It’s that wonderful time of year when it’s time to indulge in one of the true delicacies of the world. Forget the artificial truffle oil (redundant) of the ’90s – the real thing has a season and the time to enjoy white truffles is now.
Of course, at two to three thousand dollars per pound, it’s quite easy to break the bank while partaking. Fortunately, I’ve got a lot of options in different forms (cocktails! tasting menus! burgers!) and price points that will ensure you’re able to get your fungi fix.
Let’s start out with a cocktail by Matty B, why don’t we?
Cynar Night (including white truffle-infused Cynar) at Settebello, MdR: Friday, November 15, 2013. 8 – 11 PM.
Matt Biancaniello will appear at Settebello in Marina del Rey, where he has declared this Friday, November 15th, “Cynar Night.” The artichoke liqueur is one of my favorite cocktail ingredients in the whole wide world, but there can never be too much of two great things, right?
He’s also infused Cynar with white truffles from Alba specifically for one cocktail, as yet unnamed. He reveals that “the combination of Cynar and white truffles is out of this world” – and will be combined with whole egg and fresh Long Island cheese pumpkin juice for what sounds like will be a fall extravaganza in a glass. As appreciation to his customers, Matt will be covering the cost of the truffles, so this cocktail is only $15.
BONUS: Matt will also have a limited supply of white truffle-infused negronis at the new Plan Check location (on Fairfax) when it opens the second week of December!
16-course White Truffle Tasting Menu at SAAM, The Bazaar: Thursday – Saturday evenings through November 23rd
I had the pleasure of partaking in this tasting menu in the pretty spectacular tasting room that is SAAM at The Bazaar, and let me say it’s nothing short of 16 courses of decadence and whimsy, like any visit to the SLS, but also at another level. Go and indulge, if nothing other than for the opportunity to have white truffles shaved over your plate no less than a dozen times.
Below is a slideshow of my experience. As you can see, it’s a great season to enjoy SAAM, especially if you haven’t yet had the opportunity. ($325 per person, optional wine pairings for additional $150 or $300. Exclusive of tax + gratuity.)
All White Truffle Menu at Valentino: Month of November
For the whole month, Piero will be serving an a la carte menu that will also be available as a tasting menu ($195). Note that shavings of truffles are additional ($60 for appetizers, $110 for pasta and main courses), which don’t seem to be specified on the website. And if you have access to your own truffles, Valentino, for this year, has begun a “BYOT” option. They’ll display your truffles and shave them for you, all for a $30 shaving charge.
Bianco Pregiato White Truffle Tasting Menu at Valentino: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 6:30 PM (one seating)
Piero Selvaggio loves truffles so much, that there’s really no point in visiting Valentino this month without getting them on your plate(s). On December 3rd, for one special night, he presents a Bianco Pregiato white truffle tasting menu, paired with wines by Florenzo Dogliano, who is managing director of Beni di Batasiolo Vineyard in Piedmonte, Italy. The first 3 courses (of a total 5) are served with Bianco Pregiat, first grade white truffles from Piero’s Trifulau (truffle forager) from Alba and shipped overnight for this anniversary dinner. ($200 per person, $70 additional for wine pairing; exclusive of tax and gratuity).
White Truffle Breakfast Dish at Hotel Bel Air: Daily, 7 – 10:30 AM, or Sunday, 11 AM – 3 PM, through December 31, 2013
Previously only available during weekend brunch, this dish is now available every morning: A plate of two organic eggs, any style, with shaved while Alba truffles, plus two pancakes with white truffle butter and truffle maple syrup, as well as white truffle, veal and pork sausage. Sometimes, you just want breakfast with white truffles. I’m not angry. ($95)
Truffle Menu at Oliverio, Avalon Hotel: Thursday – Saturday, 6 – 10 PM
Chef Mirko and the folks at Avalon Hotel have got something pretty crazy up their sleeves in celebration of white truffle season. First of all, they are offering a menu with the fungi but it features a particular beef tartare that includes 2 whole ounces of the intoxicating ingredient, as well as 48 hours notice and a prepaid reservation:
Tartare Di Manzo Piemontese Con Tartufo Bianco (Beef Tartare, Quail Egg, White Truffle Fondue, 2 oz shaved White Truffle from Molise) $350
Salsiccia E Tartufo Pizza (Italian Sausage, Parmesan Sauce, Black Winter Truffle) $40
Risotto Al Tartufo (Black Winter Truffle and Parmesan) $40
Spaghetti Norcina (Italian Sausage, Black Winter Truffle) $40
Finally, if you happen to be a Beverly Hills resident, you may also have it delivered to you by Chef Mirko himself in his customized Fiat 500. Please report back if you do this; I am making new friends at the moment and want to consider you.
UMAMI Truffle-ish menu at any Umami Burger: Now through December 31st. MNO Burger at UMAMIcatessen: Thursday – Saturdays in December.
Okay, this gets an honorable mention because while the below truffle menu doesn’t actually have white truffles in it, just essences like oil and glazes, the MNO Burger (that is, “Money is No Object”) with actual white truffles in it will be available during December weekends ($65). Also there’s intel that The Grove Umami Burger, with their limited supply, has been shaving actual truffles, but this is likely to run out soon!
Irish Truffle Fries – thin fries, truffle cheese fondue, truffle shiitake, shredded lardon, chives ($9)
Truffled Ahi Salad – raw ahi, truffle dressing, truffle tossed arugula, lemon, truffled shiitake, cabernet onions ($15)
Truffle Shiitake Royale Burger – signature beef patty, truffled shiitake, truffle cheese, truffle glaze ($14)
Truffle Speciale Burger – signature beef patty, truffle thyme butter, parmesan frico, fried egg, truffle salt, truffle aioli ($13)
Truffle Salted Ice Cream – chocolate ice cream, truffle glaze, truffle salt ($5)
MNO Burger – Bryan Flannery Wagyu Beef, vintage port reduction, freshly shaved white truffles.
Added: White Umbria Truffle Pasta at Crossroads
This comes in via Jeremy Lake, the bar manager at the vegan-and-delicious hotspot, Crossroads. They are offering a white umbria truffle pasta at the restaurant, whereby Chef Tal Ronnen will come by and shave the truffle onto your plate tableside. Sounds delicious!
Cynar Night is Friday, November 15, 2013
8 – 11 PM
White truffle-infused Negronis at Plan Check Opening
2nd week of December
351 N. Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
16-course tasting menu available Thursday – Saturday evenings through November 23, 2013
SAAM at The Bazaar
465 S La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048
White truffle menu through November
Bianco Pregiato White Truffle Tasting Menu on Tuesday, December 3, 2013
3115 Pico Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Breakfast dish available daily
7 – 10:30 AM
11 AM – 3 PM
Until December 31
Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel Air
701 Stone Canyon Rd
Los Angeles, CA 90077
Truffle menu available Thursday – Saturday evenings
Beef tartare requires 48 hours advance notice.
Oliverio at Hotel Avalon
9400 W Olympic Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Umami truffle menu available through December 31st at any Umami Burger
MNO Burger available only at UMAMIcatessen during Thursdays – Saturdays in December
Los Angeles, CA 90015
8284 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046