Vol. LXII, No. 38
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
DINING OUT: We are fulfilling our mission with our commitment to buy locally, and we want to provide service and hospitality that is unparalleled. Carlo Momo is shown by the salumi station of his new restaurant, Eno Terra, in Kingston. Behind him is a living wallscape by artist Robert Cannon.
Eating out just got better. With the introduction last Saturday of Eno Terra, customers have a new opportunity for fine dining in a handsome setting.
Located at 4484 Route 27 in Kingston, at the former site of the Wine Press, Eno Terra is part of Terra Momo Restaurant Group (TMRG). Recently named the 2008 Gold Plate Award winner by the New Jersey Restaurant Association, TMRG is also known for its other establishments, Mediterrra, Teresa Caffe, and Witherspoon Bread Company in Princeton. Owned by Carlo and Raoul Momo, TMRG has made a point of emphasizing locally-grown and organic produce, grass-fed beef, and environmental sustainability. This will continue at Eno Terra.
We make our own bread at Witherspoon Bread, we make our own pasta, and we will process our own products for winter, such as canning tomatoes, explains Carlo Momo. There is now an increasing interest in buying locally, and we have always emphasized this. We buy ingredients from New Jersey and Pennsylvania within a 45-50-mile radius.
Its very important to know where your food comes from, he adds. Youre taking food into your body you need to pause and reflect on this.
The principle of environmental sustainability is paramount to TRMG, and Eno Terra is a member of the Green Restaurant Association, an organization committed to helping restaurants minimize their environmental impact. Eno Terra separates garbage, targeting organic for compost, uses motion-activated lights to save on energy, and uses no Styrofoam products.
With many ingredients traveling little more than the typical commute to New York or Philadelphia, Eno Terra not only ensures the freshness of its dishes, but reduces the restaurants carbon footprint.
The restaurant is also firmly rooted in the principle of regionalism. Founded on the philosophy of Eat Local. Drink Global, it brings together the best of local and regional markets and pairs fine cuisine with the best wines from around the world. With an inventory ranging between 7500 and 10,000 bottles, the Eno Terra wine cellar features labels from Italy, France, Spain, South America, and California while also incorporating smaller independent wineries.
Creating Eno Terra was truly a labor of love, notes Mr. Momo. We bought the Wine Press because we wanted to fulfill our destiny. Its been in the works for seven years, and we totally renovated it and added an entire new section. The name Eno Terra is derived from Greek and Latin, meaning Land of Wine.
The original building dates to the 19th Century, and was the site of the Fisk Grocery, a general store. The restaurant contains 8,300 square feet and is home to a 1,100- square foot restored two-story bar and wine cellar featuring original timbers with mortise and tenon joints and tree pin nails.
Eno Terra can seat 135 people, with a light and spacious main dining room (2000 square feet) and salumi station, and a 2000 square-foot second floor private dining and wine room, suitable for parties or corporate meetings.
Eno Terras menu is Italian-inspired, while emphasizing local ingredients, explains Mr. Momo, whose mother is Italian. We are inspired by Italian cuisine. In Italy, everything is regional, so our menu will represent all different areas of Italy, plus the New Jersey ingredients. In that way, it will be an authentic New Jersey culinary experience. There will be special recipes and special ingredients, complemented by the expertise and presentation of our chef, Christopher Albrecht.
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and formerly associated with such prestigious restaurants as the Gramercy Tavern and Craft restaurants in New York City, then as executive chef at CraftSteak Las Vegas, Mr Albrecht has worked with many of Americas culinary experts, and has often been invited to lead cooking seminars, among other events.
Diners at Eno Terra will find a range of intriguing dishes on the menu. Antipasti includes such choices as Bruschetta with heirloom tomatoes, grass-fed beef carpaccio, and Griggstown Farm grilled quail. Salads include Terhune Orchards baby lettuce and heirloom tomatoes. Pasta dishes feature hand-cut raviolo, hand-cut tagliatelle, and hand-rolled potato gnocchi, as well as Simply Grazin braised pork forotto.
Wood-fired grilled specialties include Griggstown Farm Poussin al Mattone, Simply Grazin double-cut pork chop, and other choices, such as East Coast salmon, and Big Eye tuna.
In addition, We will have cheeses from local farms, such as Cherry Grove and Valley Shepherd, as well as Italian cheeses, says Mr. Momo.
Visitors to Eno Terra will also enjoy artwork from area artists and photographers, representing everything from bench sculptures and a living wallscape to oil paintings and photography.
Contributing to the community has always been a priority of Terra Momo. As its owners explain, this is reflected in its commitment to Cultivating Community through a program that connects our people, values, and beliefs with our work in the community. Whether we are contributing to area silent auctions, featuring local produce on our menus, or forging non-profit partnerships, Terra Momo Restaurant Group is committed to Cultivating Community through every facet of our operations.
It is also Mr. Momos belief that they can always do better, and they strive to do so. Our philosophy is like the Myth of Sisyphus, he points out. We keep pushing that boulder up the hill. Every day is a constant reminder of that challenge, and we always try to do better than before. We want people to feel welcome and special here, and I always look forward to the next happy customer. Come in and try us out!
The restaurant will hold a special event featuring tours and fine food celebrating the contributions of local artists and landscapers to Eno Terra on Saturday, from noon to 5 p.m. The public is invited.
Eno Terra is currently open for dinner Monday through Friday from 5:30 p.m.; Saturday from 5; Sunday from 4. Lunch service is expected to start soon. Reservations are recommended. (609) 497-1777. Website: www.enoterra.com.
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