We all know that apples, asparagus, pumpkins, and corn and tomatoes all have a season — but did you know that truffles are a highly esteemed, seasonal eat too? Sure, you can expect to find a steady, year-round supply of black fungi at the world’s swankiest restaurants, but the most valuable item of all — the pale and perfumed white Alba — is generally only available from October through November. Want a tiny, dearly-priced taste of the multi-thousand dollars per pound prize? Here’s where to get your truffle on at establishments throughout the city…
Vaucluse: Dainty, nuanced truffles are ideally matched with simple, starchy bases like pasta, so it’s always smart to turn to NYC’s noodle master, the venerable Michael White; look for Risotto or Tagliatelle crowned with truffles for $145 at Marea, Truffled Cappelletti with prosciutto at Osteria Morini, and fungi-enhanced Rabbit and Reblochon Ravioli at Vaucluse.
100 E 63rd St, (646) 869-2300
Gabriel Kreuther: Truffles are basically considered an everyday ingredient at Gabriel Kreuther’s haute Midtown restaurant. You’ll already find black beauties incorporated in dishes like Compressed Hamachi with celery or Foie Gras Terrine with truffle praline. Although for $65, you can order delicate Tuscan whites shaved over anything on the menu.
41 W 42nd St, (212) 257-5826
Sessanta: John McDonald has evenly divided his seasonal truffle bounty amongst all of his Manhattan restaurants (Lure, Bowery Meat Company & I could go on), including his new Italian spot, Sessanta (where chef Paul DiBari is shaving the aromatic fungi over plates of Cacio e Pepe) as well as his partnerships with Josh Capon — the casual B&B Winepub (try the not so casual White Truffle Burger, dripping with robiola cheese and truffle aioli) and the protein-focused Bowery Meat Company; featuring filet mignon with white truffles shaved tableside.
60 Thompson St, (212) 219-8119
La Sirena: Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich are amongst the first to jump upon the white truffle bandwagon each year, so it’s no surprise to spot them at their supersized La Sirena. For $120, the Fettucine al Tartufo already comes anointed with guffanti butter and white truffles, but any noodle can be similarly upgraded for $50; from Pici with chanterelles and thyme, to Pumpkin Agnolotti and Lasagne al Pesto e Patate; layered with pesto, potatoes and béchamel.
88 9th Ave, (212) 977-6096
Racines NY: Frederic Duca’s Racines NY is honoring autumn with wild game specials (such as Wood Pigeon Tourte with mushroom duxelles and foie gras) as well as earthy foraged delicacies like truffles — think cured and pan-seared Hake in a Vin Jaune sauce with white truffles, roasted porcini mushrooms and risotto made with celery root.
94 Chambers St, (212) 227-3400
Urbani Truffle Lab NYC: The world’s leading truffle purveyor launched this combination test kitchen and tasting room just this past year, dedicated to furthering access to the foraged delicacy within an interactive setting. Visitors can enroll in classes like “Truffling with Pizza,” “Truffle Pasta,” or “Easy Christmas Entertaining with Truffles,” or purchase tickets to a 6-course charity dinner with chef Paul Bartolotta on November 10th, benefiting CityMeal and honoring Alba’s treasured white truffle harvest.
10 W End Ave, (212) 247-8800