Located in the heart of downtown Ridgefield, TerraSole Ristorante is a product of Owner Pietro Polini’s culinary upbringing in Puglia, Italy. He and his wife Lana introduced their charming Italian restaurant in 2007 upon meticulously renovating its farmhouse building. Designed by iH Design Studio of Stamford, TerraSole is framed in exposed wood beams, hardwood flooring, eclectic Italian artwork, and natural sunlight. An intimate bar and additional seating area is reminiscent of an Italian piazza and sidewalk café, which opens up onto a bustling retail neighborhood. Now open is their lovely garden-like private patio that seats 50, adding to the 65-seat main dining room.
Pietro Polini came to the states in 1999 and began working his way through New York City kitchens before establishing himself in Connecticut. He was front-of-the-house manager for the popular Siena Ristorante in Stamford for six years, and prior to opening TerraSole, Pietro and Lana opened a restaurant in Rimini Italy, called Malvasia. The Polini family still owns and operates restaurants in Italy today, and when Mamma Polini is in town it’s a family affair, offering her popular cooking classes for eager-to-learn guests.
A standout at this farmhouse-chic restaurant is their fresh made pastas including; tagliatelle, gnocchetti, cavatelli, and strigoloni as menu staples. TerraSole’s kitchen is led by Executive Chef Eugene (“Gino”) Jerome, formerly of Siena Ristorante in Stamford and Ristorante DiSopra in Greenwich. Together, he and Pietro create TerraSole’s extensive weekly specials and seasonal menus. Domestic and imported specialty ingredients are sourced from such quality producers as; Salumeria Biellese and Murray’s Cheese in New York; Chicago’s Allen Brothers for aged steaks; Le Veneziane gluten free pasta imported from Italy; market fresh fish from New England fishermen; and local produced sourced whenever possible. With limited space, the restaurant has no room for a walk-in refrigerator or freezer, so all produce, meats, fish, cheeses, and other ingredients are delivered almost daily.
Menu highlights include: Burrata Caprese- imported truffle burrata with prosciutto San Daniele and shaved black truffles; Portafoglio di Melanzane- baked thinly sliced eggplant envelope filled with organic spinach, wild mushrooms, ricotta salata, fresh herbs, served on cheese fondue and San Marzano tomato sauce; Pappardelloni con Astice e Gamberoni - pappaerdelloni pasta sautéed with Maine lobster, head-on jumbo prawns, asparagus, zucchini, finished with white wine, e.v.o.o., truffle essence and a touch of Vecchia Romagna Italian brandy; Grigliata di pesce (TerraSole’s signature)- grilled seafood platter finished with lemon, e.v.o.o, local farm vegetables (branzino, Maya prawns, calamari, king salmon, fresh Maine lobster); Vitello alla Milanese- milk-fed veal chop milanese with prosciutto San Daniele, organic baby arugula, multi-colored cherry tomatoes, imported truffle Burrata and shaved black truffle or Misticanza salad.
TerraSole also boasts an impressive, mostly Italian varietal wine program with more than 200 wines by the bottle and 20 exceptional wines offered by the glass. House made seasonal ‘cello is also a staple with such flavors as, limoncello, meloncello and espresso chocolate-cello. Cocktails are crafted using fresh squeezed juices and purees. The restaurant welcomes the close-knit community of Ridgefield and offers multiple happenings to accommodate the whole family.
· Westport Farmers’ Market Cooking Demonstration, Thursday, August 25 @ 10 a.m.
· Happy Hour - Monday thru Friday, 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Buy-one get-one select cocktails and drinks
· Cooking Classes hosted throughout the year
· Sunday - Kids eat free every Sunday night
· Express Lunch - Two-course menu; $22 per person
· Tasting Menu - Chef’s tasting menu is offered on Monday and Wednesday evenings;
$46 per person
Reservations are recommended and can be placed by calling the restaurant, visiting the TerraSole website, or using OpenTable.
3 Big Shop Lane #1