Terun is an wonderful Italian restaurant specializing in pizzas located on the bustling streets of California Avenue in downtown Palo Alto. Sitting next to its sibling restaurant, Italico, the Campilongo family and Chef d’Angelo have commandeered respect for the Palo Alto community like few others in the Bay Area. Known for their incredible authentic delicious pizzas, Terun has burst on to the scene as a go to restaurant for many locals. Combine that with beautiful patio seating in the back and a welcoming experience, you have a winner.
Restaurants have been through so much this year, and its our time to support them. I am starting an initiative I call the Bay Area Food Experiences where I feature one restaurant that is part of the heart and soul of the Bay Area community. This month, if you want to learn more about Terun, I am hosting an event with Chef d’Angelo on Saturday January 16th at 2:00 PM. It will be a 30-45 minute zoom meeting where Chef d’Angelo cooks one of his signature pizzas and talks a little bit about himself and the restaurant. I would highly recommend you check it out because Chef d’Angelo and Terun are one of the gems of the Bay Area community, and as a small business, they need support from us. If you would like to join, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you a zoom link.
One of Terun’s signature pizzas is the San Danielle. With a combination of 24 month aged prosciutto, porcini mushrooms, mozzarella, arugula, shaved grana padano topped with a drizzle of truffle oil. What stands out more than anything with this combination is the balance of flavors. You have the salty kick from the grand padano and prosciutto, contrasted with a creamy mozzarella and earthy mushroom, all of which complement the tangy and slightly sweet san marzano sauce. Even the textures on this dish are so perfect. The prosciutto is thinly sliced to a point where it blankets the whole pizza. The grana padano is shaved seemingly randomly so some points you get a salty umami punch and in other bites you can appreciate the prosciutto. Finally, the arugula has the fresh and peppery taste which is a nice refresher from all the bold flavors of the other toppings. In the end, what really puts this dish over the top is the thin bready neapolitan crust. Pizza crust is such an underrated aspect of the dish. A lot of restaurants get it wrong, either crisping up the whole thin crust, or making it too thick almost like a loaf of bread. Terun nails the combination of thin crust cooked in high temperatures to retain the nice pull apart texture while creating a slightly charred flavor in certain spots that tastes incredible. Don’t mistake the char for a burn, when in fact it is the mark of a great pizza crust.
The other pizza we ordered was the Tricolore. With one vegetarian in the family, we were in awe of the amount of vegetarian options, but the Tricolore was what we ended up sticking with. The Tricolore is a cheese pizza, but I can bet you quite a bit it’s unlike any other cheese pizza you’ve ever had. Although it is a quite simple combination of burrata, arugula, and cherry tomato, it makes you wonder why all pizza doesn’t have burrata. For starters, the burrata was some of the best I have ever had. It was incredibly creamy while still maintain its shape and structure, and seasoned with a bit of salt and pepper, it was like nothing else. The real sleeper in the dish was the cherry tomatoes. I have absolutely no clue what Chef d’Angelo’s secret here is, but it sure is a secret worth keeping. As expected, the cherry tomatoes were extremely fresh and bursting with flavor, but they also had a slight earthy/smokiness. The taste was nearly reminiscent of sun dried tomatoes but without the overpowering taste, or weird crinkly raisin like appearance. All these ingredients combined were exactly like a caprese salad, but instead of on a plate, they were served on top of some of the best pizza crust in the US and delicious tomato sauce.
What sets Terun apart from any pizza place, and really any restaurant is the authenticity of their whole mission. To begin with, the Camplinogo family is an incredible family who serve and support the community in every opportunity that comes their way. On top of that, Chef d’Angelo was also born in Italy in the small town Ginosa, and lived there for much of his life. Alongside the authenticity of the people at Terun, the restaurant stands true to its claim of making Neapolitan pizza. As some may know, Neapolitan pizza is bound by strict rules, traditions and practices. In the US, a lot of these practices have been abandoned and forgotten about, but Terun makes a conscious effort to restore the Neaplotian way. Terun has been certified by the American branch of the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana. If that doesn’t mean much to you, Terun has also been featured on the New York Times and has been awarded the title of Top 7 most authentic pizza restaurants in the US by Food Network.