Tony Pasquale and Terra Luna
Pasquale’s culinary journey on the Cape began in 1988 at North Truro eatery Goody Hallet’s. It’s now a bank branch, but he describes Goody Hallet’s as being “a crazy place [with] college students in the kitchen, trying not to blow the place up while using the pressure fryer for broasted chicken.”
Being one of those college students, Pasquale graduated from Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon. He then went on to intern at a Seattle restaurant. “This was during the height of grunge music,” says Pasquale. “I used to see Mudhoney at a crummy little bar under a bridge.” After moving back to the Cape in 1997, he returned to the Cape and started at Terre Luna where he rose through the ranks from cook to sous chef to ultimately kitchen manager.
In 2011 he bought Terra Luna from Raïna Stefani, and created a charming 69-seat bistro presenting creative Mediterranean dishes. “As a chef, I like the freedom to create a vision for the food,” Pasquale says. “As an owner, I have the rest of the place to also fulfill that vision—from staffing to décor to music.”
He praises the abundance and sheer variety of catch that Cape fishermen bring him—from lobster, clams and oysters to bonito and striped bass—providing an endless source of inspiration for his innovative dishes. “I really dig the trash fish,” says Pasquale about underutilized fish like mackerel, sardines, skate, dogfish and whelk, which he uses in a variety of ways for his Provincetown/Portuguese and Azorean dishes. Terra Luna menu favorites include Sicilian littlenecks over spaghetti, Setubal-style grilled sardines, Eastham mussels with vermouth garlic butter as well as their pork chops, “a big seller,” and vegan options. With fresh meat and fish arriving daily, sourced from the best offerings at the Wellfleet and Truro farmers markets, in Pasquale’s skilled hands, it all adds up to an inspired creation.
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