After 13 years in Hillcrest, Jeff Rossman, the chef and owner of Terra, pulled up his Hillcrest stakes and moved his operation to La Mesa. There’s a lot to take into account when you move a restaurant, and it isn’t just location and rent. There’s also the wine list to consider. That’s where Michael Rossman—Jeff’s father—comes in. He’s in charge of Terra’s wine list, and he says that when it came to the move, his biggest challenge wasn’t about wine, food or customers—it was about space.
“We don’t have as much room as we did in the other place, so we had to take our wine list down accordingly,” he says.
Despite the way that sounds, it’s good news for most of us, because what it means is that several months before the move, he stopped replacing the high-end bottles that were being ordered. The new list looks a lot like the old one, though there are fewer pricey options.
“We still have patrons who want a great bottle of wine, so I kept some of them,” Rossman says. “But I try to keep most of my bottles between $24 and $40.”
And so far, the patrons of the new Terra—many of whom were patrons of the old Terra—are on board.
“There are a lot of people out here who are foodies,” Rossman says. “In fact, we didn’t realize we had so many customers who lived out here who were coming all the way to Hillcrest for a meal.”
Fans of high-end wine needn’t worry. Rossman still has a number of expensive bottles waiting to be ordered, and, he says, “if I have that many people coming to the new location who want them, I’ll bring them back in.”
Correction: The original version of this story erroneously reported that Michael and Jeff Rossman are brothers.