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The Young Londoner has an Italian feast at Terra Terra

Terra Terra is an all-day neighbourhood restaurant on Finchley Road opposite the Underground station. It serves delicious homemade Italian cuisine in a warm and welcoming space. The Young Londoner’s team went along to try the food and experience the atmosphere.
Jodi Hinds Food Photographer London

Getting a team of four mums together for a night out is a near impossible feat not least because with six children between us we needed our respective babysitters (and children) to be healthy during the flu season. So we decided this year to swap the traditional Christmas party for a taste of Terra Terra’s sharing menu – partly because they invited us to taste it but also because we figured the Italians do a better Christmas fare. 

On the night things didn’t get to a great start with one of us having babysitter issues and the other three running a little late (due to public transport).

As we arrived and took our seats it soon became apparent that the beating heart of the restaurant is the Head Chef, Massimo Mioli, formerly of Chucs Restaurant at the Serpentine Gallery. He is as buttery and warm as the homemade fresh pasta that he lovingly makes and welcomed us out of the pouring rain with three Negronis. This got three ‘cheers’ from us. 

Rather than choosing the plates ourselves, we hand ourselves over to Massimo and ask him to serve us his best fare. For starters we are treated with Cacio e Pepe Arancini, Porcini & Soy that is equally earthy and cheesy, the sort of comfort carbohydrate rich food that you would expect served from your Italian nonna. Then on to the Tuna, chilly and lime which is very light on the fork and fresh in the mouth with a spicy kick at the end and our unanimous favourite the Beef Carpaccio and Crispy Parmesan that is basically perfection on a plate and melts in my mouth simultaneously dissolving away any thoughts I may have had of returning to a vegetarian lifestyle. 

We had a bottle of Pinot Bianco wine from Trentino to accompany the meal but I have to mention that Terra Terra also serves Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Organic wine from Tuscany which is my all time favourite (and what I plan on ordering on my next visit). 

Terra Terra’s culinary principle is to use only the best organic ingredients from trusted suppliers who share the same passion for quality as Massimo who personally sources the very best of local produce for his culinary masterpieces. Talk has somehow turned to Brexit (possibly because it was election week) and we are worried about what the new food tarifs will mean for London restaurants. Massimo assures us that there are some good suppliers in the UK too – but it does feel strange to think of Buffalo Mozzarella coming from Hampshire rather than Campania. 

Anyway, on to the mains. Here we tried two different homemade pastas from the specials the nduja and butternut squash which is sweet and light but packs a spicy punch as you munch and the cacio and pepe which was a creamy cheesy delight with strong garlic flavours and this writer’s favourite dish of the evening.

No Italian feast would be complete without the traditional tiramisu for dessert and a serving of grappa (to help with digestion) but given we were all so stuffed by this point we opted for a drop of Limoncello, which was a perfect end to our evening.

Terra Terra is hosting a brunch for parents with complimentary childcare for the kids on Saturday 18th of January. Little Terra’s (love the name), will provide safe care and entertainment for your kids while you enjoy lunch knowing your children are having as much fun as you (minus the booze). Childcare is for children between 2 – 6 years old and all toys, games, activities and crafts are provided to suit the ages of all children attending.11am- 3pm | Max two hour stay per child. More info and booking here. Terra Terra can accommodate up to 11 children at one time. The childcare providers are DBS checked. Two+ adults must be dining from the main menu.

Terra Terra is located at 120 Finchley Road, NW3 5JB www.terraterra.co.uk

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