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Nov 6, 2006 01:36 AM

Truffle dinners?

Any recs on truffle dinners or tasting menus? I know Spago usually has a truffle course or two... and I know places like Melisse, Patina, etc., have the dinners. Anyone been this year and want to share experiences?


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  1. My "secret" way:
    1) get a small electronic scale (usu around $10)
    2) walk into any resto that presumably has truffles
    3) ignore any "truffle" item in the menu
    4) ask the waiter to bring the real thing for you to smell
    5) if you like what you smell, ask him how much per oz. A "reasonable" price goes (as of now) from $130 all the way up to $300 per oz, it's more expensive for bigger & nicer pieces.
    6) 1 oz truffle should be enough for 3 people. Weight the piece you're going to buy.
    7) Ask for a plain polenta or pasta dish (some people do it on eggs, I don't)
    8) Ask for the truffle to be shaved at the table, or just do it yourself.
    9) Wash down with something appropiate for the occasion, like a nice Barolo.
    10) Enjoy, you should be in Heaven at this point!

    3 Replies
    1. re: RicRios

      i would like to know where and when you have done what you describe. by the way wholesale cost of good quality whites right now are in the 1700-2000/# right now. where have you been the is charging 130/oz? that is a good bargain if it exists.

      1. re: staggerlee

        Drago (SM) charged $135/oz, but beware, Celestino must be there. In general, you need to deal directly w/ the owner, since this procedure is not quite common. At Spago, e.g., it's a lot more convoluted due to extended bureaucracy.

        1. re: RicRios

          i think the above poster meant by the oz and the other by the pound,

          yes, it should be anywhere from 150 to 160 per ounce, or more than or close to 2000 per pound.

    2. Good idea. That's the preferred way in Italy. Good move if they'll do it, as most places charge a rediculous amt of money for a few specs of truffle.

        1. VALENTINO dinner last week. (best White ALBA Truffles we've had in the last 5 years, so intense).

          1. At The Peninsula BH, the Belevedere restaurant had a guest chef who served a truffle tasting menu. I believe he is there a few times a year. I forget his name, though. He also just did an end of summer dinner. He used to be head chef at L'Orangerie. If he does the truffle dinner again, you should go. His name is Alain something I think.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Frank_Santa_Monica

              Alain Girard used to be the Chef at Bastide. Prior to that Lavande.

                1. re: lizziee

                  Chef's name is Giraud. Alan Giraud.

                  1. re: RicRios

                    Oh yeah, that's it! I've been wondering what his name was.