Concept restaurant that “happens to be Kosher” opens in Albany

A highly anticipated ribbon cutting and official grand opening for TERRA International Cuisine will take place at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, June 2nd at the 238 Washington Ave. restaurant. 

Finally Albany has a restaurant & caterer that serves the only wood fire pizza in downtown, offers a large fish menu, has a full liquor bar and gratifies in a very special way, the dietary restrictions of vegan, vegetarian and gluten free clientele.  But what makes Terra International Cuisine truly unique is that, as they say, Terra also “happens to be Kosher”!  

Owned and operated by area restauranteur Sonny Brar at 238 Washington Avenue, adjacent to Townsend Park at Henry Johnson Blvd., the lovely and nearly 4000-square-foot restaurant serves lunch and dinner with an appealing, albeit eclectic international menu.

It’s been over 15 years since there’s been a kosher restaurant in Albany said Brar, which for the capital of New York state, is a sad but true reality. There simply are not enough people who care about Kosher to make one viable here, however there are some great similarities in the dietary desires of vegans and vegetarians that make being Kosher an added advantage.  

Offering wood fire pizza and fish, along with a full liquor bar makes Terra attractive to the mainstream while truly focusing on these “niche” markets that are underserved by most restaurants.

The concept, which was brought to Brar’s attention by a good customer and friend Howard Katz, intrigued him enough to segue from his Indian restaurant roots and make Terra a reality. Not one to be pigeon-holed, Terra does in fact serve Indian cuisine, along with Italian, Latin, English and Eur-Asian dishes.

The Terra vegan offering is not your everyday fare.  Food processors are used to create flavorful dishes that you’ve not seen before anywhere.  These foods are considered “raw” because they are prepared at temperatures of 115 degrees or below.  

Some of these dishes are a “real bonanza for your taste buds” said Katz, while enjoying their Raw Burger of dehydrated seeds and nuts, served on their version of “onion bread” made over a 24 hour process in their dehydrator, from onions, flax seed and seasoning.  Topped with lettuce, tomato, avocado and a cheesy looking sauce made from cashews, this is definitely not just for vegans.

Jay Bindell, president of Wolberg Electric Supply in Albany and who is an Orthodox Jew said, “I was so excited at the prospect of having a kosher restaurant in Albany.  The nearest Kosher restaurant to Albany is over 100 miles away”.    Other nearby diner chimed in “to have one like this, so beautiful and with such a broad menu, it’s a real treasure for Albany.”

Terra also operates their vegan and vegetarian offering under the name “The NuWave Café and Bar at Terra.” This is because, under Jewish law, they are not able to cook during the Jewish Sabbath.  However they are able to operate the restaurant.  So during the Sabbath hours, basically from Sundown Friday until 1 hour past Sundown Saturday, they serve food that was precooked, or limited to salads, the raw offerings, etc.  

Terra is located at 238 Washington Avenue in Albany. For more information, please visit  http://www.terraalbany.com/ or  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Terra-International-Cuisine/491422417619755?ref=bookmarks


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