Five courses of truffle-lead dishes later, we deem La Castagne and Chef Michael DeLone kings of Truffletopia. This post has got some sexy truffle pics, how to get your hands on em’, and a few fun facts about these delicate gems. To boot, they’re now offering a 26K truffle dinner for 4 and the menu is more or less the same as what’s in this post (minus the veal, polenta, the watch… yes a watch, and cooking class).
Course 1: The Soup, An Intro to Truffle-Mania
Puree of pumpkin soup, Faro almonds, pumpkin oil, truffles. Credit for all photos: Erik Summa
This soup was the first of many beautiful dishes. Every bite was a bit different depending on what flavors landed in your spoon, with the pumpkin oil doing a nice job of separating and layering the flavors. This is pumpkin soup for people who think they don’t like pumpkin soup.
Course 2: Appetizers, If we had to do it all over again, we’d eat 7 of these
Beef Tartare with marinated Pioppini mushrooms, shaved Parmesan cheese, quail egg, white truffle ricotta mousse
This beef tartare was an explosion of meat, paired with some seriously unique flavors. If you had to order one thing and one thing only, it would be this. Hint: go for it. ($16 a la carte) Side note/context: We have to commend the Chef on his use of both the black and the white truffle, as he mastered using just the right amount per dish, as well as collectively, without overpowering at any point
Milanese style egg, truffle bread crumb, spinach, roasted cherry tomatoes, truffle vinaigrette, Humboldt fog goat cheese
Topping a salad with a warm juicy milanese egg turned a delicate dish into one with power/force/moxie/you name it. The layer of goat cheese was substantial and might be too much for some if you aren’t into goat cheese, but lucky for us, we loveeee goat cheese and savored every bite.
Course 3: The Pastas, Black & White
Tagliatelle con tartufi neri: With Parmesan cheese sauce and black shaved truffle & Tagliatelle con tartufi bianchi: With Parmesan cheese sauce and white shaved truffle
I could smell these two coming from a few feet away. Homemade pasta with parmesan cheese and two types of truffles. The black truffle is that earthy taste you know, while the white truffle is a delicate addition. More truffle-isms below.
Course 4: Mains of Tiny Birds and Fish Structures
Roasted quail stuffed with housemade sausage, potato, and guanciale, finished with black truffle demi glace
We really loved the quail and could have walked away happy having just eaten this (thank god we didn’t though). At this point, the pounds of truffle were starting to add up, so this was a little bit on the heavy side. However, it made the perfect meal for a “3 hours later left over splurge” and is an adorable version of Thanksgiving on a plate (with ground sausage stuffing and baby vegetables).
Fillet of Dover sole stuffed with scallop, shrimp mousse, black truffle beurre blanc
These bouncy, melt in your mouth disks were a nice light option to keep things moving and were accompanied by crisp veggies to contrast the fish.
Course 5: The Ultimate Truffle Concoction
Chocolate lava cake with truffle ricotta gelato, honey
This dessert was the an intense truffle concoction/masterpiece. It was exciting to eat because the flavors were so unexpected and somehow managed to work with each other in the face of adversity.
How to Get Your Truffle On:
More Truffle Know-How: