[image-1] Some people skydive to get a cheap thrill, others ride motorcycles. I dine beyond my means. I know, nothing says living on the edge like paying $150 for what amounts to two amuse-bouches. But what can I say? We don’t pick our vices, they pick us.
Such was the case last night when I dropped $50 on Le Farfalle‘s Tuscan white truffle shavings, a new seasonal accompaniment Chef Michael Toscano literally rolled out (the truffles arrive on a special bar cart he calls Eleanor) last week.
Now first, let me attempt to rationalize this ridiculous purchase:
I was at a party with friends I never get to see.
We were celebrating an upcoming wedding.
The weather was below 70 degrees.
Uh … I really wanted to eat a Tuscan white truffle ….
Surely that warranted the splurge? (Checks bank account: No, in fact, it does not.)
But pushing aside my account balance like a Trump supporter dismisses facts, I carried on, and placed my order for duck confit agnolotti ($20) with shaved Tuscan white truffles ($50) with my most Gaga of poker faces. (Click here a quick primer on why white truffles cost so much.)
The dish was presented with the typical delivery of any high end restaurant, that is until Eleanor the truffle wagon pulled up. The waiter pulled out a scale, placed it next to my bowl of agnolotti and then, like a geology experiment, revealed what looked like a rare geod — the almighty truffle. He weighed it, shaved off a handful of pieces, returned the ‘shroom to the drug scale, weighed it again, and then, pleased with his findings, returned it to the cart. If you don’t like unnecessary attention, perhaps this isn’t the dish for you because for the amount of pomp and circumstance afforded the truffle service, both of us, fungus and myself, should have been wearing crowns.
I eagerly took a first bite. The rich sauce, a light brown gravy, served as a baby pool for the tiny pillows of duck confit-stuffed-pasta to float in. Each agnolotto was just al dente enough to absorb some of the sauce while maintaining a necessary chew that revealed the duck within, and it was exceptional. But as I labored to not hoover the plate into my mouth, I questioned whether the truffle could improve upon something so good. Then I got a funghi-topped bite and behold, an angel of the Lord came down to me and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded my mouth and I was sore afraid.
Translation: That shit was bananas.
The funky, musky flavor of the truffle doubled down on the rich agnolotti. The murky, earthiness made what had once been mere pasta into something more prehistoric, a taste that only occurs in the deepest depths of nature.
Or at least that’s what I told myself as I handed the waiter by Mastercard. Yes, the bill will haunt my dreams, but not as much as that freaking terrific plate of pasta. I know it would have tasted just as good without the truffle, but those shavings added a certain je ne sais quoi and for my money, I’d do the truffle shuffle again.
Meet Eleanor, our new table side White Truffle cart. The first of the season Tuscan White Truffles from @mike1226 @urbanitruffles have arrived. Come by to experience chef Michael tossing our house made Fettuccine with White Truffles and Parmigiano Reggiano at your table. #lefarfallechs #whitetruffles #pasta #chseats
A photo posted by Le Farfalle Osteria (@lefarfallechs) on