By Susannah Chen

If primo is hearth and home and secondo is the office (virtual or otherwise), then Terzo—a relaxed Cow Hollow spot with a communal table, zinc tapas bar, cozy fireplace, and leather banquettes—is meant to be the third place you need in your daily repertoire: A restaurant where you can relax over good food and convivial conversation. Terzo's cuisine straddles the Mediterranean, where dining is as much of an art as cooking, with dishes that draw heavily from Italy, Iberia, and Morocco, as well as the Middle East. Although hearty portions of pork loin, skirt steak, and seasonal fish like salmon are always available, it's the smaller, sharable dishes—padrón peppers grilled to fiery smokiness; meatballs braised in a bright pomodoro sauce—that truly shine. While the drink menu is limited to beer and wine, the list holds unusual finds, like dry white Furmint wine from the Tokaji region of Hungary or a hearty red Negroamaro from Puglia. As they say in Italy—or ought to—the third time’s a charm.

menu musts*

Crispy onions
Peach bruschetta
Tomato-braised pork meatballs
Roasted broccoli with meyer lemon, aleppo pepper, and parsley
*menu changes daily
view full menu here

sweet seats

Post-work, nab a window-facing high-top, where you can slow down with an Italian apéritif as the Cow Hollow crowd scuttles past Union Street. On foggy nights, warm up by claiming one of the leather-lined banquettes next to the refurbished brick fireplace.

chew on this

Chef Mark Gordon and his team look to cookbooks (the chef's personal collection) lining the entrance to the open kitchen as inspiration for the restaurant's daily changing menu. Become a favored regular, and you may just persuade the staff to let you check one out.


Sun.–Thurs. 5:30 PM–10 PM; Fri.–Sat. 5:30 PM–11 PM

price range

$8 (soup) to $27 (steak)