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Terra Nostra - new Italian and Steak house in Old Saybrook , Ct

few Jun 28, 2013 04:57 PM

Terra Nostra is a new Italian/Steakhouse in Old Saybrook. (those of you familiar with Old Saybrook - the old Pats Kountry Kitchen space - and yes they did change the colors up - not much physical change to the space)

We decided to pop in for a peek and decided to stay and try their interesting menu.

This not your mom's red italian sauce type of place - and is priced a wee bit higher than your standard Italian fare - but we thought it was $$$ well spent.

I ordered one of the specials: Stuffed Scallops over Fresh Asparagus with Newburg sauce;hubs got a Veal Marsala

It was early , but there were already about 1/3 full (by the time we left at about 6:30 they were close to half full)

I ordered a bellini and my hubs had glass of wine - glass of wine served right temp and nicely sized and he enjoyed it. My bellini was perfectly balanced but was probably the smallest bellini I had ever ordered - so my only complaint this meal was the size of the bellini

Scallops were tender, silky and light carmelized and CLEARLY fresh, I was surprised by the quality of the lobster stuffing - no filler there or if there was it was so lighthanded as to not be noticeable - asparagus were crisp , sweet and perfect = and to top it off the newburg sauce had the lightest of touches and complemented everything (no glop here)

Hubs said his Veal was tender and looked light as well - he loves his marsala sauce so I will say I did not taste it but there was nothing left on his plate

I ordered Tiramisu, he had a blueberry cobbler or crisp . Again, a very light touch to the Tiramisu - fresh, light no glop with the right balance of expresso, cocoa and mascarpone .
Nothing was left of his blueberry
I ordered an expresso - well brewed , but had to ask for some lemon peel - what I got was a lemon slice....lol

They do have some of the standard pasta fare .

They also had an outstanding looking selection of Steak house items - chops to filets - maybe we will try that on our next outing.

Dinner for 2 came to slightly under $100 - so like I said - not cheap, but we did not order the cheapest things on the menu either and probably spent $30 on drinks.

Highly recommend getting there - not sure if they take rez - forgot to ask - they do lunch as well - but a much smaller bistro style menu at lunch,

The service was excellent.

  1. e
    eragavanis Jul 2, 2013 02:48 PM

    Interesting. We went last night and were sorely disappointed! I had planned to call it a mediocre red-sauce joint in my review, so I'm surprised you had the opposite experience.

    My husband and I both ordered pasta. Mine was overcooked and not hot (and I specifically asked the waiter if the kitchen could prepare it al dente.) Both dishes were bland. We had the caprese, which was also "meh." The quality of the olive oil wasn't great.

    The wait staff was super, super nice, but not especially good at their jobs. We had to remind them to bring my dessert after waiting forever, and we ate it among dirty dishes until my husband couldn't stand it and asked someone to take them.

    Both Al Forno and Luigi's are better (and I don't love Luigi's on the whole, so there ya go!)

    I will await Kattyeyes's report. Maybe it was a Monday night thing for us. It would take a lot of convincing for me to go back.

    4 Replies
    1. re: eragavanis
      chowmensch Jul 3, 2013 08:52 AM

      I agree with era. We were there a few weeks ago and also were disappointed. Mrs Mensch's chicken dish was very bland and my chicken Parma was okay but certainly no better than Luigi's. Caesar salad was pretty good. Service was okay until we wanted the check and the waitress was nowhere to be seen. On the way out we stopped to get take out menus. The chef and the owner were talking to each other. The owner suggested we take both a dinner and a lunch menu. The chef arrogantly said "we have the best lunch in Old Saybrook which isn't saying much.". Pretty cocky for a very average newcomer. We were very turned off.

      1. re: chowmensch
        kattyeyes Jul 3, 2013 10:46 AM

        Two strikes against--I trust you both enough to know I will save my OS/shoreline dining options for other deliciousness. Besides, we have so much great Italian up here in M'town, I don't necessarily feel like driving to the shore for it. And agree--the that statement certainly is very cocky on the owner's part! SHEESH!

      2. re: eragavanis
        kattyeyes Jul 3, 2013 10:54 AM

        By the way, thank you both for the reports on Luigi's, which I hadn't heard about here previously.

        I wound up talking to a gentleman while waiting in line at DQ of all places--said he and his wife drive up all the time from the Groton area to go to Luigi's. I wondered why people would drive so far to go to a restaurant I hadn't heard any buzz about here. Again, good to know.

        I'm staying right here in town when I want to go out for Italian rather than cook it myself. :) I'm less inclined to go out for Italian, anyway, since I tend to make it at home quite a bit.

        1. re: eragavanis
          few Jul 3, 2013 12:39 PM

          Wow - knock me over...ok - but we did not order any pasta dishes so cannot comment on how they prepare their pasta's.

          I do plan to go again at some point because our food was so well prepared,,,,,can't say I would order the pasta - but maybe someone I would be with will plan to try it.

          However - I have had the same experince - Chowr's loving a place and I thought it was boarding on inedible - one place comes immediately to mind is the Red House in Deep River....

          BTW - I concur on the OP comments on Luigis (which is our std go to red sauce spot)....

        2. kattyeyes Jun 30, 2013 12:54 PM

          Saw Terra Nostra on the way back home last weekend and it was BOOMING. What a great report! Hope to try it someday.

          2 Replies
          1. re: kattyeyes
            few Jul 1, 2013 05:32 PM

            Def worth the stop - check the website of the other restaurant they own in Florida that I posted - same exact menu we had in Old Saybrook - not sure why they don't have a website up and running for the Old Saybrook location?

            1. re: few
              kattyeyes Jul 1, 2013 08:43 PM

              Yes, menu looks great--offerings/prices very similar to Stella D'Oro, yes?

          2. f
            few Jun 28, 2013 05:18 PM

            also - cannot find a website - but the same owner runs a restaraunt in Florida (talked to host for awhile after the meal) and did find this - pretty much the same menu!

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