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Terramia on Best of the Northeast (Travel channel)
Terramia Ristorante Receives 2012 Boston Award
Terramia Ristorante has been selected for the 2012 Boston Award in the Italian Restaurants category by the Boston Award Program.
BOSTON July 30, 2012
Each year, the Boston Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category.
These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community.
These exceptional companies help make the Boston area a great place to live, work and play.
Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category.
The 2012 Boston Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity.
Like many Italian-Americans, North-End native Carla Agrippino Gomes, owner and general manager of Terramia and Antico Forno, grew up on her mother’s Italian cooking. Then in 1993, she opened Terramia and her perception of authentic Italian cuisine was changed forever.
Prior to becoming involved in the restaurant business, Carla was a graduate of The Forsyth Dental Hygiene School at Northeastern University. Upon graduation she moved to California to work and expand her studies in Dental Hygiene. She worked as a dental hygienist for 10 years before her children were born. Although, extremely busy at the time raising her two young boys, Carla was interested in getting into the restaurant business and opened Terramia with former partner Mario Nocera in August of 1993.
“I was intrigued by the food Mario was preparing,” Carla remembers. “The presentation was exquisite and the cuisine wasn’t like any Italian food I had ever tasted.”
The first few months after Terramia opened, she remembers were the toughest. “I didn’t realize how much work went into opening a restaurant; however, it didn’t take long for the Terramia concept to catch on.” People either read the menu and came in wanting to try something different or read the menu and walked away hoping to find a restaurant that served chicken parmigiana Still, Agrippino-Gomes remained confident that Terramia would succeed. She evokes the movie “Field of Dreams” when saying, “I knew that if we built a restaurant serving authentic Italian cuisine, people would come.” And indeed they did.
In August 1996, three years after the opening of Terramia, Carla opened her second restaurant, Antico Forno, Cucina a Legna, across the street. The meaning, “Old Oven, Kitchen of Wood, was used to describe the wood burning authentic Southern Italian cuisine and pizza, which was completely different from Terramia. Antico Forno was the first and only wood burning brick oven pizza in the neighborhood. Like Terramia, people flocked to Antico Forno to try the pizza and Italian rustic country fare. Carla credits Nocera and happily boasts, "Mario Nocera has single-handedly changed the face of Italian cuisine in the North End".
In 2008, Antico Forno was expanded from 45 seats to 80 seats and also added a bar, which serves beer, wine and cordials. Agrippino Gomes made sure that if Antico Forno expanded it had to retain the same warmth and coziness that it had originally. And that she did!
In recent months, Carla, along with her son Robert and chef Joshua Breen, opened Cobblestone Café on Hanover St. in the North End of Boston. While Boston’s North End is renowned for its Italian cuisine, Gomes decided to put a new spin on the usual with menu items such as the breakfast burrito, pulled barbeque pork and the New England lobster roll. The café also serves ” breakfast, coffee, burgers, barbecue, salads, fries, grill foods, rotisserie, milkshakes, and seafood in a casual to-go setting.”
The new café is also receiving attention for it’s flavored iced coffee. “CobblestoneNE snickerdoodle iced coffee… life changing,” tweeted one customer.
Carla participates in numerous benefits and charities in the North End and the surrounding Boston area. Over the last 10 years she has been committed to fundraising for The Joslin Diabetes Center, The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and The American Diabetes Association. She began CityFeast: Dining Out To Conquer Diabetes to benefit The High Hopes Fund at Joslin Diabetes Center, which takes place every year on the last Sunday in January. This cause is very near and dear to Carla's heart! She has been committed to both these organizations since her son David was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes on his 1st birthday. It is her way of "thanking" the institution for taking incredible care of her son over the last 22 years.
Bio of Joshua M Breen, Executive Chef
Born and raised in Medford, just a few miles from Boston, Chef Joshua Breen developed an interest in cooking at a young age. He and his family often helped out in his grandfather's spice company Volpicellis - mixing, packaging, and labeling spices. All the different types of spices piqued Breen's interest in cooking as he imagined all the different dishes he could create.
By the time he was in high school, Breen was encouraged by his parents and ready to begin his culinary education formally. He enrolled in his school's culinary program, where his teachers, Chefs Moriarty and Drobneck, helped him master the basics and hone his skills.
After high school, he began working as a fry cook at the Happy Haddock. When his parents saw his talent first hand, they encouraged him to head to culinary school and he soon signed on at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island & Working full time at Red Jacket Resort on Cape Cod, as a Sou Chef.
With his degree in hand, Breen made his way to Boston, taking on the role of Executive Chef at News for noted restaurateur Frank De Pasquale & Jamie Giorgio. Shortly after, he found himself working under the talented Chef Marissa Iocco at Bricco
Breen then became the Executive Chef at Ivy Restaurant in Downtown Crossing. He moved to Florida in 2008 to work at the Breakers Resort & Greek City Café but he soon found himself missing home & is now currently taken over the reins at Terramia Ristorante in the North End where he works closely with his long time chef companion Marissa Iocco. When he's not working he enjoys spending time with his family and cheering on his Championship Bean-town teams. Breen, who currently lives on the North Shore, would eventually like to take over the culinary world - one stomach at a time.
With only about a dozen tables, this popular Salem Street restaurant guarantees an intimate atmosphere, especially on weekends, when the place is packed and harried waiters struggle to recite the nightly specials over the noisy crowd. Still, gourmands and well-informed tourists put up with the prohibitive noise levels and cramped seating arrangements in order to enjoy some of the North End's most adventurous dining. With its soft lighting, stucco walls and beamed ceilings, the dining room sports a slightly rustic vibe.
Chicken parm wishes and lasagna dreams are thwarted by Terramia's far-reaching, modern Italian menu--nowhere else in the neighborhood can diners enjoy an order of sweet lobster fritters with a tangy balsamic-honey glaze. The ever-changing menu incorporates seasonal vegetables and the catch of the day. Homemade pasta dishes feature unconventional preparation styles--ravioli is served open-faced, with scallops, shrimp and zucchini, in a lobster mascarpone sauce
A true gem among all those rhinestones in the North End, this rustic but cozy trattoria with stucco walls and beamed ceilings specializes in creative interpretations of Italian classics. The bad news is that there's no coffee or dessert. The good news is that you can work off dinner with a stroll around the neighborhood before stopping someplace on Hanover Street for an espresso and a pastry.
Behind Terramia's pane-windowed storefront on Salem Street is a busy 39-seat trattoria decked out in linens, candlelight and paintings of the Italian countryside. Like the cuisine here, the atmosphere is elegant yet understated. Since opening in 1993, Terramia has aimed to convince North End diners that there was always more to Italian food than red sauce. Over the Years, the inventive and beloved restaurant has done a great deal of convincing. You'll find creative interpretations of seasonally-based classics here. But come early because you won't be alone.( The Improper Bostonian)
Tucked away on a quiet street in the North End, the maroon awning and open windows of this restaurant beckon to those with a taste for modern Italian fare. The specialties here include Maine lobster with raddichio fritters and wild boar sausage over polenta. The homemade Abruzzi-style spaghetti and the risotto should not be missed. Try the yellow fin tuna, pan-roasted filet mignon or fresh-cut veal chops. The restaurant serves beer and wine. (Schmap Boston 2007 Review)
You can wander into just about any mom-and-pop restaurant in the North End and get a good meal. If you're feeling adventurous, try Terramia Ristorante, a small trattoria that servers Italian classics with a modern twist. For a taste of both Boston and Italy, order the raviolini aperto - handmade ravioli served with shrimp, zucchini, and sea scallops in a lobster mascarpone cream. (NWA WorldTraveler review )
With its stucco walls and beamed ceilings, Terramia manages to evoke the atmosphere of a rustic hideaway in the overwrought North End. The tables are packed close (and always packed) in this boxy, 39-seat trattoria, but Terramia is worth both the wait and the tight squeeze. While its interior design is pleasant enough, it's clear that the draw here is the merger of traditional and 'nuovo' Italian cuisine, which is thoughtful and complex without lapsing into unnecessary excesses. The seasonally changing menu is always rife with inventive, calling-all-taste-buds medleys like grilled marinated octopus (with fresh ceci and fennel salad) or chestnut ravioli (with date mascarpone puree, pork medallions and caramelized onions). You'll never meet a salad you don't like here, either, but for dessert you'll have to adjourn to one of the many pastry shops on nearby Hanover Street, since Terramia has no "dolci" on its menu. ( Ruth Tobias from AOL City Guide)
Eat Dinner Where the Edwards Family Home Once Stood
Today, one of Boston's best restaurants stands on the site where the Edwards family lived in One April in Boston. Terramia is located at 98 Salem Street (at Bartlett Place). Owner Carla Gomes and Executive Consulting Chef Marisa Iocco has won the hearts of even the most sophisticated diners and critics. She prepares authentic Italian cuisine. The Edwards family never ate like this! The best seat in the house is the front double window table that faces Salem Street and Bartlett Place. It overlooks the site where Captain Benjamin Edwards' home once stood. The passageway between the two homes led to Alexander Edwards' cabinetmaking shop. Dinner is served seven days a week.
Nearly everything this little autumnal-color restaurant kicks out tastes home-cooked and authentic. The simple, regional Italian cuisine includes rich, freshly homemade pastas tossed with equally fresh ingredients and risottos that come perfectly cooked and powerfully flavored. A newer favorite is frittelle di aragosta: fresh Maine lobster fritters and crispy vegetables in a balsamic honey glaze. The dessert list, once nonexistent, stops after tiramisu and bread pudding, but who needs more choices than those? Lines can get long on weekends
In the news:Also located on Salem Street, Terramia Ristorante serves gluten-free options as well. “It’s not super difficult for us to do,” said waiter Andy. He said that most of the time, the only item that needs to be substituted in dishes is the pasta itself. “It’s an easy remedy,” he said. That remedy, head waiter Gabriel Goaga says, helps the restaurant “attract more customers.”
2012 Award Winner: BEST Italian - Traditional
- 2011 Boston.com's A-List
- +Italian-Traditional (2nd place)
- +Italian-Nouveau (15th place)
- +Wine List (15th place)
- 2010 Boston A-List
- Seafood Pasta Dish (2nd place)
Best of Citysearch: Winner - Italian Food -
"With its exciting, modern Italian menu, one of the North End's smallest restaurants delivers large culinary rewards."
"The food was wonderful, and so authentic - this is a little bit of Italy in Boston! Lobster Fritters never been better, Open Face Ravioli are amazing. The staff were delightful and the service just right."
Citysearch 2010: Best Boston Fine Dining
Terramia voted #1 Best Italian 2005/2006/2007/2009/2010
Named Terramia Ristorante The Best Italian Restaurant in Boston with a rating of overall 28.
"One of this country's best for Northern & Southern Italian cuisine."
Italian food lovers rave about the "creative and substantial" cooking at this North End "keeper" that's a "new star", providing "classy modern Italian Food".
"Terramia has become a hit with Boston insiders. The 39 seats are filled with savvy diners (including the owners of other restaurants paying the ultimate compliment)."
"Traditional and more nouveau cuisine combines here. in addition to seasonal changes, the menu features recipes brought back from annual trips to Italy. no coffee or dessert is served..."
It was great meeting you thursday night! That was one of the best meals I have ever had. My dad had always spoken so highly of you and it was awesome to finally meet. The bread pudding was AMAZING! I was wondering if I could get the recipe for it? I always make bread pudding on Thanksgiving and that was by far the best bread pudding I have ever had. Thank you so much and I can't wait to go back and eat at Terramia again!