I think I got ripped off last night!
A very popular New Orleans restaurant featured 2 specials, an app and an entree, with fresh local chanterelle mushrooms. The app was a pasta dish with the mushrooms, green onions and some shredded short rib meat. The entreee was a whole flounder fried with the mushrooms on the side, about 4-5 of them. Bill comes: the small pasta dish was $14, the flounder was $30. When I asked why so high, the watier said, Sir, these are FRESH chanterelles! They are very expensive!
Fresh porcini mushrooms, maybe. But any number of restaurants in New Orleans utilize fresh chanterelles in season and don't then jack up the price. Am I wrong to think I got jobbed?
Oh, on a high chanterelle note: went to RioMar Saturday night, and to no surprise, they featured a beautiful chanterelle dish: an app featuring crostini, topped with chanterelles, melted manchego cheese, generous amounts of jumbo lump crabmeat, and, if I recall, a sherry cream sauce. Pure flavor explosion! If it's still around when you go there, snag it!
In Indiana, not NoLa, but the chanterelles have been incredible this year: meaty and flavorful. Someone has to go out in the woods and hunt these things down, then clean the buggers. They are worth every penny you spend for them.
Don't be so cryptic - spit out the name of the place. I think that $14 is too much. I can buy a 1/4 pound at a local farmer's market for $6.
It really is hard to judge without knowing at least what kind of restaurant it was. How did these pricescompare to other apps and entrees on the menu? Often the specials are a little more expensive anyway.
But, yes, fresh chanterelles are expensive. When Whole Foods has them, they can be anywhere from $25 to $40/lb., and they're not usually in very good shape. (I wish I could find a local source. Haven't seen them at the FM since pre-Katrina--the very Saturday before Katrina, in fact. But the folks who uses to have them--at a very reasonably $10/lb--never came back to the market.)