Can You Smell It? It's Truffle Mania!


Oliveto’s honking 604-gram truffle from 2010. Photo from Oliveto.

You don’t have to travel abroad to enjoy the wonders of truffle season, they’re coming to all kinds of local restaurants near you!

Truffle season begins tonight at ~POGGIO~, where chef Peter McNee will feature the tartufo bianco of Alba, shaved tableside, on dishes from a special dinner menu focused on the Piemonte region (available through the end of the truffle season). Look for simple fried duck eggs, eight different handmade pastas, and rich egg yolk fonduta, as in the raviolo con uovo (a single large ravioli with ricotta and soft egg yolk), and tajarin al trentacinque rossi (hand-cut tagliatelle pasta with butter and sage).

Starting tomorrow, November 9th, ~PERBACCO~ will offer a special white truffle menu from chef Staffan Terje for as long as the truffle supply lasts; each dish from the dedicated menu will have three grams of white truffle. Every year, owner Umberto Gibin and chef Staffan hand select the truffles from their Italian purveyor who personally delivers the truffles from Piemonte. Highlights from the menu include antipasti of raviolo di topinambour con uovo (pasta filled with Jerusalem artichoke, farm fresh hen yolk, Langhe hazelnut butter), and primi of raviora del plin con fonduta di midollo (agnolotti filled with roasted bone marrow fonduta, chive butter, parmigiano reggiano) or cannelloni di vitellone al forno (rolled pasta filled with slow-roasted veal breast, savoy cabbage, seirass baked with fonduta Valdostana). Prices will reflect market price of truffles.

At ~DELFINA~, they’re celebrating two things, truffle season and their 13th anniversary! Join them on Monday November 14th, Tuesday November 15th, and Saturday November 19th for Piemontese white truffles and an à la carte menu inspired by Piemonte. The optional truffles can be shaved over any dish on the menu. Delfina will also be serving wines to suit the fare, some oldie but goodie dishes, and some new dishes too. Only a few seats remain.

~SAISON~ is offering a 12-course, truffle-inspired menu November 15th-19th. Select dishes will incorporate white and black truffles; expect the menu to feature ingredients sourced from the surrounding land, and open-fire cooking. Approximately $248 per (including a supplemental charge of $50/gram of truffles).

For two weeks from November 15th-30th, ~FIFTH FLOOR~ will showcase white truffles from Alba, Italy in a four-course tasting menu crafted by chef David Bazirgan. The courses include kampachi sashimi (sudachi, shiso, white truffle ponzu), traditional risotto with shaved white truffles, Fallon Hills Farm egg raviolo (chanterelle cream, grated white truffle), venison loin (chestnut, celeriac, pear, cassis, shaved white truffle), and white chocolate mousse (white truffle ice cream, white truffle pistachio macaroon sandwich, pear, cassis). Enjoy with wine pairings by sommelier Amy Goldberger, who has hand-selected wines from the same region.

Don’t forget the truffle dinners happening at ~FARINA~, which tablehopper mentioned a couple weeks ago.

For East Bay truffle mania, Wednesday through Saturday, November 16th-19th, ~OLIVETO~ will be serving the truffles that they’re personally bringing back from Italy. For his first truffle event at Oliveto, chef Jonah Rhodehamel will be combining the traditional with the creative in a northern Italian-style menu, a nod to the Piedmontese, Tuscan, and Umbrian sources of their truffles. Some samples of what you can expect: vellutata of celery root, sformatino, warm tart of housemade ricotta and apple with frisée and black truffle vinaigrette, tortelli of hen with fonduta Val d’Aosta, and pancetta-wrapped pork rotolo with truffle-studded farsa. They’ll be happy to shave a few grams of white truffle over some tajarin al burro right under your nose. Stay updated on their truffle hunt here.

Down on the Peninsula, ~DONATO ENOTECA~ is now serving tartufi bianchi from Alba in dishes like raviolo all’uovo (large raviolo with egg yolk and ricotta), tajarin (classic Piedmontese shoestring pasta with butter), and risotto e tartufo. Prices range from $40-$50 for pasta and risotto dishes, and around $60 for meat-based dishes. 1041 Middlefield Rd. at Main, Redwood City, 650-701-1000

For a focus on black truffles from France, look to cookbook author and French-cooking expert Patricia Wells at any of these events celebrating her newest book, Simply Truffles. On Saturday November 12th, 2pm-4pm, join Wells at The Pasta Shop in Rockridge Market Hall for a book signing, conversation, and tasting. That evening, she’ll be at Oliveto at 6:30pm, where the menu will feature several dishes from her book, like poached truffled farm egg with chanterelle mushrooms and black truffle zabaglione, and Alaskan halibut with truffled brandade and wild nettle risotto alla pilota. Wells will also be in conversation with Jane Goldman, founder and editor-in-chief of, on Wednesday November 16th from 11am-1pm at Purcell Murray ($50), 185 Park Ln. at Valley, Brisbane.

Update: truffle mania is also underway at ~MICHAEL MINA~, where they’ve been offering a five-course all-white truffle tasting menu since Wednesday November 9th, right after executive chef Michael Davis received a one-pound (whoa) white truffle sourced in Tuscany from a longtime friend in New York. The truffle-strewn five-course menu ($225) includes carne crudo with parmesan, sylvetta, and white truffles; soft-scrambled duck egg with porcini mushrooms, brioche, soft herbs, and white truffles; John Dory with young leeks, potato confit, black trumpet mushrooms, sherry cream sauce, and white truffles; buttermilk-poached chicken with albufera sauce (light chicken velouté with foie gras); and dessert service. You can also order porcini risotto with shaved white truffles ($85) à la carte.