Tag Archives: vin santo



The first time I went to Tilia was one of those weekends this summer when my husband was out of town. My friend Kim recommended that we go because she’s been there a number of times. She said that she always gets the Spinach Salad. I read numerous raves about this infamous salad including one that read, “The best spinach salad I’ve ever had.”

Spinach Saladwith mushrooms, soft-boiled egg, toasted almonds, Parmesan and warm bacon dressing

We each ordered one that beautiful early evening while sipping on Prosecco. I was a little leary about the bacon dressing. I don’t really like bacon in dishes. It tends to overpower. I know. I know. I’m alone on that one.

It was a lovely girlfriend time out, so no photos were taken. The salad was good, but it was a bit too bacon-y for me. It wasn’t that overpowering; however, so it’s not like I hated it or couldn’t eat it. I just wouldn’t order it again. I would, however, recommend it to anyone who loves bacon!


So I took my husband back. We sat at the bar. Surprise, surprise!


Rob never really wanted to go to Tilia before. Nothing about their online menu interested him. However, when I went with Kim, I noticed that there were two items on the menu that Rob would have loved! They were not listed online. Rob did not know this. He just tagged along because it was my pick and I was buying dinner.

That burger is not listed online!

That burger was not listed online!


Nor was the Carbonara!

Rob was happy to see those offerings and was pleased by the tap selection, too!


We arrived early {4:30ish} and ordered an appetizer off of their In-Between Menu.

French Fries w/Fry Sauce - $6

French Fries w/Fry Sauce – $6

These fries were hot, salty and the perfect marriage of potato-y on the inside and crispy on the outside. Rob said he probably liked them more than McDonald’s fries.

I liked the Fry Sauce; Rob did not. I thought it was mixture of ketchup, mayo, Worcestershire sauce and some sort of spice. Rob swore that there was something sweet like raisins in it. I didn’t get that at all! Our bartender {who may have perhaps been an owner} was too busy; so we never did get to ask.

I was in a wine mood and was trying to select a wine by the glass.


In the end, I chose the Casa Brina Ruché di Castagnole Monferrato. I like trying wines I’ve never had before! I had to look on my phone though to discover the grape varietal of this wine. Here is what I learned:


A new varietal to try, yippee!!! I like the fact that Ruché is one of the lowest production varietal wines in Italy. It made me feel like I was drinking something rare. Because this was served by the glass, I’d call it a poor man’s Nebbiolo. That may not do it justice, though, because it was an excellent wine. I will always and forever order that wine by the glass at Tilia as long as they offer it.

So did Rob choose the pasta or the burger?

Okay, no suspense here…


Paparadelle Pasta Carbonara – leeks, zucchini, black pepper, egg & Parmesan – $18 (large)

It looks fantastic, no?! Only… It wasn’t. Rob was highly disappointed. The pasta was mushy, not al dente. The sauce didn’t have that creaminess Rob is used to in his favorite carbonaras. It was pretty much just bland. I tried a bite and concurred. To be fair, Rob said that sure this might be Tilia’s rendition of a carbonara dish, but it wasn’t carbonara.

I, however, had the opposite experience:

Grilled Norwegian Salmon - Sweet Corn Bread Budding, Swiss Chard & Tomato Jam - $24

Grilled Norwegian Salmon – sweet corn bread pudding, Swiss chard & tomato jam – $24

This was the perfect dish. It’s also not listed on their online menu; so I’m not sure how long it will be offered. I loved the char on the salmon. I don’t believe I’ve ever had salmon that way before. The sweet corn bread pudding was just divine. It tasted so fresh! I loved the colors and textures on this plate. Naturally, I cleaned it. It was one of the best dishes I’ve had in a really long time!

Then, for dessert…


I had the Petite Guiraud Sauternes. It’s been so long since I’d had a that dessert wine! It was sweet without being cloying and reminded me of mandarin oranges. It was a perfect end to my meal. I also love that they have an espresso machine. I always love when a restaurant offers coffee drinks!

The menu does change here with the seasons, which I always love. That’s why the online menu is not always up-to-date. I just hope that Rob is willing to go back.

What’s the best {or worst!} meal you’ve had lately?



Terzo – Birthday Edition


Happy Wine Wednesday!

My birthday was over a month ago and we are now upon Rob’s birthday month and dinner choice. {For the record, I suggested that we go to Barley John’s (never been) and stop at the Hammerheart Brewery (also never been) on the way back. But as of right now, Rob has chosen here (never been). Seriously. But there’s still time for him to change his mind…

Because I did that the week of my birthday! I made Rob cancel our other reservations when I remembered that I wanted to go back to Terzo. It was my only opportunity to get him there. I wasn’t sure that this was a place I could normally convince Rob to go…

We didn’t have to make reservations because Terzo “reserves” half of its tables for walk-ins. Still, we arrived at opening and had a seat at the bar. (Our favorite place!)

The Happy Hour special included glasses of Barbaresco for $15.

Terzo Happy Hour

It’s rare to see Barbaresco {a higher end Italian wine made from the Nebbiolo grape} by the glass. Sure, $15 is a little spendy for a glass of wine; but considering how much a bottle of Barbarsco can be, it most likely won’t find its way into our house any time soon. So I started with a glass. Rob chose the local Indeed Sweet Yamma Jamma Ale.

Then, the ever-changing menu:

Terzo menu

Rob really wanted to try the Chips and Dip:

Terzo House Made Chips

house potato chips with aioli – $4

We’ve been finding homemade chips and dip around a lot of places in the Twin Cities over the past six months or so. These did not disappoint. There were two kinds of sauces to choose from and when I asked Rob which one, he said, “You choose! It’s your birthday!” The bartender then wished me a Happy Birthday, of course. But I chose the wrong sauce! I selected the one I thought Rob would like (which had garlic in it) instead of the other (which might have been a roasted red pepper kind?). All I could taste was lemon in this sauce. No worries, though, the chips didn’t need them!

I also knew from my last visit that we had to have the bruschetta trio. And I didn’t forget to take a photo this time!

Terzo Bruschetta Trio

bruschetta trio – tomato & egg yolk, truffle mushroom, garlic & oil – $13

Rob’s fave was the truffle mushroom. I loved them all! Then we took a look at the extensive wine list. All of the wines at Terzo are Italian. Look at all of these Barberas!

Terzo Barbera Wine List

Because Terzo specializes in one area, they can narrow their focus and the wine bar thing right. It’s why I consider it the Best Wine Bar I’ve been to in the Twin Cities! While perusing the list, I could not find the wine on the menu that Jaime and I had and loved. But now that I look at this photo – I found it! It’s the Lagone – the second Super Tuscan on the list.

Terzo Super Tuscans

But that night, I hadn’t seen it. So we asked our bartender for a suggestion based on our favorite style (big, bold reds) and price point. As you can see, most of the wines are quite expensive on this list. Generally, I stay in the $30-$45 range. But we were celebrating. This was the wine recommended to us by two of the staff members. They said that we would not be disappointed.

Terzo - Birthday Wine Choice

And they were right! We went crazy over this Super Tuscan. It’s definitely one I’d buy in a store if I ever found it. We savored that bottle to its fullest throughout our meal.

I was in a salad mood:

Terzo Goat Cheese Salad

insalata di stagionemixed greens, roasted butternut squash, smoked goat cheese, rosemary vinaigrette, figs, candied pistachio – $9

This was one of the best salads I’ve ever had! There was a hint of sweetness that made me call it a “dessert salad,” but it really wasn’t that sweet. I just loved the combination of flavors. Rob even agreed that it was exceptional and he doesn’t even like goat cheese. I will get this salad every time it is offered.

I knew Rob wanted to try the Truffled Mushroom Porchetta Sandwich. At this point, I was a lot less hungry than when we arrived. I couldn’t imagine ordering the full entree that I had originally intended. Sure, it was just the Seared Sea Scallops that I wanted; but it was still a full entree! Besides, my dish now had to contend with a big, bold red wine. So instead, I convinced Rob to split the steak. I already knew how much I loved it last time!

Terzo Steak

manzo – pan-seared Grass Run Farms flat iron steak charred carrots, cipollini onion, parsnip puree, barbera demi – $26

Unfortunately, the steak didn’t live up to my hype. This time around, it was overpowered by peppercorns and was a little underdone to my liking. We still had no problem polishing it off. But I will be ordering something different next time.

And because the bartender heard it was my birthday – this:

Terzo Dessert

She let me choose any dessert I wanted off of their menu that night. This was a deconstructed tiramisu of sorts, à la mode of course. We had a little trouble finishing it. We did overindulge! Still, I may have had a glass of Vin Santo after that…

Terzo Vin Santo

Vin Santo – traditional Tuscan dessert wine

I hadn’t had Vin Santo since I had been to Tuscany, where Rob proposed in 2008. That was an all-expense paid trip I earned through The Traveling Vineyard. We were served Vin Santo after just about every lunch and dinner we had there!

What I can tell you… Terzo won Rob over. And we will be back. He still has to get his Porchetta Sandwich, no?

Where do you like to dine to celebrate special occassions where you live?