There is no doubt about it, Chef Johan Svensson knows a LOT about food. With an unconventional career path, he worked his way up the ranks from dishwasher, to waiter, and substitute chef, taking every opportunity to learn and hone his skills (even barbequing reindeer in the Northeast), before becoming sous chef at just 23 years old, and ultimately serving as executive chef at some of the world’s most celebrated dining establishments (Marcus Samuelsson’s, Aquavit restaurant in New York and most recently, BLT Steak and BLT Market in Waikiki). The Scandinavian born Chef, has now taken his global experience and talents to Fort Lauderdale, opening the casual and upscale oceanfront restaurant, Terra Mare.
Italian for land and sea, Terra Mare’s menu is grounded in a variety of fresh, locally sourced selections. There is something for everyone. But it’s not just about the food (more on that later), the expansive in-door, out-door space epitomizes casual sophistication, with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, which can be enjoyed from every table inside the restaurant, as well as the outdoor patio. The decor aptly pays ode to the menu and the location with natural raw earth materials, real driftwood, sea coral, agate and metals. Outside, the tiered patio features several fire pits and seating along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.
Standouts on the menu include, the empanadas (my personal favorite), which is the dish that most unexpectedly demonstrates Chef Svensoon’s versatility and mastery of textures and flavors. From the dinner menu, Tuna Crudo with fennel spiced and compressed watermelon, Braised Octopus with white bean puree and smoked paprika, and Crispy Whole Bass with seasonal vegetables and ginger ponzu.
Terra Mare’s menu highlights the communal dining experience, and encourages full plate sharing rather than individual bites. The surprises continue through to the dessert options, with a fun and festive dessert cart, including homemade marshmallows, and other toppings.
Terra Mare also features a craft cocktail program offering cold-pressed juices made in-house. Must try concoctions include, refreshing Triple B with Bulleit bourbon, lemon, basil, and blackberries; and the earthy Beet It with Tito’s vodka, beet, pear, apple, egg white, and house ginger syrup. Additionally, a vast selection of recognizable wines and rosés available by the bottle or by the glass.
Terra Mare serves breakfast, lunch and dinner seven-days-a-week, as well as weekend brunch, and is located adjacent the newly opened Conrad Ft. Lauderdale.
Terra Mare, 551 N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd, Fort Lauderdale | www.terramarefl.com