It's the time of year when white truffles, the jewels of Italy’s gastronomic crown, decorate plates at restaurants around the globe. They're one of the most expensive foods in the world — a pound can easily fetch up to $10,000 — so delighting your palate with truffles does not come cheap.
White truffles are extremely rare. Available for only a couple of months, they're foraged by pigs or dogs in northern Italy's Piedmont region, most famously in the countryside around the city of Alba.
The classic preparation is shaving the truffles over risotto or mashed potatoes, but many of Miami’s eateries have devised their own ways to use the delicacy. Here are the restaurants that are making the best use of this fashionable gourmet treat.
Chef Neil O’Connell suggests adding white truffle shavings (for an additional $65) over two of its pasta dishes: the ricotta raviolini (corn, charred scallions, and honshimeji mushrooms, $25) and wild mushroom tagliatelle (wild mushrooms, asparagus, and truffle sabayon, $29). It's also possible to add shaved truffles to other dishes for the cost of the dish plus $65. If pasta isn't on your menu, the chef recommends adding shaved truffles to the restaurant’s cream polenta with fricassee and the steak tartare.
2. Quattro Gastronomia Italiana
For its celebration of truffle season, the Lincoln Road eatery Quattro Gastronomia Italiana has created a special truffle menu available during lunch and dinner through December. The offerings include Alba white truffle shavings on langhe tagliolini in Italian butter sauce ($85), risotto with Piemontese toma cheese ($85), veal scaloppine in a truffle wine sauce ($95), and thinly sliced beef tenderloin with sautéed porcini mushrooms ($95).
3. Gianni’s at the Villa
Going for a more classic preparation, Gianni's at the Villa offers a special risotto available only November 23 through 27. The lobster pumpkin white truffle risotto ($50) features roasted Florida pumpkin, Maine lobster, carnaroli rice, white truffle honey, and shaved white truffles.
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4. The Dutch
Andrew Carmellini's South Beach restaurant, the Dutch, has concocted a special pizza for white truffle season. The Tartuffo pizza ($24-plus, depending upon the market price of white truffles) features fontina cheese, caramelized onions, organic egg, and shaved white truffles.
5. Bagatelle Miami
At Bagatelle, Italian truffles seamlessly merge with French fare in menu items such as pomme purée with truffles ($15), pizza à la truffe noire ($22), and a whole farm-raised truffled chicken for two ($69). Add shaved white truffles to any dish (market price). If you'd rather drink in the atmosphere, try the Black Gold, a truffle-infused bourbon cocktail.