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Escape the Cold with Hearty Italian Dishes and Seasonal Craft Cocktails at This Winter Oasis

Photo Credit: Eataly

We get it, going out in the winter is hard. It’s cold, windy, dreary…the list goes on. So, you heat up some soup and curl up in a blanket instead, daydreaming of sitting by the fire in a charming alpine village, dining on warm pasta and sipping a cool Negroni. 

Here’s the thing, you don’t have to just dream about an Italian winter escape. There’s one right here in Boston at Terra, an Italian grill restaurant located on Eataly’s third floor where flame-kissed cuisine and refreshing cocktails are served in a cozy, toasty “winter oasis.” 

The best part? There’s never been a better time to make your escape, whether you’re a regular or coming for your first time, thanks to these four storied staple dishes and a new après-ski inspired cocktail menu crafted by Terra’s award-winning chefs and mixologists. 

Photo Credit: Eataly

What to Eat

You don’t mess with the best. These four traditional dishes haven’t left the menu since Terra opened in 2017 and after the first bite sitting near Terra’s centerpiece wood-fire grill, you’ll hope they never will.

Gran Tagliere

Affectionately referred to as “the board,” this best-selling charcuterie spread at the heart of Terra’s appetizer offerings includes the Eataly cheese counter’s housemade mozzarella made from local Narragansett Creamery’s curd, house-marinated olives, Italian Parmigiano Reggiano DOP, and Dok Dall’ava’s 24-month Prosciutto di San Daniele DOP.

“It’s a combination of some of the best products we either make in-house at Eataly or source from Italian vendors, along with local farms,” says Executive Chef Dan Bazzinotti, formerly of the wine-and-charcuterie bar BISq. “We even use fresh fried dough instead of your basic baguette bread, which is something you don’t often see on charcuterie boards.”

Photo Credit: Eataly

Bistecca alla Fiorentina

It doesn’t get much more traditional than a wood-fire grilled, dry-aged porterhouse steak that Bazzinotti calls “the heart and soul of Italy.” This porterhouse steak from Creekstone Farms is dry-aged in-house and prepared according to a classic Florentine recipe dating back to the 1500s. No sides needed, just a brush of rosemary along with a dash of salt and extra virgin olive oil over sliced steak that proves the most memorable dishes are often the simplest.

“Since we opened, we haven’t messed with the recipe. It really shines by itself,” says Chef Bazzinotti.

And if you get inspired by this dish, head down to Eataly’s butcher counter and pick up a cut of the very same dry-aged porterhouse to grill at home!

Photo Credit: Eataly

Rigatoni alla Napoletana

It’s the most popular dish for a reason. No flavorless pre-blanched noodles here. Afeltra’s bronze-extruded rigatoni travels directly from Italy to the shelves of Eataly’s marketplace and then upstairs to the Terra kitchen. It’s slowly cooked for 15 minutes before it’s topped with a traditional Napoli ragù recipe of braised pork and veal, along with San Marzano tomatoes, house-smoked ricotta from producer Luigi Guffanti, and white wine.

“So much love goes into this dish,” says Bazzinotti. “When you’re chilled to the bone and you come in to eat that, you’re going to feel good.”

Photo Credit: Eataly

Cuore di Lattuga

Sticking to New Year’s resolutions to eat light is easy with this little gem salad with a whole lot of flavor. After a few tosses on the grill, the crisp lettuce develops a nice smoky taste sweetened by a garlic vermouth dressing, pickled red onions, and slow-roasted Vidalia onions that even Bazzinotti can’t resist.

“It’s funny when people ask me what my favorite dish off the grill is, and I say it’s our salad!” he says.

What to Drink  

No need to book the next flight to northern Italy. Celebrate the season and enjoy après ski vibes at Terra’s inviting bartop with a glass of warming vino or one (or a few) of the nine artisanal cocktails featuring ingredients inspired by Italy’s alpine region. Here are a couple of Beverage Director Gregg Guertin’s favorites to help you get started.

Photo Credit: Eataly

Bellamonte (“Beautiful Mountain”)

This refreshing and easy going take on vodka sours harkens to Italy’s Trentino province, a go-to destination for beginner skiers. What better place to begin your cocktail tour of the Alps? Hibiscus infused vodka, Cappelletti’s Amaro Pasubio (a bitter, Alpine, herb-infused liquor) from Trentino, and lemon juice, brighten up the tasty elixir, topped with a snow-like foam.

“It’s a very approachable cocktail that also introduces people to Pasubio, a great Italian ingredient not many people may be familiar with,” says Guertin.

Photo Credit: Eataly

Pragelato (“Icy Meadow”)

Classic Piemontese flavors come together with the bold, herbaceous notes of Fernet-Branca in this cool cocktail balanced out by Mad River’s rich chocolatey rye whiskey from Vermont, housemade hazelnut syrup, and fresh lemon juice. The cocktail is thrown on crushed ice, mimicking the seasonal transformation between icy slopes and lush fields in northwest Italy.

“Whether you’ve just come down from the slopes or a hard day at the office, this is the perfect easy-drinking option for warming up in front of our fire,” says Guertin.

That’s just the start. Every dish and cocktail on Terra’s menu has a story to tell, and Bazzinotti and Guertin echoed that one of their favorite parts of the job is sharing them. So, what are you waiting for? Skip the microwaveable soup. An Italian winter oasis awaits. ‘Tis the season for Terra.

To see Terra’s full menu and to make a reservation, visit eataly.com/terraboston.