Dan Oliver’s vision for his Italian restaurant has become a feast for the eyes and the appetite. After opening in January of 2007, Terranova’s, located at 1420 Paramount Drive in Huntsville, AL, has emerged as a popular place for celebrations large and small. For birthday lunches, anniversary dinners, office occasions or just a great meal with friends, Terranova’s is at the top of the list for diners in North Alabama.
The quality of dishes emerging from the kitchen is possibly the main reason why Terranova’s inspires loyalty among its customers. EVERYTHING is made from scratch! Oliver experimented and requested feedback from family and friends for two years before deciding which recipes would make the final cut to go into his restaurant’s menu.
He fell in love with Italian cuisine after working for a time in a popular Italian chain restaurant. He learned from that experience but wanted to make his own place more personal and to incorporate the freshest ingredients possible.
The Menu at Terranova’s
His mom’s homegrown rosemary makes its way into the fresh bread served at every table, and eggplants and tomatoes come from his father’s garden in the summertime. Green tomatoes from that same garden, delectably fried, served as an appetizer on a trial basis. They were so popular that they are now a part of the permanent menu and comprise their #1 selling appetizer.
Rounds of bread, baked fresh every day, begin with a recipe that makes 88 loaves. According to Oliver, there are days when that recipe is repeated eight times. An herb mixture, also made fresh daily, is served with olive oil for dipping the bread. The mixture was created by a manager several years ago and is the perfect start to a meal at Terranova’s.
When asked to name the most popular items on the menu, Oliver acknowledged many but mentioned a few in particular. Corn crab soup is a delicious starter, but diners might also consider Chicken Marsala.
Or, try Fettucine Alfredo, Chicken Scaloppine, Spaghetti, Lasagna, Eggplant Parmesan and Lombardi, which is a seafood dish containing sautéed shrimp, blue crab claw meat and bay scallops.
Of course, there are other options, such as steak and salmon, plus a new favorite of cod loins baked with parmesan. Diners may also choose gluten free or whole wheat pasta. The lunch menu offers smaller portions and less expensive entrees, soups and salads, while retaining the quality and flavor.
Wine, Banquets and More
Terranova’s has an impressive wine and beer list, plus they offer six enticing specialty drinks.
Full banquet catering is available. They also have a Family Style To-Go Menu for serving from 6-8 people all the way up to 20-25 people. Terranova’s will even deliver in Madison or Huntsville for only $35.00. What a great idea this would be for football-watching parties in the fall!
The décor of Terranova’s is particularly appealing. Many of the smaller items came directly from Italy, while other architectural pieces contribute to the warmth and beauty throughout the interior. Oliver enjoys searching out interesting and visually appealing rustic pieces that are true antiques. The light fixtures in one of the dining rooms plus many of the wood pieces came from Alexandria, Egypt.
The atmosphere for diners at Terranova’s mimics the feel of family-owned trattorias throughout Italy. Attentive service plus personal greetings from managers and the owner make you feel welcomed. They truly give the impression of wanting you to savor your time in their place of business.
If You Go
Terranova’s is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. However, on Friday and Saturday the closing time extends to 9:00 p.m.
For travel bloggers coming to TBEX in Huntsville May 4-6, you will see the staff of Terranova’s actively involved at the Von Braun Center. Hopefully, you will also have a chance to get away for a wonderful meal on Paramount Drive, right off Highway 72.