May 23, 2013
Written by Fran Sikorski
Thursday, 10 December 2009 13:37
One of Ridgefield’s newest restaurants and already high on the dining popularity dial, Terra Sole WineBar Ristorante features regional Italian dishes prepared by executive chef Erik Erlichson. The menu changes weekly with a fresh seasonal approach, with the chef emphasizing the freshest and best ingredients, including from the fields and greenhouses at Ridgefield’s organic-certified farm The Hickories.During the short time it has been open, Terra Sole has become a favorite restaurant for its newly established and impressive Cheese WineBar, innovative and accommodating menu, high energy atmosphere and very knowledgeable staff.
Originally from Northern Italy, Pietro Polini and his wife Lina are the owners of Terra Sole. During an interview, Mr. Polini said he was active as a restaurateur in his family’s business before emigrating to the United States in 1999 and was general manager at Casa Brusco in Westchester, N.Y., and Siena Ristorante in Stamford before opening his own restaurant.
A highlight of the new decor at Terra Sole (formerly (La Saliere) is the contemporary abstract art made from recycled materials by Christopher Curnan, represented by Galleria d’Arte in Ridgefield.
Removing the bar from the main dining room has also afforded more dining space and Pietro Polini is there to make sure all operations are flowing smoothly. There is an excellent choice of wines from Italy and California ranging in price from $5 to $12 by the glass and starting at $20 by the bottle.
Signature appetizers and salads to ($8 to $16) are thyme-grilled calamari with lemon oil, peperoncino and greens; pan-roasted wild mushrooms over truffled polenta; and baby octopus in umido with Gaeta olives and tomato.
Outstanding housemade pasta ($16 to $22, half portions available) include broccoli rabe cavatelli with sausage in light tomato sauce and shaved ricotta salata and veal panzotti ravioli with brown butter and sage.
Our two entrees ($24 to $33) — wild halibut sautéed in olive oil over a leek and tomato velutata and pan-roasted organic filet mignon of beef — were a subtle blend of flavors.
Dessert ($7 to $9) was to still come, and the housemade tiramisu, a big surprise in a large martini glass and the ricotta cream cheesecake with wild raspberry coulis were attention getters from nearby diners. Other dessert choices are limoncello gelato; warm pecan tart with fresh whipped cream; and profiteroles with Belgian chocolate ganache and vanilla bean gelato.
This was indeed a flawless dining experience.
3 Big Shop Lane
Serving lunch and dinner from 11:30 to 10 Monday to Thursday; 11:30 to 10:30 Friday and Saturday; family day Sunday with dinner from 3 to 8 prepared by a guest chef every week; Monday night is retail wine night with selected wines available at local retail store pricing; Tuesday is no corkage fee night; Ladies’ Night is Wednesday with a complimentary glass of prosecco for the ladies; live music Thursday night.
Reservations accepted; major credit cards; handicap accessible; full bar; Northern Italian menu with a French touch; vegetarian dishes; take out; off premises catering; private functions; wine dinners; smart casual dress; parking adjacent to the restaurant in the municipal lot.
Waldir Correia and executive chef Miguel D’Onofrio are the owners of the new Assaggio Ristorante at 955 Ferry Boulevard in Stratford featuring regional Italian cuisine. Chef D’Onofrio’s credits include Finalmente Trattoria in Westport and Luca in Wilton. Waldir Correia managed the dining rooms of the popular Eclisse and Spiga ristorantes in Westchester. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Reservations, 203-381-9200.
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