Where to Sniff Out White Truffles

By Rina Rapuano  |  October 9, 2013
Credit: Blue moon in her eyes

For chefs, October signals the beginning of white-truffle season, when the prized fungi are served to those willing to pay a steep premium. “The white ones are only available a couple of months of the year,” says chef Cathal Armstrong of Restaurant Eve. “Whether they are worth the money has a lot to do with how you like to spend and why you go to dinner. As for me and others like me, if I can get them, I order everything I can get my hands on.”

Here are some places around town where you can find white truffles this season:

Chef Massimo Fabbri at Ristorante Tosca is using them in risotto and on taglierini, both sauced with truffle butter, truffle oil and finished with shaved white truffles. He says he always has them on hand during their short season, but that it’s best to call ahead if you have your heart set on them. Fabbri can accommodate requests for a white-truffle tasting menu, and diners at the chef’s table can upgrade to a white-truffle tasting for an extra $35 per person (202-367-1990).

Bibiana is currently serving them with hay-smoked sweetbreads, romaine and brown butter, and also with a beef- and pork-filled agnolotti with chestnut purée and sage. Chef Nick Stefanelli plans to offer white-truffle dishes throughout the season (202-216-9550).

1789 Restaurant chef Anthony Lombardo is now incorporating them into a lasagnette dish with squid-ink pasta, fried oysters, Manila clams, pecans and butternut squash. Another dish gilded with white truffles is the hand-cut tagliatelle with truffled Vermont butter sauce (202-965-1789).

At Fiola, chef Fabio Trabocchi is shaving them liberally over bowls of risotto alla Parmigiana and a Piedmont-style pasta called tajarin. Both are tossed with truffle butter, finished with Parmigiano Vacche Rosse, and drizzled with a Barolo wine sauce made with dried porcini mushrooms, shallots and rosemary (202-628-2888). Fiola’s sister restaurant, Casa Luca, is serving them as well (202-628-1099).

Elisir and Restaurant Eve are planning to feature them later in the season. Restaurant Eve will offer a five-course tasting menu for $250 starting in November (only for those who know to request it), and will also have occasional specials on the regular menu (703-706-0450). Elisir chef Enzo Fargione intends to offer classic preparations of truffle fettuccine and risotto, and perhaps incorporate them into special dinners by request (202-546-0088).