Note: Terroir in the East Village closed in January 31, as part of the culinary “divorce” between chef Marco Canora and sommelier Paul Grieco. The East Village location is expected to become a new restaurant under Canora’s supervision. Three other Terroirs (in Tribeca, in Murray Hill, and on the Highline) will remain open, under Grieco’s control.
He’s right—up to a point. The steak, just $17, is a pig shoulder, cut thin, broiled on high heat, and lightly seasoned. Unlike Bruni, I saw no need to dump arugula and parmesan on top. The intense porky flavor never wore out on me, even though consuming this beast is a major project.
The server’s suggested wine pairing, a 2005 Merlot from Shinn Estate Vinyards on Long Island ($11.50/gl.), was as provocative as it was successful.
My last visit to Terroir was on opening night, in March 2008. Since then, the wine list has expanded, and it’s full of sommelier Paul Grieco’s signature wit. If you’re alone, it can take the place of a dinner companion.
The only trouble with Terroir is getting in. When I arrived at about 7:00 p.m. on a Friday night, I snagged the last stool available at the bar. By the time I left, the server was quoting about 15–20 minute waits for parties of two.
Although the space is perpetually full, the servers provide plenty of attention. Most people seemed to be there to drink. The chef, who occupies a cramped corner in the back of the restaurant, wasn’t working up much of a sweat. But everything she was asked to produce looked wonderful.
There’s a lot of Terroir left to try.
Terroir (413 E. 12th Street east of First Avenue, East Village)