I must admit, I had my doubts about this Terra place. I had heard good things about the food but alas, it took over my beloved Pastiche restaurant. My Pastiche, with it's perfectly crispy shoe-string sweet potato fries and it's one of a kind Donna's world famous sweet pea falafel salad...*sigh...then I realized, it's time to move on, it's all behind me now and after all, it's not Terra's fault that it just happened to take over one of my all time favorite restaurants in Jacksonville (bitter? I'm not bitter) bottom line is - I have to move on and start out on a clean, unbiased slate, so here we go...
Terra has gone to great lengths to spiffy up the outside, you could see they were in the process of adding on an extra patio which would add much needed seating AND it would make for a pretty chill place to hang out at night. The inside reminded me of a suave jazz bar with it's dimly lit interior and neutral color scheme (don't ask me why those two things = jazz). The menu offered a variety of upscale soups, salads, sandwiches and entrees ranging anywhere from $8-$14.
To view their lunch menu click here
To start off I decided to try the "Soup of the day" which happened to be wild mushroom. The presentation was very impressive, and I had to stop myself from taking 10 billion pictures in front of the waitress. The first bite was very delicious - it was very rich and flavorful with that earthy mushroom taste, there were little chunks of mushrooms throughout but I would have preferred more whole mushrooms or at least slices of them because the two I got were tasty! As I proceeded to eat it, I was suddenly reminded of my grandmother's mushroom gravy. Don't get me wrong, my grandma made a kick butt mushroom gravy buuuut I'm not sure I'd wanna eat a whole bowl of it ...with nothing to accompany it, it became a little too indulgent for me after a while (as you can see though, it got eaten all the same).
After we finished our soup I noticed that the table across from us received bread. This is not okay. I'm having a bad case of the bread envies and I want some! We asked our waitress about it and she said she could bring some out for us, note to all waitstaff: don't be bread biased! If you're giving one table bread, you'd better plan on giving evvveryonneee bread because I will notice. (especially since there were BREAD plates on the table) it would have been nice to have it with my soup but I'm glad I got some period.
For the entree I choose the grilled Mahi Mahi with creamed potatoes and sauteed spinach drizzled with a balsamic reduction. Like the soup, the presentation was very easy on the eyes and it smelled even better. The fish did not disappoint, it was seasoned well and cooked to perfection, it flaked apart with the slightest touch of my fork. The potatoes were a tad on the bland side but mixing them with the balsamic amplified them to a new level. The spinach was good but I am not a HUGE fan of cooked spinach, no matter what you do with it, it always leaves that weird film on your palette.
Mom ordered the "quiche of the day" which was chicken and mushroom with a side salad tossed in a home made vinaigrette. The quiche was everything a typical quiche should be - nice flaky crust, light and fluffy cheesy filling, I just wish it was a tad thicker (for $10). The salad wasn't our favorite, it was overly salted and the vinaigrette was too over powered with lemon in my opinion.
Overall I would say that while Terra is no Pastiche, they are a high quality restaurant. You can tell they strive to serve local, fresh ingredients and the menu items are some what unique. The atmosphere is very pleasant and the waitstaff equally so. While it is on the pricey side, I will say that Terra is worth checking out at least once.
p.s. Don't forget to ask for bread.