After years of anticipation and hard, hard work, Carlo and Raoul Momo’s beautiful new restaurant, Eno Terra opens this weekend in Kingston. I swung by for some opening festivities tonight, and caught this shot into their refrigerated case where their salumi (Italian for “cured meats”) are stored. Get a load of that big white slab of lardo, a favorite of Mario Batali’s! While I didn’t stay for dinner, I managed to graze on several tidbits including fava bean puree and zucchini confit on toasts, and chubby scallops hot off the wood burning grill.
A selection of handcrafted salumi and artisan New Jersey cheeses gets prime billing on the menu, which features as many products as possible sourced within 50 miles of Kingston. Many growers, such as Terhune Orchards of Princeton, will grow and raise products especially for the restaurant. Eno Terra chef Christopher Albrecht describes the food as “taking Italian sensibility to fresh produce,” he said. Meats and poultry are from Simply Grazin’ and Griggstown Farm; and seafood is from East Coast waters as much as possible.
“Eat local / drink global,” is the motto here. Eno Terra’s name is taken from the Greek “Enotria,” meaning “land of vines,” the name they first gave to the region that became Italy. The restaurant, which occupies the space that was for many years The Winepress (an old favorite of my family), has been lovingly restored and refurbished, and includes the original timbers of the original occupant, the nineteenth century general store, Fisk Grocery. That space is now the two-storey bar and wine cellar; the restaurant, which will offer thousands of bottles, including their own private-label cava, is sure to be a wine-lover’s paradise.
The Momo’s are well known for their support of many community projects and fundraisers (including my pet charity Taste of the Nation), and will be among those honored this fall by the New Jersey Restaurant Association. Stay tuned for a September 20 open house and fundraiser for the Princeton School Gardens Program, and save your corks for a glass of free wine.
While this is a fine dining destination, I think the roadside location, comfortable setting, and flexible un-fussy menu that offers small plates in addition to entrées, will entice many a casual diner. All within a few minutes of my home – yippee!