Trufflepalooza 2011

I don’t often write about the same restaurant twice – too many places to cover!
But, every now and then, there is something so special and unique that it merits a second visit. 
That is the case with Locanda Verde’s Trufflepalooza.

Just like last year, 3 courses of white truffle dishes for $50. 
Just like last year…unbelievable

Sheep’s Milk Ricotta

Each table pillowy slices of house-baked foccacia, but the ones in the know all order the sheep’s milk ricotta. This was as delicious as ever – thick, creamy cheese with the texture of ricotta but with the tang and grassiness of a great Pecorino. Served with slightly floral honey and some fresh herbs, it was a multi-layered dish that was so simple but so satisfying.

 Feather Ridge Far, Poached Egg with Frisee, Polenta, Porcinis and White Truffles

What is it about eggs and truffles? Is it the combination of earthy upon earthy? The hit of umami and fatty? The warmth of the eggs making the truffle’s scent multiply and intensify? Whatever it is, combining eggs and truffles are my favorite way to have either ingredient, and this satisfied my craving. The egg was perfectly poached, with runny yolk that  mixed with the lightly dressed frisee and the cheesy, slightly salty polenta. The porcini mushrooms were so deep that they sort of took focus from the truffles – in a good way. They were so meaty and rich that they made the truffles seem lighter and more fragrant. Truffles are usually so hearty that it was a pleasure to taste their more subtle flavors.

Fonduta Ravioli with Water Chestnuts, Leeks and Truffles

The ravioli was just delicious. The noodles, while not thick, had a good chew and smooth texture. The filing inside was incredibly mild and buttery, allowing the focus to be on the sweet water chestnuts, the onion-y leeks and those delicate white truffles. The taste here was heady and rich, with each bite of truffle invading my tongue, nose and even my head as I felt the taste and aroma travel up and around my whole skull. It was really that intense and special.

Duck Agnoletti with Artichokes Sugo, Parmigiano Regianno and  Truffles

The best pasta I have had since Ai Fiori. Small parcels of pasta were filled with moist, incredibly duck-y meat – rich, fatty, slightly gamey. Tempered by a light, slightly tangy artichoke sauce with balsamic vinegar, it was rich but not heavy or cloying. Hunks of vegetal artichoke were light in comparison, and a welcome textural component. The truffles interacted so well with the duck, becoming woodsy and deep next to the duck. I can’t say enough about this dish, except that I could eat it every night with pleasure.

Truffle Honey Cake with Whipped Ricotta and Chamomile Granita

The perfect way to end the meal. Moist, spicy cake not unlike Jewish Honey cake. The truffle taste came through in the honey underneath the cake, adding a slightly savory edge to the sweet cake, along with the candied hazelnuts served alongside. The creamy ricotta topped with the herbal granita lent a cool, refreshing component to the dish. Sweet, savory, moist and warm. Could there be anything wrong with that?

There was nothing wrong with any part of this meal. We had a particularly wonderful server, Andrew, who was attentive, informative and went out of his way to tell us which dishes had nuts in them (one member of our party has a tree nut allergy). The price can’t be beat and neither can the food. These reservations always sell out quickly, so keep your ear to the ground -there is apparently another Trufflepaolooza with black truffles coming this January. 

I’ll be waiting by my phone. 

Comments

  1. sophia says:

    Dear Lord. Seriously. I get you. I don't like to visit the same restaurant twice, let alone blog it. But dang. This restaurant…truffles…eggs…duck…ravioli…oh man oh man oh man! I think I will go into a heart attack eating this from ecstasy!

  2. Fritos and Foie Gras says:

    @Sophia – maybe, but what a way to GO! ;)

  3. LG says:

    Pure bliss.

  4. Sarah says:

    Such a lovely dinner!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Thin slices of toast, topped with creamy ricotta, rich hazelnuts, and just a drizzle of honey. The hazelnuts really put this over the top, emphasizing the milky, clean taste of the ricotta. The lemon was not noticeable on its own, but surely cut through the sweetness of the honey. This might be as good as the sheep’s milk ricotta at Locanda Verde. [...]

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