For this month, it was TRUFFLES. I’ve never eaten a full blown truffle set meal. At $250 a pop and 600 consecutive phone calls over a span of 2 hours, I was able to get this reservation. Coupled with wine pairing, the meal was superbly awesome.
1. Truffle pop tart and parmesan crusted ricotta truffle cheese. I made some of the description up from my poor memory cells. The truffle pop tart was interesting in that it reminded me of some Chinese baked goods where the pastry was fluffy and flaky with minced meat in the middle. This one I don’t particularly remember what was in the middle. The parmesan crusted ricotta sticks were really good though. The cheese in the middle was very soft but not like liquid soft. The truffle taste was very pronounced.
2. Soup with potato, kohlabi, and escarole. I know nothing about these ingredients except the soup was pretty good.
3. Squash Salad with persimmon, truffle vinaigrette, and brown butter. The flakes were interesting. I couldn’t quite make out what it was. The persimmon was very sweet as well as the squash. The vinaigrette with truffle was sublime.
4. Scallop Crudo with truffle soil, beets, and salsify. This was an interesting dish in that the scallop was laying on top of a medley of fake “soil”. The scallop was raw but very tender and crisp as expected. I loved the truffle soil with the scallop because it gave it some complexity in flavor.
5. Hen Egg with brioche, creamed leek, and Alba truffle. Look at all those truffle shavings! This was by far one of my favorite dishes for the night. It was very creamy but with loads of truffle flavors.
6. Turbot with endive, spinach, and truffle coulis. The turbot, which is a flat fish, was cooked nicely with minimal flavors. Combined with the truffle coulis and the rest of the ingredients, it created additional depths of flavor.
7. Hand-cut Tagliatelle with white Alba truffle. This was such a simple dish but with the loads of shaved Alba truffles on top, it tasted very good.
8. Risotto with white Alba truffle. We also received this risotto with the tagliatelle as well. The risotto was very good with 1 minor qualm. I think the rice was undercooked? I asked the staff if the rice was suppose to be undercooked, and they mentioned it was suppose to have a bite to it since they are not using arborio rice. I did notice that there were different levels of cooked rice. To this day, I’m not sure if it was undercooked or not, but I think the rice was taken out a minute too early. I could be entirely wrong though. Other than the rice texture, everything else was very rich and tasty.
9. Veal Sweetbread with cauliflower and sauce perigord. This was also very amazing. The veal was very tender with charred crisp to the edges.
10. Venison with parsnip, matsutake, and chocolate. The venison was very tender and lean. As you can see from the picture, there was hardly any fat on it. In addition, they shaved some black truffle on top. The black truffle flavor is much lighter than white truffle, but you can still taste some slight hints of it.
11. Cheese. This was the cheese course. In the middle, there was some oil with truffle in it. The cheese has some truffle spread in the middle. The cheese reminded me of very soft mozzarella texturally.
12. Teleme with walnut, cranberry, and black truffle. I always look forward to desserts at Maude. This one was pretty good. The ice cream in the middle is some type of apple and was very light and refreshing. It definitely was some type of palette cleanser.
13. Toffee cake with Alba truffle ice cream, raisin, and pomegranite. The truffle ice cream was amazing. I thought it was crazy to just smell truffle, but just imagine if you ate a truffle nugget. This was pretty much akin to that. The toffee cake was also nicely done.
14. Dessert trio. The left is some type of candy with truffle filling. The right is chocolate with some truffle stuff in the middle. The macarons have been laced with black truffles. The truffle filling candy was amazing. In the center is liquid truffle ooze that literally just seeps out once you bite into it (think molten lava cakes but instead of chocolate there is truffle cream in the middle). The chocolate truffle candy was pretty good, but it wasn’t too memorable. The black truffle macarons were interested in that it left some interesting after tastes.
All in all, I think this truffle dinner was very good. I’ve never had so much truffle in my life, and Im pretty tapped out on truffles for now. Now I know why truffles are so expensive. They really add a lot of complex flavors that make you think about what you’re tasting. For the gift at the end, they gave you a truffle shaver. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it, but I’m sure it’ll be useful somewhere around the house.
I’m not sure if I’m going to next month’s squash ingredient, but I think so far this year Maude has been my favorite fufu restaurant in LA.