Terranova’s [2.5/5]
2.5 (50%) 2 votes

Ever on the quest for great Italian food, the hubby and I stopped in at Terranova’s. Located out past Providence on University, the restaurant has much of the look and feel of a large chain due, in part, to their use of memorabilia as decor (we sat under a “Monopoli” board).

We visited on a Friday night and were seated promptly despite rather full tables. Our server was infectiously bubbly and friendly, bringing out bread and drinks while we looked over the menu.

The bread was a soft, pliable white bread seasoned with rosemary and sprinkled with a coarse sea salt. The flavor combination meant the bread could easily stand alone. However, as is the custom at most Italian restaurants, the bread was served with oil poured over herbs and garlic. The herbs and garlic were fresh and the oil was deliciously fully flavored and remarkably smooth making the combination a lovely addition to the bread.

At the recommendation of our server, I opted to try the chicken cannelloni, while my husband selected the chicken Florentine. Our food was served surprisingly quickly with the offer of Parmesan.

The cannelloni was a bit of a disappointment after being told it was our server’s favorite dish. The pasta was soft and slightly underdone. The cream sauce was creamy, but the Parmesan I had accepted was of the “powdered and mostly salt” variety which made the sauce overly salty. The marinara sauce, drizzled for aesthetic impact lent a nice bit of variety to the dish, though it was so sweet I would hesitate to order dishes with primarily marinara sauce. The cheese filling had a gooey texture, but the spinach was both scattered (spinach in maybe every other bite) and overly bold. It reminded me of the strong, sharp flavor of frozen spinach, despite the menu’s claims that the spinach was steamed. The chicken pieces were moist and flavorful but cut into incredibly tiny pieces and difficult to find. Each cannelloni had 3-4 tiny pieces of chicken and, unless I fished them out separately, the flavor was lost.

My husband enjoyed his chicken Florentine, however, and said his spinach was clearly fresh. (See the picture at the top of the post). I’m not sure where the disconnect between the two dishes came in.

Terranova’s provided a pleasant enough dining experience. Our server’s good cheer was contagious and the bread was tasty enough that I would be up for giving it another chance if some friends were set on going. Given the state of the cannelloni, however, I won’t be leading the charge.

Total for the meal: $31.28 (includes two entrées and two soft drinks)

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