Every once in a while, you have an obligation to treat yourself. And if this duty happens during the height of truffle season, you’re in luck. We’re not even going to mention the vulgar ‘drizzle’ of truffle-flavored oil, we’re talking about the real deal: freshly shaved truffles. However, this pricey fungus could cost you a fortune if you weren’t cautious — for example, the excellent white truffle Focaccia di Reccostracchino at Chi Spacca costs $110 for a fancy piece of bread. Instead, hit up the following dishes to satisfy your truffle cravings without maxing out your credit card.

Oven-roasted potatoes at Crossroads

Like a perfect French croissant, the secret of Tal Ronnen’s oven-roasted potatoes resides in its meticulous layers: the potatoes are thinly cut, soft and crispy with a copious amount of shaved truffles. Add a few sprigs of fresh thyme and some vegan parmesan (you won’t even believe it’s vegan), and for $15 you get one of Crossroads‘ best dishes.

Chawan mushi at Shunji

The obvious choice for truffle on the West Side would have been Tortelli di zucca at Felix, i.e. little cushions of heaven made with autumn squash and Umbrian black truffles. Instead, try something unusual: Santa Barbara uni with sliced white truffles on chawan mushi. Chawan mushi is a Japanese egg custard with sweet corn, and Shunji makes an excellent version of it.

Grilled cheese at Otium

After waiting in line to see the Broad’s last exhibit, you’ll want to reward yourself with a decadent meal at Otium. Chef Tim Hollingsworth’s grilled cheese will do the trick, with added truffles, country ham and excellent comté. Go ‘all in’ and pair your $14 dish with a nice bottle of Bordeaux — just ask Andrew and he will know!

Tartufo pizza at Pizzana

At Pizzana, the Tartufo pizza is at market price. This very smart choice will allow you get an Napolitean-style pizza with an unforgettable amount of truffles for around $30… Perfect crust, shaved black truffles and gooey cheese is all there is to say. 

Coquillettes gratin at Belle Vie

The Americans love their mac & cheese, but the French have their own childhood staple: gratin de coquillettes. At Belle Vie, the Michelin-starred chef makes an upscale version with organic pasta, comté AOP, and cream with thick pieces of truffles. For only 14 bucks, all the French expats in town are blaming their mamans for not thinking about that earlier.


Pizzana © Amy Neunsinger