For a certain set of culinarily-minded folk, it’s the most wonderful time of the year: white truffle season. The coveted truffles are just now coming in from Italy, and you’ll find them at select restaurants all over the city — though at a stiff price.
If you’ve never had white truffles before, the prices might seem mind-boggling: Supplements can run to $50 or $100 or more. What’s the deal? These prized delicacies can cost up to $2000 a pound — they’re only available during a short season, from particular parts of Italy, and it takes specially trained pigs to forage for them. With such a limited supply and steep demand, they become very expensive indeed.
But once you taste them, you’ll understand the hype. Forget the one-note taste of truffle oil, or even the earthy taste of black truffles: white truffles are utterly unique, with a layered, delicate smell best showcased on simple dishes. That’s why you’ll find them served over pasta, or eggs or potatoes — mellow, substantial plates that let the truffles’ flavor shine through. Here are five of the best places to get white truffles in New York City.
Chef Joey Campanaro does a white truffle risotto bianco with a raw egg yolk and Parmigiano Reggiano; a white truffle and lobster risotto with wild mushrooms; and white truffle polenta with field mushrooms gravy and seasonal vegetables. 90 Bedford St., 212-741-4695, thelittleowlnyc.com
Chef Laurent Kalkotour serves a truffle potato gnocchi, with a sauce of browned butter, sherry vinegar and white truffles, plus Fontina cheese and wild mushrooms.15 Main St., Brooklyn, 718-858-1095, atriumdumbo.com
A number of menu dishes can be topped with thinly shaved white truffles at this Brooklyn restaurant, including its cauliflower veloute, greenmarket bean salad and sea scallops grenobloise.298 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, 347-335-0446, maisonpremiere.com
The most indulgent burger ever might be at B&B, with its white truffle burger: robiola cheese, homemade truffle aioli and shaved white truffles. 25 West Houston St., 212-334-7320, burgerbarrel.com
Chef Chris Cipollone’s newest pasta dish can be served with white truffles on top: Tortellini with red kuri sqaush, porcini mushrooms and Parmesan, purple sweet potato leaves and, of course, the option of shaved truffles. 430 Hudson St., 212-960-3801, pioranyc.com