Chef Mike Davis at work
“Good food depends almost entirely on good ingredients.”
With Chef Mike Davis at the helm, the acclaimed West Columbia restaurant TERRA qualified for membership in The Distinguished Restaurants of North America (DiRoNA) in the Creative Contemporary category. Terra is one of six restaurants in South Carolina, and the only restaurant outside of Charleston, to have earned this distinction.
DiRoNA is a non-profit organization that seeks to promote excellence in the fine dining industry. One of three categories, the Creative Contemporary category represents the best in modern casual cuisine, often with a creative theme or presentation. Restaurants in this category should “rise above passing trends to offer a distinct dining experience………….”
“We’re proud of the DiRoNA distinction because we qualified based on the complete dining experience at Terra. Our thoughtfully prepared menu, wine list, and the fact that we have a Certified Specialist of Wine in General Manager Howard Jarrett were also factors in the qualification,” says Davis.
Chef Davis knows that the tastiest ingredients often come from the farmers in his own backyard so his seasonal preparation of Southern dishes features local ingredients and products whenever possible. An ever-increasing number of chefs and restaurateurs support the farm-to-table concept, which is promoted by many food-focused organizations. Besides showcasing ingredients and products of exceptional quality and flavor, this approach benefits our local economy and the environment.
In addition to the DiRoNA membership, in the past year Terra has also earned the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence (as it has every year since the restaurant’s inception) and Chef Mike Davis was invited to prepare his Southern Roots dinner at the James Beard House in New York City.
About The Distinguished Restaurants of North America
Established in 1990, DiRoNA conducts independent and anonymous restaurant inspections and evaluations “to ensure independence, objectivity, consistency and credibility.” To be eligible, restaurants must be in operation under the same ownership, a minimum of three years. The rigorous 75-point inspection process scrutinizes every aspect of the dining experience — distinctive fare, wine, knowledgeable service, physical property and well-coordinated décor. Cuisine quality is considered the most important criterion, followed by menu accuracy, cooking techniques, creativity and originality. Even the service staff come under scrutiny, from the reservation process to departure. Re-inspections are required for continued membership in the organization. To date, nearly 800 restaurants have received the DiRoNA award.
100 State Street
West Columbia, SC 29169
Photo of Mike Davis by Gerry Melendez
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