“Grill Takeover” Time At Eataly’s Terra
The rooftop restaurant inside Eataly at Westfield Valley Fair shopping Center in San Jose just launched a “Grill Takeover” series in which it partners with a local restaurant for a one-night collaborative dinner.
I was fortunate to be invited as a guest to the inaugural one last week with San Mateo’s Pausa restaurant.
The event featured Eataly Silicon Valley’s Chef Antonio Giordano and Pausa’s Chef Andrea Giuliani teamed on a four-course meal that was $125 per person.
The dining room was full for this sold-out event. For those still cautious about dining indoors, you’ll be glad to know that Terra’s dining room is practically outdoors. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors leading to the outside dining terrace are left open. Moreover, the ceiling itself is slatted to allow for plenty of air flow.
The two chefs came out at the start to welcome guests and stopped by various tables during the evening to say “hello.”
While beverages are an additional cost, the “Grill Takeover” prix fixe does include a glass of Prosecco to begin the evening.
If you’re inclined to follow that up with a cocktail, the Balsamic Negroni ($20) is a fun one to try. Made the classic way with Campari, vermouth, and gin, it does indeed also include Acetaia Giusti Balsamic Vinegar 1 Silver Medal, which enhances the cocktail’s red-orange color and deepens its usual bitter orange note with a richer fruitiness.
Bread is also included in the dinner, with slices of Eataly’s house-made sourdough served with quality olive oil that’s so lush you’ll want to keep dunking and dunking into it.
The first course was succulent Niman Ranch lamb tongue accented by perky pickled ramps, a breezy mint salsa verde, and an airy horseradish potato foam that was such a tease, redolent of fabulous mashed potatoes but without any of that starchy heaviness.
That was a good thing since the next course was a generous portion of risotto. In fact, for the price, all of the courses were quite substantial in size. The carnaroli grains flowed on the plate and still had a bit of chew to them, as a proper risotto should. Folded into it was 24-month-aged Parmigiano Reggiano. Its potent nuttiness richly flavored the entire dish. A Guffanti Erborinato Di Capra cheese fonduta was spooned over. This raw goat’s milk blue cheese added an intense sharpness and piquancy. A surprising sprinkle of mixed berry powder garnished, adding a subtle hit of acidity much like vinegar would to this rich risotto.
The main course was a huge slab of juicy Snake River Farms Kurobuta pork collar that was incredibly juicy with a delicious rim of fat that would be a crime to just push to the side of the plate. So, enjoy it to the fullest. A sweet-tangy green tomato chutney was an ideal accompaniment, along with sauteed lamb’s quarters.
The dinner concluded with an impressive hazelnut Bavarian cream hidden under a chocolate-shelled dome. Crack it open with a spoon to discover the toasty, nutty Bavarium cream with the luxurious texture of whipped cream surrounding a center of chewy, sticky praline. It all sits on a thin foundation of moist devil’s food cake. That same cake is also crumbled and strewn around the plate with salted pistachios. It’s a decadent delight for anyone who’s a Nutella lover.
The “Grill Takeover” will be an ongoing series. Although the next partner restaurant hasn’t been announced yet, look for Terra’s second collaborative dinner to take place in September. Just monitor its social media and web site to learn details when they’re announced.
More: Dining at Pausa