NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- White Truffles -- treasures of the culinary world -- are back in season. Historically foraged by specially selected pigs almost exclusively in the Piedmont region of Italy, now dogs have jumped in on the action. Even so, this delicacy is becoming more precious with time; the truffle population is dwindling. Before that happens, though, TravelsinTaste sought out some restaurants across the country featuring this luxurious delicacy.
In New York City, Iron Chef's Marc Forgione has created a special white truffle tasting menu at his eponymous restaurant, including such delectable items as Matsutake mushroom and oxtail pho with wild hon shimeji and white truffle; hamachi with truffle cloud, Granny Smith apple and Osetra caviar; baked potato ravioli with white truffle; and Maine lobster with cauliflower puree, golden raisins and black truffle emulsion. When Forgione is in the house -- which is frequently -- he'll serve the table himself. The menu will be served at only one table for two a night, so make a reservation early. At Scott Conant's Scarpetta, guests can ask to have white truffles shaved over any dish. As if that's not enough, it's time for the annual White Truffle Gala at Tony and daughter Marissa May's SD26,where chef Matteo Bergamini will prepare a multicourse dinner complete with wine. Guests will be able to shave their own white truffles over dishes such as uovo fritto con toma fondue Piemontese, ravioli "Dal Plin" and U.S.-raised beef filet with foie gras and white truffle gelato. The guest of honor? May's very own truffle hunter, Sandrino Romanelli. "White truffles are pivotal ingredients for an Italian cuisine at its best," May says. Chef Andrea Cavaliere at Cecconi's in West Hollywood, Calif., will be offering diners three ways to indulge in white truffles this month: the "One-Hundred Dollar Pizza," complete with quail egg, leeks, burrata and shaved white truffle; a special white truffle scrambled eggs on toast and champagne; and a five-course white truffle dinner with optional wine pairings to be held Wednesday. Among other truffle-enhanced goodies, the dinner includes cauliflower and sweet potato soup with shaved white truffle; creamy baked quail egg with shaved white truffle; and venison medallions, polenta, wild mushrooms and shaved white truffle. The scrambled eggs on toast with shaved white truffle "really showcases the ingredient and allows diners to indulge in the season without committing to a full tasting menu," Cavaliere says. Stephane Strouk, owner of Monsieur Marcel, a gourmet market in Los Angeles, sells white truffles every year so enthusiasts can enjoy the delicacy at home. "We've been carrying winter truffles for about 15 years. They're flown in every Thursday straight from Alba, are on the shelves Friday and are usually gone by Monday. A majority of our business is pre-order, but people do come in asking for them. In fact, we've seen a steady rise in truffle buyers over the last few years," he explains. "More and more customers are more familiar with the product and interested in trying them at home." Valentino in Las Vegas' Venetian is featuring daily white truffle specials. James Beard Award-winning chef Luciano Pellegrini will be serving prime beef carpaccio with micro arugula, shaved parmigiano and fresh shaved burgundy truffle; short ribs ravioli with sauteed mushrooms over truffle cream sauce and shaved burgundy truffle; and white boschetto cheese risotto with fresh shaved Alba white truffle. At Caesar's Palace, Restaurant Guy Savoy (which bought a 1.16-pound white truffle last year) has a whole White Truffle Menu, including Alba white truffle risotto; brie white truffle; and his signature grapefruit terrine with Earl Grey tea sauce. Delmonico Steakhouse will feature a truffle dinner, including white and black truffles, Friday and Saturday. Guests will be able to delight in dishes such as angel hair pasta with artisanal butter and fresh Italian white truffles; and fresh Alaskan king crab with Mache lettuce, heirloom lemon vinaigrette, shaved white truffles and bruleed citrus.
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