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White Truffle Possibilities

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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 suitcase full of large (up to a small fist size) white truffles. You'll recall that prices last year were very, very high. I felt as though I'd stumbled onto a cocaine deal or some such.


I like white truffles well enough, but the prices are just silly. It has always made more sense to me to buy one or two and cook with them at home--you get so much more than you do in any restaurant. But I feel that way about many things. I'm not sure that for the same price I wouldn't eat black chanterelles nearly as often as white truffles.

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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?

Do not go to the Buon Italia $50/person , 5-course "white truffle" tasting menu. ph43r: :D Some diners (myself included) might perceive it as not involving what I consider to be even acceptable quality white truffles. Query whether where those "truffles" are sourced from -- they were so bitter and simply inedible. Only one dish had even noticeable shavings of such putrid "truffles", and some dishes contained no truffle or only truffle oil. This restaurant is also outside of Manhattan.


San Domenico yielded a very poor experience. :D :D I ordered the fettucine with 4 grams of white truffles at $6/gram. No wonder they can advertise that amount; my shavings were no meager I had to strain to notice them. The venison dish (sans truffle) was terrible, and the dining room team kept pouring very tall glasses of $9/bottle Pellegrino.


Then, there was Babbo. Expensive for the quantity of white truffles ordered. No specific amount per dish was quoted, but the $50/dish sunny side up duck's egg with guanciale and white truffle shavings did not yield very much in white truffles. Parpadelle with white truffles ($100/person) was not sampled, nor was the $250/person white truffle tasting menu. Guanciale overwhelmed any white truffle nose and mouth sampling opportunities. A bad choice, as a base for white truffles. The duck's egg was quite nice, being in a circular shape for the sunny-side-up prep that suggested a ring mould. So, the dish would have been fine without the white truffle, but expensive at $50/pop. Parpadelle bolognese was arguably on the dry side, and saucing was inferior to that Fred's at Barneys. Lamb's tongue app was good. Pricing was relatively inexpensive, even with the duck's egg.


So far -- best quantity of white truffles for pricing level is ironically Per Se. :D I have decided not to pursue the ADNY white truffle tasting menu.

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I would advise against ordering white truffles by the mail, as you would not have a chance to inspecct the look and aroma of the truffles before committing to a purchase.


I believe Dean & Deluca and Gracies Marketplace are on the expensive side. I don't know what to recommend, but perhaps Buon Italia may be worth paying a visit to. They supply San Domenico, as noted by another poster, and have some familial relationship to the owner of San Domenico.

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I noticed when looking at the Babbo menu the other night that they were offering a truffle tasting menu for I something like $200 and change and a pasta that if I am remembering this correctly through the haze of wine I'd drunk was $100. Annoyingly, this information is not available on the Babbo website.


A few years ago I had a pasta with white truffles at the River Cafe in London that a table of four shared between the appetizers and mains. It was a very generous portion of pasta, liberally dusted with truffle shavings. The supplement was 35 pounds and we thought well worth it.

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$250 for the white truffle tasting at Babbo.


During the Degustibus session with Joe Bastianich and the Babbo sommelier, I asked about the exact composition of this menu. Shavings are quite lean at Babbo.


Duck sunny-side up egg (see my description above)

Pumpkin lunne (sp) pasta with nutmeg, butter and sage inside


Bresatto al Barolo (meat dish)


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You would find it amusing that my dining companion when I had the white truffle dish at Per Se and we speculated between ourselves as to how much the supplement would be. We chose not to ask (in part because we would have ordered it anyhow and also because asking is pointless without asking about the shaving quantity, and I didn't want to do that). We guessed $100/person and $200/person respectively for the extra dish (which can be substituted with a different supplement presumably, for an existing dish on a given menu, but can also be added as an extra dish). We were both happily wrong at the $80/person supplement. :D

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