Although the return of chilly weather and Daylight Savings Time can make many fussy about fall, here’s one thing many food-lovers look forward to around this time: It’s truffle season! Whether it’s the famed white truffle from the Piemonte, or black truffles from all over Europe, here are some local restaurants where you can enjoy this seasonal luxury. Be sure to call first before heading over since the truffle supply is reportedly a bit challenging this year (and unless money is no object, you’ll also want to ask how much they are charging for the fresh truffle supplement—it varies from place to place).
This gem on Russian Hill is serving a limited truffle menu; since the season has not been as abundant this year, they’ve limited the offerings to a few selections on the menu. Whatever you choose, don’t miss the poached ranch egg nested over creamy leeks (the egg usually comes from a very special place—Chef Suzette’s coop!).
It’s definitely worth taking a trip across the bay to Oakland for Oliveto’s annual truffle dinners, which are running from Tuesday November 13th until Friday November 16th. Every year, owner Bob Klein goes to Italy to hunt down the finest truffles, and brings them back to feature on Chef Jonah Rhodehamel’s menu. All of the dishes will be available à la carte, and the regular menu will also be available—you can expect both black and white truffles. The menu has been finalized, so take a look here.
Starting this Thursday November 8th, swing by Perbacco in the Financial District to try some dishes off their special truffle menu that you can add truffles to—the best dishes for truffles are simpler ones, usually featuring butter and eggs (carne cruda is another classic dish). Try the tajarin, the hand-cut tagliatelle that come with prosciutto di San Daniele and a 63°C hen egg, or the raviora dal plin con fonduta, which are agnolotti filled with fonduta and topped with sage butter and Parmigiano Reggiano.
Just across the Golden Gate Bridge is the excellent Poggio in Sausalito, with Chef Peter McNee leading the kitchen. Every year he visits Alba’s world-famous truffle markets to bring back the very best for Poggio’s annual Festa del Tartufo Bianco. Beginning Friday November 9th through the 17th, guests can order off a special à la carte truffle menu in addition to the regular menu. Servers will be shaving truffles tableside onto a variety of courses, plus they’ll be pouring vintage Barolo and Barbaresco wines (a classic pairing with truffles).
Marcia Gagliardi is author of the weekly tablehopper e-column and book The Tablehopper’s Guide to Dining and Drinking in San Francisco. Read more at tablehopper.com.