Some like them on pasta or risotto, others on their eggs, soup or salad. They are also popular on beef dishes. One Pelican Hill® guest always requests the paper-thin shavings served on his vanilla ice cream.
No matter how you like your truffles, the time to order them at the Resort starts now.
“The season for white truffles usually starts in October and runs through the holidays in December,” said Luigi Fineo, Head Chef at Andrea Ristorante. “And the best dishes with white truffles have butter and cheese. But you can serve them on just about anything.”
Truffles are a type of mushroom. The exclusive white ones are found in Italy; the black truffles in Europe, mainly France. They are nearly impossible to cultivate, and traditionally sought out in temperate forests by truffle hogs. Price is driven by demand, but white truffles can cost up to $5,000 a pound, or more.
“In the old days, meaning a couple hundred years ago in France, chefs used truffles like olives; they were so common. Today, you find truffles all around the world in only the top restaurants,” said Pelican Hill Executive Chef Jean-Pierre Dubray.
Last year, Pelican Hill bought more white truffles than any other restaurant in Southern California. Fineo drives up to Los Angeles to hand select his Alba White truffles from a family business that has been importing them from Italy for about 25 years.
Both chefs say it’s impossible to replicate the unique flavor of the truffle— described as earthy, buttery, musky and pungent. They are usually served raw.
“It’s an accent on the food and enrichment,” Fineo said. “Say you shave some truffle on filet mignon, with a few slices you will find the peak of the flavor. You want to slice it very, very thinly so that it almost melts in your mouth.”
Guests at Andrea can request truffles on any individual dish—or on every course—and order them by increments in grams. Fineo says he brings the truffle and scale directly to guests, and shaves it at the table.
“At first, only one person has the truffle, and then everyone wants it,” Fineo said. “Everyone enjoys the whole show.” Even when the white truffle season ends, guests can continue to enjoy this delicacy by ordering black truffles, available December through March.
For dining reservations at Andrea Ristorante, please call 877.624.6035.