Terra Rustica: Love At First Bite

st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } On a Thursday night, I was invited to dinner to celebrate the birthday of my girlfriend’s father. She comes from a traditional Italian family with, you guessed it, a love for Italian food. Being Italian myself, I couldn’t turn down the offer to a dinner of authentic Italian food.

The place we dined at was Terra Rustica in Briarcliff Manor, New York, just off of Route 100. I have heard of the place through my girlfriend and her family who frequently order take-out and what not.  I tried their food as a take-out order before and I recalled not being disappointed.  
 Upon entering Terra Rustica, you get a feel that the place has a certain care for wine. I’ve been to restaurants where the selection of wine was displayed, but this place was different. It was very welcoming and with wine bottles displayed about the whole restaurant, it was just calling for a Food Dude.
We were seated in the center of the dining room and handed our menus. Since this was my first actual time dining at Terra Rustica, I knew I had to order something I would always remember. There were quite a few options as the menu was broken into sections such as appetizers, entrees, and pizza. The pizza menu was tempting but I was leaning towards the filet of salmon.
…But then our waiter showed up and introduced the specials to us. 
I am one to never get specials because most of the time I don’t even understand what the server is saying when they ramble on about the dish. This time, I did. There were several specials to choose from but I was in the mood for chicken and the special sounded like all sorts of wonderful. I couldn’t resist. I knew I had to go with it. Read on and it will be revealed.
As an appetizer, my girlfriend’s father had ordered a large tray of fried zucchini. I am ashamed to say that I have never had fried zucchini. I felt as if should have lost my Italian badge as well as resign from Food Dudes. You’re not a true Italian without having tried fried zucchini. Some ten minutes later, they brought out our massive plate of fried zucchini and I had my first bite. It was thin sliced, smaller than French fries, and it was hot and crispy. On the side came a small dish of marinara sauce for dipping. I couldn’t stop eating it. 
We destroyed the pile of fried zucchini, and moments after, we were presented our main course. Once my plate was placed in front of me, I wanted to dive in, but paused. I had to take a picture of the beautiful masterpiece. I sniffed it, I observed it, and I tasted it. Sauteed chicken breast with diced of zucchini, roasted peppers, portabella mushrooms, mozzarella cheese in a white wine sauce. Have you ever heard of a dish more mouth watering than that?! I ate my meal and treated it like it was my last meal as a prisoner on death row. I soaked the roasted peppers in the white wine sauce, ate every bit of the chicken, and topped the pieces of bread that were served earlier with portabella mushrooms and peppers. I ate till my plate was bare. Ironically as I was taking my last bite, I heard in the background the song ‘It must have been love (but it’s over now)’ by Roxette. The song was perfect for that moment. My plate was empty, and I sat wishing if only it had lasted just a little bit longer. But I guess life goes on.
It comes as no surprise to me that this dish was outstanding. Outstanding would just be and understatement. I am a sucker for chicken dishes, especially in a wine sauce, and this dish made me fall deeply in love with Terra Rustica. This place is truly traditional Italian cooking at it’s finest. It would be impossible to leave this place disappointed. Not only is the food outstanding, and something truly unforgettable, the service is excellent as well and very prompt. I even had the pleasure of meeting the manager, Jose, who wrote down and told me exactly what was in my dinner. I can’t wait to return to Terra Rustica and try some more of their many dishes, because this place has truly stolen my heart and put my taste buds in an ecstasy.   
Terra Rustica 
550 North State Rd.
Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510
(914) 923-8300

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