Black Gold

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Two restaurants salute the mighty ‘shroom with decadent truffle dinners

My one attempt at truffle hunting took place in the hilly forests around Alba with an old winemaker named Luigi and his three-legged dog, Linda. Now, before you go feeling sorry for good ol’, sweet Linda, don’t. That speckled hound loped up and down those hills, nose pressed to the ground, like an Olympic sprinter. And let’s just say I gave her more than her fair share of my “Italian trail mix” (mostly salami and olives). No, the person you should be feeling sorry for is me—three hours trudging around the damp forest and not a single glorious fungus to show for it. Remarkably, a few glasses of Luigi’s dolcetto helped to dull the pain.

Luckily, there are people out there who have better luck, and right now you can sample their spoils on menus citywide, as well as at the following decadent, truffle-themed dinners taking place while the getting’s good.  Reservations are strongly recommended.

Bistro LQ
 
Starting this Thursday and continuing each Thursday through January 27, Chef Laurent Quenioux is hosting a 19-course truffle dinner (yes, 19) for between $200 and $230 a person (the price varies depending on fluctuations in the truffle market—no kidding).

The Menu:

Kushii Oyster poached in Truffle Butter? ?

 Cucumber Ice Cream with Truffles, Apple Balsamic Vinegar Gel? ?

Cold Poached Quail Eggs Mold in Pork Aspic with Sun choke, Fresh Truffles? ?

Panacotta infused with Truffles and Tonka Bean, Sea Urchin Emulsion? 

Pintade Hen Tartar with Truffles, Celery Root Truffle Remoulade, a hint of Yuzu? ?

Scottish Hare Truffle Consommé Soup with Hare Filet, Hare Blood Cubes and Hare Shu-Mai? 

Truffle Tapioca Puddings with Langoustines in a Truffle Crust? ?

 Spiny Lobster, Truffles and Leeks? ?

Chili Rellenos with Sepia, Truffle Mole? ?

Miso Soup, poached Sea Scallops and Foie Gras, Truffles? 

Oxtail and Truffle Sopes? ?

Beef Bone Marrow and Truffle Tartine, Huckleberries? ?

 Wood Pigeon, Figs and Truffle Ragu with Pumpkin Coulis? ?

 Veal Sweetbreads and Sautéed Duck Foie Gras Soft Taco with Chanterelles? 

 Simple Frisee salad with Truffles? ?

 Cheese cart? ?

 ?Chocolate crosmesquis with orange Flower scented truffle cream? 

 ?Truffle Mousse served with Truffle Madeleine, Truffle Financier, and Warm Cotton Candy Syrup? ?

Pear Gratin, Truffles, Caramel? ?

Sweet Corn Tamale “elotes” slow Cooked with Truffles Scented Milk with Foam

 

Patina 
Each dish in chef Tony Esnault’s three, five, and seven-course fungi-focused dinners on January 11 and 12 will star French black truffles. While indulging, diners can chat with truffle expert Christopher Poron of the Plantin Truffle Company who will be present tableside “sharing stories of harvesting these earthly treasures.” (I wonder if any of his involve a three-legged pup?)

The Menus:

Three-Course ($95):

Velvety sunchoke velouté with guinea hen, foie gras, and truffle ballotine

Milk fed veal tenderloin with carrots, turnips, and crushed truffle

Caramelized brioche, Bartlett pear with pecan and brown butter truffle sorbet

Five-Course ($135):

Winter glazed vegetable mosaic with black truffle condiment

Seared day boat scallops with a contrast of endive and black truffle

Milk-fed veal tenderloin with carrots, turnips, crushed truffle

Black truffle brie de meaux

Caramelized brioche, Bartlett pear with pecan and brown butter truffle sorbet

Seven Course ($175)

Peasant black truffle salad with country bread, white mushrooms, and Parmesan

Winter glazed vegetable mosaic with black truffle condiment

Artichoke ravioli with soft egg, truffle emulsion

Butter-poached Maine lobster with salsify, spinach, truffle, jus de la presse

Milk-fed veal tenderloin with carrots, turnips, crushed truffle

Black truffle brie de meaux

Caramelized brioche, Bartlett pear with pecan and brown butter truffle sorbet