Terramia review by examiner.com

Terramia-rific food

A restaurant like Terramia Ristorante in the North End is a nice date night spot, and around us were quite a few couples. But on this hot summer night, I was on a relaxing date with my bestie.Terramia-rific food

We've been here as part of their fundraiser for diabetes. Owner Carla Agrippino-Gomes and the staff support fundraisers, such as the CityFeast to benefit diabetes research. Gomes, who also owns Antico Forno, started CityFeast in 2005, to thank Joslin Diabetes Research Foundation for caring for her diabetic son. It's a good restaurant to support. Even better, it's pretty easy to eat here. Inspired by her mother's Italian cooking, Gomes opened Terramia in 1993. It's an intimate little restaurant on Salem Street that mixes up Italian classics with updated spins, and the kitchen can also go vegan and gluten-free.

Terramia-rific foodSpaghetti con Gamberi e Aragosta ($27) Spaghetti, shrimp and fresh Maine lobster meat, Collina tomato, and lobster fume stock

With its intimate candlelit atmosphere, unique take on Italian classics seafood, pasta and meat dishes, and friendly waitstaff, it's a comfortable place to keep coming back to. We've been here successfully with kids, but we don't get to have many girls' nights out, so we were going to order all the courses, in a place where we could also hear each other talk.

We started with a half-dozen of freshly shucked oysters. Terramia is running a $1 oyster special, Sunday-Thursdays from 5-6 p.m. These went well with a glass of Prosecco "Maschio" Brut ($11) for me, and Moscato D'Asti, Coppo Docg (Piedmonte) ($10) for my friend. They have a good and affordable wine list. A glass of Sauvignon Blanc "Ballard Lane" is $9, and a bottle of 2013 Rose Castello Banfi "Centine" is $34.

Next, an antipasto traditional platter of imported Italian cured meats, cheeses, preserved and roasted vegetables and olives, that was more than enough for the two of us.

But we couldn't wait to order some pasta. There were a few choices so we were confused, and so we left it up to the waiter to choose a Primi Piatti for us; we were happily surprised with spaghetti con Gamberi e Aragosta ($27) Spaghetti, shrimp and fresh Maine lobster meat, Collina tomato, and lobster fume stock. The portions of seafood were bountiful, and the pasta had that perfect springy firmness, with a rich sauce coating each strand.

Next, for the Secondi Piatti, we had the Anatra ($30): a meaty, juicy Hudson Valley Duck breast, with wild mushroom risotto, slightly firm broccoli rabe, in a tart cherry and red wine reduction, with salsa verde swirled along the plate. It was fabulous. I had this with a glass of Pinot Grigio "Oggi" (Venezia, $10.)

We finished with traditional tiramisu, and a glass of Lemoncello "Limonce" (Italy, $8), a perfect way to end the night. We were full, happy, and pampered. It was the restaurant experience that everyone wants.

by Sandi Miller – Boston Restaurant Examiner