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Truffle events/ dinners in the bay area?

Are any of you considering any of the truffle events/ dinners in the bay area? Just got the email from Oliveto's Bob Klein and was reminded of their upcoming truffle dinners. My last two experiences at Oliveto (one for their tomato dinner) were fair at best (and pretty bad QPR I felt) so I'm not sure that I would go back there for a truffle dinner.

Any other recs for a truffle dinner or menus serving truffles? They seem to cropping up on a lot of menus at this time of the year - would love to hear about any that might be considered a "good value". Thanks so much!

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Oliveto Cafe
5655 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

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  1. We had a fabulous meal at one of Oliveto's truffle dinners last year, though ironically we decided that from now on we might skip the truffles (though Klein says they're cheap this year). Looks like I neglected to post about it here:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/573522

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    Oliveto Cafe
    5655 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

    1. Looks like Palio d'Asti (in San Francisco) has a truffle dinner scheduled for this Friday evening.

      http://www.paliodasti.com/events.php

      1 Reply
      1. re: DavidT

        Note that Palio d'Asti is on restaurant.com, although I'd check and make sure you can use the certificates for truffle dinners.

      2. Perbacco is doing truffle dishes nightly as is The Plumed Horse.

        I had several truffle dishes at Perbacco about 10 days ago and they were fantastic.

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        Perbacco
        230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

        The Plumed Horse
        14555 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, CA 95070

        1. Not a truffle dinner or even a truffle event, but La Ciccia recently had a truffle honey on its cheese plate (paired with Sardinian cheeses, natch). It was out of this world.

          Jardiniere had white truffles as a special add-on on the menu when I dined there recently (but I didn't try them and we weren't told the price.)

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          La Ciccia
          291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

          1. I heard the chef from Poggio in Sausalito on the radio, and they're having truffle dinners -- next week, I think. I wonder if you go on Monday if you can have both truffles and porchetta!

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            Poggio
            777 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965

            1. Turns out Delfina is doing Truffle Dinners this week - the menu looks fabulous! I will report back.

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              Delfina Restaurant
              3621 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

              1. Farina is doing a truffle dinner on Tuesday, Dec 8th. The menu read amazing when i went there for dinner last week and i booked a table on the spot. I went to Palio d'Asti 2 years ago for the truffle dinner and was really disappointed. It just wasnt anything special, which is hard to imagine for a truffle dinner. Will report back about Farina!

                1. I received an email from Donato Enoteca in Redwood City that they're serving white truffles. There doesn't appear to be any mention on their website, so you may have to call them.

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                  Donato Enoteca
                  1041 Middlefield Rd, Redwood City, CA 94063

                  1. Due to the abundance of truffles (which may mean lower prices), Oliveto is extending their dinners through Saturday. Tonight's the start.

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                    Oliveto Restaurant
                    5655 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

                    1. A friend I follow on Twitter raved about a truffle dish at SPQR and claim it is is serving them and posted a great pic. Thinking about heading in tonight. Will post if I go.

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                      SPQR
                      1911 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: Amy G

                        So I convinced a friend who was in town on expense account to take me to SPQR for dinner to try the white truffles that my friend raved about. I was very happily impressed by the overall experience. I used to frequent the restaurant quite a bit when it first opened until I moved to a different part of town. This was my first visit after the chef change. As others have posted, it is a very different restaurant and probably for the better--although I do mourn the loss of the fried section. We had a 8:30 pm reservation that I secured on OpenTable at around 3 pm the same day. We were seating upon our arrival and then the first change struck me: they put padded benches along the walls and the seats are padded. Overall the seating arrangement seamed more comfortable than before. It also seemed less noisy and it was easy to have a conversation. Service through the night was really stellar. Our waiter just had perfect timing and was very knowledgeable about the food and wines and provided really helpful guidance in navigating all the new menu choices. So now onto the food and wine:

                        Appetizers: We sharedthe yellow tail crudo with fingerlime; and the chicory salad with fried anchovies. Our waiter warned us that portions were small and if we were very hungry to order 6-8 dishes. The house made ricotta still haunts me today. It was amazing. I have not seen goats milk ricotta around and when I asked who they get it from, I found out is house made from goats milk delivered by a Marin farmer. The crudo was delicious. It was garnished with what looked like transparent tobiko but turned out to be the juice nodules of the finger lime. Great balance of salt and acidity and beautifully presented. The chicory salad had some caramelized onions, bacon, and fried whole anchovies. I was a bit skeptical of combining bacon and anchovies but it really worked. Again really nice balance of acid, sweet, and salt. We paired these dishes with two half glasses of wine new to me called petite vansang. The flowery aromatics was a great pairing with the crudo.

                        Pastas: We asked our server about the white truffles and she confirmed having them in a dish of house made tagliatelle with butter and truffles. Supposedly it was 4 ounces of truffles and the whole dish cost $30. It was a phenomenal value as I think there were close to 6-7 ounces of truffles. Very silky egg pasta. Super aromatic truffles and for the first time I could really smell and *taste* the truffle with its slight musky after taste. The whole restaurant smelled of them when we walked in. Probably the best truffle dish I have had. We also had a small stuffed pasta that looked something like a cross between a tortelloni and a ravioli. I was made out of chestnut flour and stuffed with chestnut puree, dressed with a butter and orange sauce and green I have never herd off called stridoli. Also a great dish. We paired this course with a caraffe of nebiolo from the Lombardy region. It was perfect with the pastas.

                        We had ordered one main: The rabbit with beans and cranberries, but decided to add on another pasta because they were so good. We ordered the stinging nettle torchio with prosciutto and garlic cream sauce. They add nettles to the dough of the pasta which is shaped like torches. It was nicely al dente and good contrast to the egg pastas. I was thankful that our waiter insisted that we order this. I was reluctant upon her recommendation because she mentioned that the dry pasta was made in house like before and I was not a fan of the pasta at SPQR under the old chef because it seemed simultaneously mushy and gummy. Happy to say the new chef fixed the problem and all pastas--soft egg pastas and al dente extruded pastas--are now top notch.

                        We had the rabbit as a final savory course. It was also very good, but hard to follow the pasta acts. We paired these final two dishes with two half glasses of the lagrein.

                        Our waiter sent out a dessert after she heard me say that I was reluctant to order dessert because I read that their pastry chef left. However, it seems like the new chef must have trained in pastry because his house made panettone pudding is sublime.

                        My overall impression is that the new chef has a nice ability to balance flavors with artful presentations without feeling fussy.

                        Total tab including tax and tip was $198 which is pricey but considering the truffles, all the wine and all the food (we waddled at the end and could have done without that final pasta), it was good value. The food, service, and overall experience just seemed several notches better than it was before. To me this is now a destination restaurant that I am willing to book in advance and cross the city for. Before it was a very good neighborhood restaurant. The prices reflect the changes.

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                            Yes sorry. Not good with measurements.

                          2. re: Amy G

                            That 4 gram truffled egg pasta for $30--that price includes the truffles?

                            I just ordered a half ounce truffle from the Pasta Shop, but it looks like the going rate in restaurants is $7 per gram or less, and the Pasta Shop prices are well above that. I'm having second thoughts! Your meal sounds like it was amazing.

                            1. re: SteveG

                              The Pasta Shop price is well above $196/oz. ?

                                1. re: Paul H

                                  Pasta shop is about $10 to $11 a gram but prices can fluctuate.

                                2. re: SteveG

                                  Yes, the $30 included the house made pasta AND the truffles which as mentioned the shavings were more generous than I have normally seen as it covered the whole top surface of the dish. Table next to us also ordered the dish and same amount on top. When I mentioned to the waiter that it seemed like a great bargain, she said that the restaurant is not making money on the truffles and sees their offering as a gesture off good will given the reopening.

                            2. Just back from truffle dinner at Oliveto. Truffles were good and $7 per gram. We had the crudo, the warm salad of liver and artichoke, the papardelle, the agnolotti, the rabbit, the poached eggs, and the duck. The standouts were the agnolotti (very nice with the truffles), the warm salad, the rabbit, and the duck. The fried rabbit was very moist, meaty, and pretty much perfect. The duck was amazing. Quite rare duck breast served w/ lovely pureed sweet potato (impressively light), deep fried chanterelles, and pickled sour cherries. Absolutely gorgeous. We also enjoyed the "Nun wine" quite a bit.

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                              Oliveto Cafe
                              5655 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: lexdevil

                                We likewise went last night to Oliveto. We had the Warm Salad of Poultry and Rabbit Livers, Fettunta of Truffled Tomino Fresca Cheese and new Olive oils, the Ravioli tondi of celery root and bone marrow, Crespelle of Dungeness Crab and porcini mushrooms, poached farm eggs with porcini mushrooms, and the Spit roasted porchetta. We purchased a truffle and had it shaved on all dishes except the first and last.

                                The Fettunta dish was really good but the Badia olive oil over powered the truffles a bit too much. If you get the Fettunta get the milder Nocellino olive oil if you will be adding truffles to the dish. The liver dish was also quite good (only had a little bit). I really liked the ravioli but didn't get enough truffles shaved on top. The bone marrow really made the dish (suprise suprise:) My wife had the crab dish and liked it but thought the top was over cooked (it has been put under a salamander for a bit and she thought it was too crusty). She mentioned this and the waiter talked to the kitchen to see what they could get out quickly (I was almost finished with my second course) and the waiter said they could get a simple cut pasta dish (very thin pasta) which was not on the menu out quickly. My wife said "sure" and Chef Paul Canales soon delivered a very large dish of pasta done in butter and olive oil. Chef Canales then shaves a fair amount of truffles onto the pasta. This turned out to be the best dish of the evening with the truffles (sometimes simple is better). We will be going back on Saturday specifically to get this dish (Chef Canales said if we called ahead we could get this again). The Porchetta was a huge piece which was quite good, I didn't get truffles on this. The eggs were the second best dish of the night (my wife seemed to pick all the best stuff) and went very well with the truffles. You could really tell the eggs was super fresh as the yolks were almost orange in color.

                                The Oliveto Truffle dinner menu is available at http://www.oliveto.com/dinnermenu.pdf. Things may change a bit later in the week but the menu should stay pretty much the same.

                                Btw, if you see Bob Klein ask him about getting the truffles into the country, I heard it was quite and adventure (he hadn't arrived as of about 5:00 p.m. and dinners started at 5:30 p.m.).

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                                Oliveto Cafe
                                5655 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

                                Fresca Restaurant
                                24 West Portal Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94127

                                1. re: skwid

                                  Those egg yolks were really beautiful.

                              2. I know that Dopo did some special truffle dishes last year, does anyone know if they're going to do that this year?

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                                Dopo
                                4293 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611

                                1. Any restaurant offer truffle events/dinners in January?

                                  I went to Italy the first week of December and had great fresh truffle dishes while I was there. I can't stop thinking about those dishes and want to find restaurants back in the Bay Area that offer them.