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Terra in St Helena - anyone been lately? recos?

  • b

Some friends are visiting from out of town this weekend and we have reservations at Terra in St Helena. Just wondering if anyone out there's been recently and if there are any specific dishes or preparations which we should definitely order.

Or if anyone wants to share any recent or not so recent experiences from Terra, that would also be appreciated.


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  1. c
    Cheesy Oysters

    I'mglad that you will take recommendations from the past because I bet is has been almost 10 years since I was there but I still remember as one of the finest meals I have ever had. The setting is romantic and the food and service were outstanding. One of the dishes we had was a Thai influenced red curry salmon. I later found the recipe in a cooking magazine and and still love it. I am looking forward to trying Ame. Hope your friend have a wonderful time and that it is still a wonderful spot.

    1. I also had one of the best meals of my life at Terra about 10 years ago and went back last year and it was just as I remembered it. Their specialty is the broiled sake marinated black cod and shrimp dumplings in shiso broth. Enjoy!

      1. I also had one of the best meals of my life at Terra about 10 years ago and went back last year and it was just as I remembered it. Their specialty is the broiled sake marinated black cod and shrimp dumplings in shiso broth. Enjoy!

        1. j

          Terra is my favorite restaurant in the Napa Valley. I was there two Fridays ago and recommend from the current menu (http://www.terrarestaurant.com/menu.html) the grilled squab on asparagus risotto with roasted garlic and foie gras sauce; the oysters with pork belly, and scallops. If the foie gras stuffed tortelloni in black truffle broth is available as a special appetizer then that is a must order imo.

          1. Link:

            Terra Restaurant
            1345 Railroad Ave., St. Helena, CA 94574

            1. Food is always wonderful, prices always high and service can be hit or miss depending on your server. Don't get George!

              4 Replies
              1. re: valleygirl707

                I went to Terra on my visit to Napa Valley (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/417361 for a review, and scroll down for pics), and it was definitely one of the best restaurants I have eaten at. The service, by the way, was perfect. We didn't know what to order because everything delicious, but our server was helpful: informative and answered all our questions, attentive (but not all over us), patient, and very nice. He let us taste from a few different wines after each glass of wine (I had two), both great choices complimenting the dishes. If you can go, I would absolutely recommend it!

                1. re: ShikaSfrn

                  Hesitate to do it, but I have to dissent a bit. Terra seems overrated to me. Why?

                  I was quite disappointed with my recent visit to Terra. Not that anything was terribly wrong... just not enough right. Examples:

                  * atmosphere was hushed .. near dead. Not a fun place the night I went. Cindy's Backyard around the corner had a much livelier, fun vibe. People at Terra seemed grateful to get a reservation. But, the place was lifeless.

                  * the menu seemed practiced and no longer extremely innovative. We all enjoyed the food. It was fine. But, there was no wow factor or anything that made us say "we must go back." All 3 at my table felt the same way. We haven't been back.

                  * the server was overly familiar and quite casual for the price point of the restaurant. I was surprised. It bordered on unprofessionalism. He didn't need our business. Plenty of others want a reservation.

                  So, am I the only one who isn't taken with Terra? Let me know your thoughts.


                  1. re: cortez

                    I didn't really want to post a negative comment with all of the glowing reports from others: I thought we must have just caught it on an off night...

                    It's been a couple of years but it sticks in my memory - the room was as you described: hushed, only a couple of tables besides us. Those tables were obviously regulars and much attention was being showered on them while we were pretty much ignored; plates were dropped without comment nor were we ever asked if things were ok. The main thing I remember about my dinner was
                    undercooked meat (I'm not a fan of rare venison; rare to the point of being bloody). It was just not good and we've never been back.....

                    1. re: RWCFoodie

                      I've only been once, so perhaps that is generally true of Terra, but when I was there I didn't feel any of those things. The hushed atmosphere--maybe I can see that...but I think it's just more of an intimate type of setting. In terms of the service, I found it to be pretty great, and every dish, in my opinion, was extremely well cooked (the meat was oh so tender) and appetizers were all well dressed. Perhaps it makes a difference based on what you order?

              2. I'm planning a trip to Napa in December and Terra was highly recommend by 3 different people, but yet I can't find anything recent about it on Chowhound.

                I would love to hear people's thoughts on Terra, especially since the change in menu last year.


                1 Reply
                1. re: gltsoi

                  I'm glad you bumped this up. Terra is one of those places that rarely gets mentioned because there's not much new to say about it. I'd love to see an update!

                2. I wanted to bump this up. We used to love Terra but have not been ages. I was just talking with a friend and we were trying to decide where to go for her birthday. She also used to love Terra but has not been in ages. We are thinking of going back. Any recent visits to Terra from Chowhounders???

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Ridge

                    I haven't been there in ages, but those guys were just in the news because they're taking over the original Slanted Door space on Valencia St.


                  2. soooo any updates?? The new spot in SF just opened up (Urchin Bistrot); I have yet to eat there, but have heard good things. My husband and I will be in St Helena in Sept and wondering if we should make a reservation at Terra (or just pop into Bar Terra?), or go elsewhere? Appreciate any thoughts!