Where to Indulge in Italian White Truffles around Boston This Winter
Add some earthy extravagance to everything from classic Italian pastas, to lobster rolls, to ramen.
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A bright spot of this otherwise dark time of year? White truffles. An Italian delicacy, these wild tubers are harvested annually from the northwestern region—they’re best known from Alba, Piedmont—and brought into restaurants around the world to add earthy extravagance to all sorts of dishes. The season starts in late October and typically extends to the new year. From truffle tasting menus at the swanky new casino to an inexpensive lobster roll flecked with the good stuff, here’s where to find white truffles in Boston throughout the 2019 season.
Chef David Bazirgan has upgraded a few favorite pastas, polenta, and risotto dishes with a $35 white truffle add-on for the season. Try his roasted squash and ricotta agnolotti with brown butter, hazelnuts, fried sage and ricotta salt, accented with a fresh dusting of the delicate tuber; or up the earthiness of the matsutake risotto (pictured).
Kimpton Marlowe Hotel, 25 Edwin H. Land Blvd., Cambridge, 617-868-4444, bambara-cambridge.com.
Fresh white truffles abound at chef Michael Pagliarini’s Harvard Square restaurant. Add seven grams to any dish for $95, or order straight from the white truffle menu, which features dishes like hand-chopped raw beef carne cruda with white truffles, Parmigiano, arugula, and rosemary flatbread; and white truffle arancini with roasted sunchoke chips and taleggio fonduta. Make a Sunday night of it, when Benedetto breaks out special bottles of wine at great prices for the weekly Sommelier Cellar Selections series.
1 Bennett St., Cambridge, 617-661-5050, benedettocambridge.com.
Bistro du Midi
Throughout the months of November and December, chef Robert Sisca has a special saffron tagliatelle dish on his menu, bolstered with truffle burrata, wild mushrooms, and fresh Alba truffles shaved on top. The Public Garden-side bistro is also celebrating 10 years of business on November 23, bringing back some retrospective menu items for the occasion—including an indulgent white truffle martini that was on the opening menu. Plus, truffle lovers will want to reserve their seats now for a Piemonte Celebration dinner on November 20, hosted by chef Sisca and sommelier Chris Blanken and featuring dishes like bluefin tuna crudo with foie gras “snow” and fresh white truffles, paired with rare Italian wines.
272 Boylston St., Boston, 617-426-7878, bistrodumidi.com.
So far this season, chef Jason Bond has added tuber Magnatum to a variety of pastas, eggs, and risotto dishes—such as honeynut squash with celeriac noodles and walnut beurre blanc (pictured)—sized for two to share as an addition to a five-course tasting menu. Through New Year’s Eve, depending on availability, the chef hopes to be able to offer seven grams of shaved Alba truffles as a $21 add-on to any dish at his Cambridge restaurant.
279A Broadway, Cambridge, 617-661-0009, bondircambridge.com.
The bygone Piedmontese restaurant Erbaluce was a seasonal mainstay for white Alba truffles—and this season, its former chef is bringing the goods to a South End hotspot. Chef Charles Draghi is now at the helm of Cinquecento, and he’s offering his classic tajarin (Piedmont-style egg tagliatelle) with Urbani Truffles as a special through November 17. There’s also white corn polenta on his White Truffle Festival menu, with Robiola cheese and shaved white truffles; plus the option to add the delicacy to anything for $50.
500 Harrison Ave., South End, Boston, 617-338-9500, cinquecentoboston.com.
A white truffle special changes nightly at this modern French destination—think: fontina cheese-filled tortellini with white truffles shaved to order table-side. Guests can also opt to add a white truffle course onto chef Chris Coombs’ nightly five-course tasting menu—or go all in on the market-priced, five-course white truffle tasting menu, which also changes daily.
371 Commonwealth Ave., Back Bay, Boston, deuxave.com.
The Back Bay’s Italian marketplace and food hall is breaking down the stereotypes of inaccessibility that surround this import with a storewide truffle takeover. During lunch or dinner, guests can add a $45 supplement of white truffles to any dish at La Pizza & La Pasta, La Pescheria, or La Piazza. Plus, there’s a special white-truffle tajarin (egg yolk pasta) on the restaurants’ menus. Throughout the season, the hidden jewel third-floor Terra offers both three- and seven-course “truffle celebration” menus, for just $45 or $95 respectively, with an optional $35-$55 wine pairing. There’s also an egg dish with white truffles to order a la carte. Total bonus: Your indulgence actually supports Hurricane Dorian relief efforts in the Bahamas, as a portion of sales from Terra’s truffle dinners goes to Key West Cares. Finally, mark your calendars for Truffle Days on Wednesday, November 27, and Sunday, December 22: For two days only just before the holidays, fresh white truffles are at their lowest price of the year so you can bring some home to your own table.
Prudential Center, 800 Boylston St., Boston, 617-807-7300, eataly.com.
Fox & the Knife
Before this South Boston dining destination’s first truffle season, chef Karen Akunowicz spent some time in Piedmont. (Lucky!) The Food & Wine Best New Restaurant has a classic tajarin on the menu, with plenty of butter; as well as a burrata set with white truffle. As the holiday season sets in, look out for additional white truffle specials, like agnolotti and gnocchi.
28 W. Broadway, Boston, 617-766-8630, foxandtheknife.com.
An indulgent holiday-season lunch doesn’t have to mean several courses (and glasses of wine), over a couple of hours, inside a decked-out dining room: counter-service seafood shack Luke’s Lobster proves that with a season-long white truffle-lobster roll special. Thanks to a partnership with New York-based importer Urbani Truffles, the butter-infused white truffle lobster roll is just $19 at all Luke’s locations.
53 Northern Ave., Seaport, 617-848-0911; 290 Washington St., Boston, 857-317-4843, 75 Exeter St., Boston, 857-350-4626, lukeslobster.com.
Menton, No. 9 Park, and Sportello
Elevate any dish—from pastas, to risotto, to soft-scrambled eggs—with five grams of white truffles at chef Barbara Lynch’s flagship on Beacon Hill, at her modern fine-dining room Menton, or at Fort Point sister spot Sportello. Chef de cuisine Lucas Sousa is expecting the delivery of an 18-ounce (!!) truffle just before Thanksgiving, so there will be plenty to go around.
Menton, 354 Congress St., Beacon Hill, 617-737-0099, mentonboston.com; No. 9 Park St., Fort Point, Boston, 617-742-9991, no9park.com; Sportello, 348 Congress St., Fort Point, 617-737-1234, sportelloboston.com.
White truffles need nothing more than an eggy noodle and aged Parmesan to shine—so that’s exactly how chef Daniel Bruce is serving them at the Boston Harbor Hotel this season. Find the market-priced special pasta uovo on the menu nightly through December.
Boston Harbor Hotel, 70 Rowes Wharf, Boston, 617-439-3995, meritagetherestaurant.com.
One of the most splurge-worthy dining destinations anywhere has even more reason to indulge this winter: O Ya Boston is offering a full-on white truffle grand tasting menu. The $100 supplement features four courses, including uni caviar nigiri, white truffle ramen with chicken broth (pictured), and a petit strip loin of Wagyu beef. Or, stick to a la carte ordering—guests can add white truffles to anything on the chef Tim Cushman’s innovative menu for $50 per serving.
9 East St, Boston, 617-654-9900, o-ya.restaurant.
Sinatra and Rare Steakhouse at Encore Boston Harbor
In addition to nightly Alba truffle specials on the menu at both of the Encore Boston Harbor’s swanky imports from Las Vegas, Sinatra chef Joseph Leibowitz and his team are busy getting ready for an extravagant, seven-course truffle dinner ($250) at the Italian spot on December 19, too. Expect fine Italian wines paired with dishes like winter greens with white truffles and a white truffle vinaigrette; seared sea scallops with cauliflower puree, roasted porcini mushrooms and shaved white truffles; and even truffle gelato.
1 Broadway, Everett, 857-770-7070, encorebostonharbor.com.
Chef Jamie Mammano’s Copley Square Italian spot has an eight-gram truffle supplement ($90) to add to any pasta dish.
1 Huntington Ave., Boston, 617-412-4600, sorellinaboston.com.
Just say the word and the chefs at this South End standout will shave Urbani Truffles onto any dish you wish. Their suggested moves, though, are atop creamy risotto bianco, or via pastry chef Meghan Thompson’s white truffle gelato. Sweet.
569 Columbus Ave, South End, Boston, 617-536-9500, srvboston.com.
Chef Conor Dennehy is highlighting white Alba truffles with a $75 supplement on both his a la carte and tasting menus.
377 Walden St., Cambridge, 617-714-5584, talullacambridge.com.
James Beard Award-winning chef Tony Messina has a few ways for guests to enjoy Alba truffles this season, including his signature cacio e pepe-style ramen noodle special with miso butter, white truffle, and egg yolk. For the most earthy extravagance, opt for the chef’s whim tasting menu ($185) of truffle-flecked dishes, or just add it to anything you’d like for $85.
370A Commonwealth Ave., Boston, 617-536-7200, uni-boston.com.