Otherworldy Delights at Truro's Terra Luna
By: Jeannette de Beauvoir, June 13, 2012
JEANNETTE DE BEAUVOIR - Local oysters meet Nat King Cole: Frim-Fram Oysters, cooked with leeks, absinthe, fennel, onion, champagne, cream, and butter.
“Everybody’s nuts in food service,” laughs Tony Pasquale, owner and chef at Terra Luna in North Truro. “But it’s all about the food here. There’s no TV, no WiFi. We have a turntable, and people go through our records and ask for music. But food? That should be an experience in itself.”
And it is. Ask anyone who’s been to Terra Luna about the food, and you’ll get a variation on “It’s-oh-my-God-amazing!”
The secret? The freshest of ingredients combined with the expertise of a very young and very devoted kitchen staff.
“These guys cook at home,” Pasquale says. “They really love what they’re doing.”
The menu to match the muse
For his part, Pasquale brings his Italian heritage to bear on a menu that features staples such as fish, steak and duck while offering specials so fresh they were growing or swimming only that afternoon.
We began our dinner with an order of Frim-Fram Oysters (cooked with leeks, absinthe, fennel, onion, champagne, cream, and butter—a combination that makes you want to lick the shell). Naming them after a Nat King Cole song is one of Chef Tony’s signature moves; as a WOMR DJ, music and food just naturally go together for him.
You deserve it...
104 Shore Road, North Truro
Open Tuesday through Sunday, 5 to 10 PM
Next was a whole mackerel (“it just happened to come in today, so we made it a special,” Pasquale says) resting on toast with greens and peri-peri sauce, drizzled with an orange reduction. The pan-fried goat cheese with grilled figs and cherries, local honey and fig balsamic, paired perfectly with a glass of Muscadet.
A lovely simple watercress salad cleansed the palate, and we were then served a beautiful Rioja go with our next courses: fresh squid jigged off local piers, stuffed with rice and fennel and simmered in marinara sauce, cooked until perfectly tender.
We followed up with a light and fresh lobster oreganata, served over angel-hair pasta with rich chunks of tomato and lobster. The final dish, duck with an orange and port wine reduction, served with haricots verts and mashed potato cakes, was both rich and lean at the same time.
I think Pasquale might have carried on sending out wonders from the kitchen, but we had to cry “halt” at that point. So we made do with a shared dessert, the chef’s own Uncle Minouch’s spumoni, layering limoncello and pistachio gelato with raspberry sorbet.
The drinks were just as fantastic as the food. Besides the fabulous wine list, we each started with a cocktail: an amazingly fresh mojito for my companion, and for me, the N’awlins Sazerac, rye whiskey in an absinthe-rinsed glass with added “hoodoo.” Well, it is from New Orleans!
Finally, before dessert, we were treated to a releasing of the Green Fairy as bartender Matty prepared our absinthe at the table.
The 72-seat Terra Luna is open for breakfast and dinner, and prices are reasonable: most appetizers are under $10 and entrées are in the teens to low twenties. The staff all seem genuinely pleased that you’re there, and the building itself is rustic and comfortable. Why not try it tonight?