In typical fashion, I arrived at Terrine about 15-minutes prior to our noon reservation, as I like to take that slice of "me time" to pony up to the bar and order a drink, study the menu(s), chat with the bartender, and absorb the restaurant's atmosphere, vibe, and design...
With an impressive space large enough to boast a full bar - plus a sizable outdoor patio - Terrine offers a dining enclave for everyone. Exposed brick, an expansive copper-topped bar, high ceilings giving way to two walls of windows, plus shabby-chic mismatched silver and tableware truly evoke the feeling and aesthetic of a France-by-way-of-California "brasserie."
With 10-minutes to spare, I snagged a highly-coveted bar stool and ordered a Winter Champagne Cocktail. Crafted with hand-chipped ice, bubbly, and a "winter fruit" liquor, the beverage was crowned with a fragrant slice of orange rind prior to presentation.
Carmen arrived promptly at noon and we were immediately whisked to a table.
To begin, we chose to split an order of the Avocado Toast. Heavily-buttered, grilled country bread was liberally topped with chopped avocado, briny capers, tarragon "salsa verde," crunchy Maldon sea salt, olive oil and Meyer lemon, and paper-thin radish slices. The potpourri of contrasting flavors and textures was absolutely incredible!
While awaiting the arrival of our entrees, my second cocktail arrived. The Lime Daiquiri's famous trinity of fresh ingredients - sugar, rum, lime juice - melded together in perfect harmony.
With so many delicious-sounding entrees on the menu, I was completely overwhelmed and asked that our server "surprise me" with one of her favorites. She presented me with the Spicy Fried Chicken + Grits.
Encircled by a sweet and savory moat filled with butter-thinned maple syrup and coarsely-ground grits were two pieces of "spicy" fried chicken. While I thoroughly enjoyed the accoutrement, I did not find the batter on the fried chicken to be spicy in the least and, to add further disappointment, there was barely any edible meat/flesh.
From their cocktail program, knowledgeable and friendly staff, great indoor/outdoor atmosphere, and food, I was very impressed with Terrine...and I say that aside from the disappointing fried chicken and the fact that I walked away from our meal slightly hungry! In all seriousness, though, I have not experienced such intense flavors (fried chicken aside) since dining in San Francisco and NYC!