Friday, July 29, 2011
Hold on to your hats.
I actually left the Southside and went to the Peninsula for a meal. Imagine that. It's still a big deal for me to leave the beach and go to Norfolk, so going through the HRBT is a huge deal for me. Why did I do it? My running group scheduled an event and Terra Restaurant and Bar in the new Peninsula Town Center was the location. This was my first visit to the new shopping center and I was looking forward to the visit. Even if it meant stepping out of my comfort zone.
The visit took place on a Thursday evening and I was surprised at the amount of activity that was taking place in the town center. There were people everywhere. Doesn't anyone have to go to work in the morning? Guess not. I did have to go to work the next morning so I planned on making it an early evening.
I arrived at Terra at 7:30 pm and the room was already pretty filled up. Apparently, there were a few private parties going on as well as my small group of nine, not to mention almost all the seats at the bar were filled. Terra also provides outdoor seating which would be perfect if most of our evenings weren't bordering on 90 degrees.
I was the last of my group to arrive and once I was seated the waitress came around to take our dinner orders. Terra touts itself as a tappas and wine bar. It seemed to me that some of the menu items did not scream "tappas" but I decided to go with it anyway. I reviewed the wine list and there were several choices by the glass and the bottle, either white or red. The menu also provided wine recommendations with certain entrees.
Our server was sure to let us know that there may be a bit of a wait because of how backed up they were. I appreciated the head's up. Since we were in such a large group we stayed occupied with conversation and didn't really notice the wait. At least I didn't.
Once the food began to hit the table, my feeling that this wasn't really tappas was reinforced. I saw a lobster roll, a huge plate of oysters
and some regular sized salads. I'm not really complaining because I (unfortunately) enjoy large portions but for someone who is expecting a true small plate, they may be disappointed.
I ordered the crabcakes and the lobster macaroni and cheese.
The mini crabcakes were served over sweet corn and topped with a touch of creole remoulade. I was given the choice of ordering a half order (2), full order (4) or large order (6). I chose the half order for $6.75. The crabcakes were flavorful with very little filler and I had to resist the urge to pop them in my mouth like little crab nuggets.
The lobster macaroni and cheese contained chunks of lobster and was blended with several different cheeses. It came to the table steaming hot and I had to wait for it to cool off before I could enjoy it. This plate comes in half and full sizes as well. I thought I ordered the half size but now when I think about the bill and the size of the bowl and the fact that I couldn't finish it, I believe I had the full size for $18.00. The macaroni and cheese was very rich and creamy and the chunks of lobster were plentiful, but paying $18 for a bowl of mac and cheese just doesn't sit well with me.
I really enjoyed the atmosphere in Terra. While we were there a band was setting up to play for the evening and I believe they often have live entertainment.
I was not put off by the service at all. Our server was courteous and helpful with meal suggestions. She may or may not have gotten my mac and cheese order wrong. I can't remember and it's really not an issue. Overall it was a good experience and if someone suggests an outing to the Peninsula Town Center again, I'll probably take them up on it.
2330 McMenamin Street
Hampton, VA 23666
(757) 838-WINE (9463)