'Tis Truffle Season: Alba White Truffles in Miami

Delicious truffle photos provided by MC Kitchen. Quattro and La Veinte Deli & Cafe

Gotta love Miami this time of year!  Not only is the weather cooler and less humid, but Stone Crab season is in full swing and as is Truffle Season.  True food experts, think “white truffle” when they hear “the white stuff”…and yes…white truffle season is upon us.

A subterranean fungi, truffles are round, warty, and irregular in shape and vary from the size of a walnut to that of a man's fist. 

The jewel of Italian gastronomy, the "white truffle" or "trifola d'Alba" comes from the Piedmont region in northern Italy and, most famously, in the countryside around the cities of Alba and Asti. It can also be found in Molise, Abruzzo, and in the hills around San Miniato, in Tuscany.

They are harvested by expert “truffle foragers” with trained dogs or pigs who are able to detect the strong smell of mature truffles underneath the surface of the ground usually during the months of September and early October before being sold at “truffle fairs” and released to those craving the delicacy.  The hot dry summer in Italy has created a shortage of truffles, with prices hovering around $2000 a pound, but is still lower than the high in 2012 of $3000 a pound for the coveted Alba white truffle.  

In calling around MIAbites territory, I found that many restaurants are offering both white and black truffles a la carte, or have added to existing menu items a truffle butter or truffle oil.  In many cases the truffle dish is not on the regular menu and has to be asked for.  BUT, be prepared to pay a premium for adding the shaved truffles, especially the coveted white truffles, to a dish! A good restaurant will post their supplemental prices or advise you so you don't get surprised when you see the bill. 2-3 grams is usually enough for a pasta, egg or pizza dish. 

So to savor this delicacy here are some options: 

MC KitchenYou can tell the minute Truffle season begins when Chef Dena Marino starts posting pictures on her Twitter and Instagram. She has on her current menu a wonderful Shaved Brussels Sprouts Black Truffle Pizza with mushroom fonduta, sunny side up farm eggs,organic oak wood and smoked olive oil and Aspen's famous Truffle Fries. She also has the ability to add white truffles to her fresh pasta, steak, mashed potatoes or any dishes.   Consider even adding to egg dishes at her very popular weekend brunch. Call ahead for availability and be prepared to pay an extra $45-65 for about 2 grams for the add ons.  MC Kitchen  4141 NE 2nd Ave #101a, Miami, FL 33137 (305) 456-9948

Dolce Italian- Located in the Gale Hotel, the elegant Italian restaurant named Bravo’s “Best New Restaurant” in 2015, has created a celebratory five course pre-fixe menu which includes Tagliatella “La Tartufo” with shaved black truffle At $75 per person, guests can indulge in food and wine pairings selected by Executive Chef Paolo Dorigato and available from Monday, Nov. 16 – Sunday, Nov. 22.  Dolce Italian Gale South Beach 1690 Collins Ave Miami Beach, FL 33139. 786-975-2550

Casa D’Angelo-  Famed Chef Angelo Elia celebrates December 7 and 8 with a lavish truffle dinner, “A Night in Alba.” At $225 per person plus tax and gratuity, guests enjoy a 5-course wine pairing menu. Chef Angelo utilizes truffle in each dish to complement the signature Fine Italian dishes he has created. Sample Menu items include Frittata Piemontese Porcini Mushroom Frittata with Tomino Cheese, Fresh White Truffle Shavings over Reggiano Fondue , Risotto Classico al Tartufo Bianco, Ricotta Agnolotti with Pork Guanciale, Fresh Artichokes and White Truffle Shavings , Barolo and Black Truffle Braised Beef with Winter Vegetables  with Fresh White Truffle Shavings, Poached Pears and Ricotta Millefoglie Cake, Apricot Sauce and Truffle Honey Drops Cocchi. Casa D'Angelo 1201 N Federal Hwy #5A, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304 954 564-1234.

La Veinte Deli and Cafe- Chef Omar Montero created a Black Truffle & Garlic Pizza, a Pizza Bianca with fontina cheese, garnished with red onion, shallots rings and black garlic, using fresh oregano and thyme leaves to give the dish an extra kick. This truffle month-inspired dish will be served for one week only from November 16 to November 22. La Veinte Deli & Cafe 495 Brickell Ave, Miami, FL 33131 (786) 623-6135.

Quattro Gastronomia Italiana-  Is celebrating White Truffle season with an a la carte menu items ranging in price from $45- $95. Antipasti items like Fontina Cheese Fondue with Truffle and Fried Quail egg and Tartar of Filet Mignon with truffle and baby artichoke salad, Primi Piatti of Tagliotini with Truffle butter sauce, Risotto with Burrata and Fresh shaved truffle and Secondi Piatti of Grilled Filet Mignon with truffle Porcini mushroom sauce or Veal Scallopine with Truffle butter and Truffle Fries. Quattro Lincoln Road Mall, 1014 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (305) 531-4833.

The Truffle Season is only until mid-December, so call ahead and make it a point to sample at least one of these fabulous dishes this season!