And so, when Ken told me and my truffle-loving dining partner that we had just set a new record for highest per capita truffle consumption in a single meal at La Toque, we could not believe it. Until we went back through the photographic evidence of our gluttonous rampage.
|A proud moment, indeed.|
Next, we dove into a course of soft-yolked eggs nestled in a raviolo with some truffle slices, which was then bathed in a "sauce" of housemade truffle butter (some of which turned up again later in the meal, spread on the toast accompanying our truffle cheese). These free-range eggs came from Ken's own hens and had been stored next to black truffles for some time, so that the eggs themselves took on the truffle aroma.
|Looks like pepper, doesn't it? Nope. That's all truffe.|
Departing from the scheduled Truffle Menu, we then enjoyed a special piece of salmon with parsnip puree and braised leeks. The raw salmon filet had been inlaid with black truffle slices, then slow roasted to succulence and showered with a not insignificant amount of julienned fresh truffle shavings. Key word: earthy.
|View from my post at the Chef's Table.|
Ken's dayboat sea scallop with lobster sauce americaine was also truffled up to the max, with a layer of shavings actually inside the scallop, as well as lavishly strewn over the top. I really liked the surprising combination of rich tomato lobster sauce with black truffle -- umami-rich, but with enough acid to keep it bright. The scallop, for its part, was absolutely perfect.
|Look at that gorgeous sear! The interior remained perfectly cooked, tender and sweet and juicy.|
And then, the dish of the night.
|Parmesan chawan mushi with oxtail, yellowfoot mushrooms, and truffle soup below. |
And that subtle garnish on top.
Because of the delectable wine pairings that were going on, I don't remember the exact order of the dishes that followed, but here they are:
|Ravioli stuffed with seared chicken foie,|
and tossed in a pistou-like sauce with white beans.
This is the point in the meal where we started
eating the truffle shavings like
|Boned-out chicken wing stuffed with truffled French-style|
farce -- but you aren't really looking at the chicken, are you?
|Here's the toast I mentioned earlier. Below that spectacular paving job is the rest of the |
housemade truffle butter used in the egg raviolo dish.
|And, the money shot.|
After such an indulgent and eye-popping feast, Ken sent us off with an elegant and understated truffled mascarpone cannoli with roasted hazelnuts and chocolate accents -- just the right amount of sweetness and cream. Well-played, sir.