Truffles, some see them as mushrooms, some see them as food royalty, I see them as delicious and I had the opportunity to have one of the best meals ever at Scarpetta recently.
For those of you that are not familiar with truffles, these are not chocolate bon bons I am talking about. Truffles are part of the mushroom family, a fungus, one of the many species of the genus Tuber. These are highly sought after for their distinctive smell which in me triggers and immediate need to eat some. Prices can vary depending on the availability of the different types (black, white, Burgundy, etc.) A 4 pound White Truffle was auctioned this year for $330,000! Typically the peak season for truffles is October through the beginning of December, which leads me to this phenomenal meal at Scarpetta.
First, I love Scarpetta for it's food in general, understated yet elegant look, and their Negroni options. Now add to all this the fact that we went for a truffle tasting and I knew this would be a great night. Before I even start with the truffles I have to comment on the bread basket. It contains very nice focaccias and comes with an olive oil citrus mix as well as a honeyed dollop of mascarpone and a small portion of caponata. The true star is the Stromboli with broccoli rabe and salami. This was so good, tasting like a pizza sandwich, I could literally eat this all day.
Moving on with the tasting we started with a nice prosecco to pair with Diver Scallops served with crunchy chestnuts, black trumpet mushrooms, apples and celeriac. This and a couple other dishes were presented with glass, igloo looking domes that presented the dish beautifully. To finish the dish our server came over and shaved burgundy black truffles over the top with a flourish, "making it rain" with slivers of the valuable fungus. The faint sweet taste of the sea from the scallops were balanced perfectly with the earthiness of the mushrooms. This dish was followed by glass of Barbera d' Alba served with Mascarpone Cappellacci. This is kind of like a ravioli but shaped more like a triangle. They were small enough to eat each one whole and when bitten into it was like a truffle explosion in my mouth. This was a good thing and though it was close, this was my favorite dish of the night. These were also topped with freshly shaved Burgundy truffles.
The next course was accompanied by a Pinot Nero, kind of like the Italian version of Pinot Noir. This dish was Tagliatelle pasta with shaved White Truffles. Perfect al dente pasta, a cream sauce, white truffles and a nice glass of wine; why can't I eat like this everyday? The next course featured a seared Turbot with porcini mushrooms, parsnips and of course shaved black truffles. This was served with a Terlaner which had a great fruitiness to it to pair perfectly with the fish. The last course featured tender Wagyu Ribeye Cap with potatos, fonduta and a Parmesan foam. This was topped with another flourish of White Truffles. The wine paired with it was a Bunello di Montelcino to stand up to the fattiness of the beef. After all that there was still dessert which included chocolate truffles and cheese, but by the time they came out I could barely eat another bite.
I have to thank the staff of Scarpetta and LDV Hospitality for one of the best meals of my life and they have reaffirmed why Scarpetta continues to be a great destination for dining in New York City. On point service, beautiful and tasty food and a great location.