours. Heaven.
Hiro has such an appreciative staff in his kitchen. It shines through in the food. His food philosophies (sp?) in combination with his wife's great nature, kinship to the valley and talent create an awesome dining experience we feel is truly unique. There's no "big-city hoopla" though the food is so much more sophisticated and satisfying than you will ever find in most cities, but especially here in northern Calif. Great wine list, too. I'll get my hands on that menu, I promise. (The Grilled Squab (medium-rare) with Foie Gras Sauce was the tables favorite.) Everything was great. Always is.
I had one of the best meals of my life, and perhaps the best dish I've ever eaten, at Terra several years back. (To supply some context, I also love Chez Panisse, Azie, Patina, Campanile, and the Water Grill, so I'm not comparing Terra to small-fry places - not that there's anything wrong with small-fry restaurants!) I was spending a long weekend in Napa with a couple of friends, enjoying spa treatments, and trying to cram in as many meals as possible.
After starting the meal with far too many appetizers and salads than three people ought to have in one day, let alone one evening, I had the Broiled Sake-marinated Seabass with Shrimp Dumplings in Shiso Broth for dinner. I actually swooned after taking the first few bites. The dish was served in a large bowl in a pool of broth with a couple of dumplings floating in the broth as well. The fish had a slightly caramelized shine from the broiling. I ended my meal with Sauteed Strawberries in Cabernet Sauvignon Black Pepper Sauce with Vanilla Ice Cream.
There's no possible way you could be disappointed with a meal at Terra. Do everything you can to get up there!