Terra Tempe – Grounded in Southwest Inspiration

by Chef Alex Robinson

Terra Tempe is the latest addition to Tempe’s bustling downtown corridor. Located on the ground floor of The Westin Tempe at the corner of 7th Street and Mill Avenue, Terra Tempe brings a sophisticated yet approachable dining experience to the neighborhood with a menu of Modern American cuisine that cleverly combines bold, rustic flavors with locally sourced ingredients to offer an authentic reflection of the Southwest’s rich history. 

As the executive chef at The Westin Tempe, I draw inspiration from the renowned graffiti culture in my hometown of Los Angeles and my personal love of painting to execute visually impressive plates no matter the combination of flavors and fixings. Just as an artist mixes colors to create a masterpiece, I enjoy combining and reinventing standard ingredients to morph them into unique and exciting flavor profiles that surprise guests with every bite. This flair is especially apparent in dishes like our fresh Sonoran Salad, for example, where we ditch the standard salad bowl presentation and instead take perfectly cubed, compressed melons and arrange them on a horizontal platter alongside wild arugula, cucumber, jicama, carrots and tomatoes, with a drizzle of tequila lime vinaigrette and sprinkles of tajin topping it all off.

A few standout dishes from the dinner menu include Terra’s Hot Stone, perfect for sharing, which features thinly sliced Wagyu beef or Pacific ahi tuna, fresh cilantro scallion salad, pickled ginger and serrano ponzu; Cilantro Dusted Chilean Sea Bass, blanketed in a refreshing avocado crema, mizuna, crispy tempura jalapeños and sweet corn pico; and Grilled Filet Mignon, with decadent lump crab mash, asparagus, smoked cipollini onions, chipotle hollandaise and black truffle chimichurri. 

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Terra Tempe presents contemporary interiors that afford a modern atmosphere embodying the warm, inviting quality of the surrounding neighborhood while simultaneously maintaining a sense of intimacy. An expansive exhibition kitchen that puts high-end pizza ovens and the kitchen staff’s artisanship on full display encourages engagement among the audience, while subdued lighting, floor-to-ceiling windows and sleek sculptural elements — including a striking, copper “veil” suspended from the ceiling and a prominent liquor tower — offer staple gathering places and earn the admiration of passersby as they stroll down 7th Street.

Adjacent to the bar, guests will also find the Arizona Room, a communal, flexible space inspired by the Southwest’s canyons and cliff walls; its screened-in porch concept, commonly featured in homes in the region, features an elevated, oversized living wall with lush greenery and an integrated screen displaying stunning footage of the desert landscape.  

Terra Tempe Kitchen & Spirits
11 E. 7th St., Tempe
(480) 968-8885

Sonoran Salad

Compressed melons, jicama, cucumber, carrot, tomato and wild arugula, with tequila lime vinaigrette and tajin


Terra’s Signature Burger

Smoked white cheddar, caramelized onions, roasted poblano peppers and arugula, with lemon-truffle aioli, served on a pretzel bun, with house-made, thick-cut fries


Terra’s Hot Stone (dinner menu)

Wagyu beef or Pacific ahi tuna, with cilantro scallion salad, pickled ginger and serrano ponzu


Chef Alex Robinson is executive chef at The Westin Tempe. 

Did You Know: As part of Tempe’s bourgeoning restaurant scene, our team at The Westin Tempe was proud to debut two brand-new concepts in the heart of the city’s downtown district toward the end of 2021 — including our elevated, signature restaurant, Terra Tempe Kitchen & Spirits. 

Photos courtesy of Terra Tempe & The Westin Tempe

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