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White Truffle Possibilities


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Like every year, I continue in my pursuit of reasonably priced (relatively) and delicious all-white-truffle menus. I've sent an e-mail to ADNY asking about this, and will visit the $50/person place in Queens mentioned in last week's NY Metro Buzz section shortly.

 

Fiammia sent me this reply: "They are $75 for 6 grams. We recommend them on the scallops appetizer, the garganelli, agniolini and gnocchi pastas, halibut and veal entrees. We will do a truffle tasting on request, the price is $225 per person, 5 courses." The $225/person price seems not too bad, esp since Fiamma wine prices would be much more reasonable than ADNY ones.

 

Of course there's San Domenico, as Wilfrid will not doubt remind me if I do not include that here.

 

So where does that leave us? :D

 

PS -- I had my first white truffles of the season at Per Se. They're $80/person for a dish as an additional dish to the a la carte (5-course) menu, and presumably something similar (if not the same) for a supp to the tasting menu. Tagliatelle -- too buttery and too soft -- or risotto (too soft). But the truffles were quite generously shaved on, albeit in thinnish, petal-like slices. The truffles are presented to the diner in a light-wood-colored, humidor-like box, and of course shaved at the table. One is allowed to sniff the contents, in a polite way, from the box.

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Like every year, I continue in my pursuit of reasonably priced (relatively) and delicious all-white-truffle menus. I've sent an e-mail to ADNY asking about this, and will visit the $50/person place

I went into Buon Italia last winter to get some rice, and the whole back of the store reeked of truffles. I floated back on the aroma to discover a couple of people unpacking what was essentially a s

The pierogies are nuxbait, right?

San Domenico never seems to update its web-site. I seem to remember the white truffle last year was less expensive than the price quoted by Fiamma. I will try to find out what's going on.

 

The $80 price at Per Se seems unattractive, as I suspect it is the price for a Per Se-sized dish, or what less esteemed restaurants call a "small plate", upon which relatively few truffle particles will land. Is that unfair?

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The $80 price at Per Se seems unattractive, as I suspect it is the price for a Per Se-sized dish, or what less esteemed restaurants call a "small plate", upon which relatively few truffle particles will land.  Is that unfair?

It was not a very small plate, and the shavings were not ungenerous. However, they were very thin, although that could have been used to highlight delicacy? Also note that, since we requested the truffle dish as a separate dish and not in lieu of another dish, the $80 includes the price of an extra "regular" Per Se dish (which must be worth at least $25). :D I would not recommend trying the PS dishes, in part because the pasta did not highlight the white truffles. But I suppose there are some intangible factors to having some white truffle shavings at PS. And at least they were cheaper per person than either I or my dining companion guessed. :huh:

 

MT -- How generous were the truffle shavings at Cafe Gray? Now that's causing me to consider.

 

How about Felidia -- expensive?

 

I do remember Fiamma was more expensive than San Domenico last year, because I was engaging in the same comparison, and ended up not going to Fiamma.

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Here's the place I'm also going to investigate, based on a description from NY Mag:

 

"Truffle Madness

Sapori D’Ischia, the Woodside wholesaler, Italian-foods retail store, and restaurant, has entered into a partnership that has obtained the exclusive rights to distribute the products of Italian truffle giant Boscovivo. What does this mean? “Right now, we’re truffle headquarters,†boasts Sapori D’Ischia’s Antonio Galano. “We have truffle creams, truffle jams, truffle oils, truffle flours, truffle honeys, truffle juices, not to mention truffles. It’s amazing, over 100 truffle products, stuff like you can’t believe!†To share their good fortune, Sapori chef William Prunty will be whipping up a four-course fresh-white-truffle $50 tasting menu every Tuesday through November 9."

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White truffles are also found in Croatia, but they are less pungent and considered significantly inferior to those found in Italy. In Italy, where there is very high demand, there is a significant problem with the substitution of Croatian truffles, the famous Friday truffle market in Alba is notorious. Italians have told me that in all cases you need to know who you're buying from, even some shops are a problem, although others are reliable. Leading restaurants are all considered to have reliable sources. I wonder how all of this affects truffles imported to this country where the level of interest and knowledge is so much lower. Not that I doubt that places at the level of Per Se and ADNY and undoubtedly San Domenico are serving the real thing. But what about the rest, there really is more than enough demand in Italy to totally consume the domestic supply and a lot more. Another thought is that if Croatian truffles are available properly labeled and priced, that they migh be interesting to try.

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I don't trust this place (Sapori d'Ischia.) They have a "policy" of not serving tap water, so they can shake you down for bottled water. It's only a few dollars, but indicative of aomething. I suspect the truffles are inferior speciments, served with panoply and panache. The house specialty is (or was) a pasta dish whose final preparation takes place in a whole, hollowed-out Parmagiano-Reggiano cheese on a wheeled stand that is rolled to your table.

 

Ranitidine and I ate here twice, and posted about it way back on eG. The first time, we happened to order bottled water because I felt like bubbles, so we didn't become aware of the "policy" until our second visit. That being said, the food was very good, but we haven't been back.

 

Beware: there is live music here certain nights.

 

I just checked eG for my original post and found that others have since visited the restaurant, commented on it, and elucidated the water policy. The owner simply wants to do everything the way it's done in Italy. Some of the posters emphasize that this is an Italian, not an Italian-American restaurant. I still prefer NYC tap water to any bottled water I've tasted, regardless of price.

 

I'm ready to go back, I think.

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Wait a minute - you're talking about San Domenico? I was just there a couple of weeks ago. Damn, I can't remember about the water. Wait - yes I can - they served still water from a bottle I think. But we didn't order - it was a special event kind of dinner. Oh, now I have to go back there and force them to serve me tap water. Damn, I wish I had known that before, I would have asked for it.

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