TN: White Truffle Extravaganza

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Mike Evans
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TN: White Truffle Extravaganza

#1 Post by Mike Evans » December 5th, 2018, 1:40 pm

WHITE TRUFFLE EXTRAVAGANZA - Aria, Atlanta, GA (12/4/2018)

I was honored and thrilled to be invited to a white truffle dinner featuring about one pound of fresh white truffles for a group of seven of us, with some old friends and a couple of new ones. Aria lived up to its usual standard of excellence, with a terrific menu put together by Chef Gerry Klaskala and outstanding service from the well-trained staff. Add in good wine and great company, and you have an incredibly memorable evening. Special thanks to Don Cornutt for arranging to obtain the truffles and Alan Gottlieb for coordinating the planning and menu.
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Siberian Sturgeon UGA Caviar
We kicked things off with a delicious morsel of Siberian sturgeon UGA caviar in a hollowed out Persian cucumber with Neufchatel and chives. The caviar is from Siberian sturgeon that are sustainably farmed in north Georgia by the University of Georgia.
  • 2004 Krug Champagne Vintage Brut - France, Champagne
    Razor sharp acidity and minerality at the core, on the linear side at the moment but with enough flesh on the bones to keep it from being too austere. Right now it is better with food than on its own, but just sipping it still delivers plenty of pleasure. (93 pts.)
Chicken Liver Pate & Pan Roasted Jumbo Sea Scallop
We enjoyed the remnants of the Krug and started on the white wines with a chicken liver pate on toast topped with shaved white truffles, a last minute addition by Chef Gerry, then enjoyed the white wines with a pan roasted jumbo sea scallop on a celery root puree with brown butter and shaved white truffles. The chicken liver pate was quite good, but the scallop and white truffle combination really sang. The Marcassin's richness was a particularly nice match.
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Vitello Carpaccio
Next came a naturally raised, seared, and chilled tenderloin of veal with a white truffle emulsion and shaved white truffles, which was my favorite course, and one of the best dishes I've had in a long time. The dish was both elegant and intense and paired perfectly with the Dujac.
  • 2006 Domaine Dujac Bonnes Mares - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Bonnes Mares Grand Cru
    Dark cherry and spice, quite intense, it really needs more time but it pairs brilliantly with a delicate veal carpaccio with white truffles which tones down the Dujac and brings out more depth. (93 pts.)
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Oyster Mushroom Lasagnette
The oyster mushroom lasagnette with besciamela, parmigiana reggiano, and white truffle was another standout course that again matched the wine beautifully.
  • 1998 Emidio Pepe Montepulciano d'Abruzzo - Italy, Abruzzi, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo
    A little natural wine tang, earthy with fresh cut green briar vines and white truffle woven through complex red fruit, fantastic. (94 pts.)
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Carnaroli Risotto
Some of the group would have preferred that the carnaroli risotto with shredded short rib of beef, parmigiana reggiano, and white truffle would have omitted the beef, which they found overpowered the delicate truffle aromas and flavors. They had a valid point, but I enjoyed the course quite a bit.
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Roasted Breast of Guinea Hen
The roasted breast of guinea hen with braised endive, chanterelles, natural jus, and white truffle raised some of the same concerns as did the previous course, with particularly objections to the endive's dominance over the truffles. I found that the rich, nicely reduced jus brought out some interesting nuances in the truffles that I hadn't found in prior dishes and loved the crisp skin on the guinea hen.
  • 1996 Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Riserva Asili - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    A lot of menthol, but with a good bit of depth, it is enjoyable, but still very young and it really needs more time for the menthol to fade and the other flavors and aromas to become more prominent as it is pretty monolithic at the moment. It had been double decanted at least a few hours before dinner, if I recall correctly. (92 pts.)
  • 2001 Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Riserva Rabajà - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    The essence of Barbaresco, a scintillating prism of flowers, tar, and fruit, it is outstanding but still with room for improvement. It had been double decanted at least a few hours before dinner, if I recall correctly. (95 pts.)
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Dessert
My memories of the dessert are kind of hazy, as I was somewhat distracted by conversation I recall an ice cream over spiced fruit and a not-too-sweet little cake with caramelized sugar on the top. I also recall devouring it with relish. This dinner confirmed that, at least for me, there can't be too much of a good thing when it comes to white truffles. It was a rare opportunity to enjoy such a decadent meal with quality people, and and a truly special experience that I suspect we will still be talking about years in the future.
Last edited by Mike Evans on December 6th, 2018, 5:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Dennis Atick
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Re: TN: White Truffle Extravaganza

#2 Post by Dennis Atick » December 5th, 2018, 1:55 pm

Mike,
One of these days we are going to make it to a dinner together. I was trying to make this one, but could not work it out to be there.
Looks like you all did ok!
Thanks for the vicarious thrills with great notes and pics. Cheers.
@decaturwinedude

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Re: TN: White Truffle Extravaganza

#3 Post by Mike Evans » December 5th, 2018, 2:14 pm

Dennis Atick wrote:
December 5th, 2018, 1:55 pm
Mike,
One of these days we are going to make it to a dinner together. I was trying to make this one, but could not work it out to be there.
Looks like you all did ok!
Thanks for the vicarious thrills with great notes and pics. Cheers.
Sorry you couldn't make it, but I agree, one of these days we will meet in person!

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Re: TN: White Truffle Extravaganza

#4 Post by YLee » December 5th, 2018, 2:24 pm

Delicious!
-Yong

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C. Mc Cart
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Re: TN: White Truffle Extravaganza

#5 Post by C. Mc Cart » December 5th, 2018, 5:52 pm

Amazing dinner.
On another note - shocking to me that a couple of Atlanta berserkers don't know each other.
Chris

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Re: TN: White Truffle Extravaganza

#6 Post by Mike Evans » December 6th, 2018, 7:40 am

C. Mc Cart wrote:
December 5th, 2018, 5:52 pm
Amazing dinner.
On another note - shocking to me that a couple of Atlanta berserkers don't know each other.
Given the size of metro Atlanta (about 6 million people spread out over an area roughly the size of Massachusetts), I'm not surprised that there are local Berserkers that I don't know, as I've met two for the first time this year, one of whom I met Tuesday night. With Dennis, the shocking part is that we haven't met in person despite the fact that we have several mutual friends. But I think we will remedy that soon.

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Re: TN: White Truffle Extravaganza

#7 Post by rob klafter » December 6th, 2018, 9:14 am

Fantastic to meet you Mike. Yes it was an astounding dinner. More truffle than could be eaten. Even with those kind of shavings. Wine was perfect. Friends even better. Glad to have been there
@grossesgewachs

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Mike Grammer
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Re: TN: White Truffle Extravaganza

#8 Post by Mike Grammer » December 6th, 2018, 9:51 am

I take it many of the usual suspects attended? Great notes as always, Mike, thanks for sharing....ahh, if only I could eat truffles. I enjoy vicariously!

Mike

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Re: TN: White Truffle Extravaganza

#9 Post by Mike Evans » December 6th, 2018, 11:56 am

Rob, it was a pleasure to meet you as well, I look forward to drinking and dining with you again. The Emidio Pepe was a fantastic treat. Mike, I think you know most, if not all, of the truffle gluttons in attendance.

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Re: TN: White Truffle Extravaganza

#10 Post by Mike Grammer » December 6th, 2018, 12:17 pm

Yes, that note on the Pepe caught my eye. My friend Boris in Ottawa treated me to an older vintage of Pepe and it was a revelation.

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Re: TN: White Truffle Extravaganza

#11 Post by D@ve D y r 0 f f » December 6th, 2018, 3:37 pm

Phenomenal! It's been too long since I've visited my Atlanta wine board friends....

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Re: TN: White Truffle Extravaganza

#12 Post by Jeremy Holmes » December 6th, 2018, 5:18 pm

Very nice Mike.
ITB

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Re: TN: White Truffle Extravaganza

#13 Post by dcornutt » December 7th, 2018, 6:08 am

I loved the company, all the food and the wine. The truffles were so aromatic. My favorite dish was probably the most unusual. The Vitello Tonnato with an emulsion of pure white truffle on the bottom of the perfect veal carpaccio. It was stunning! Great to see all.
DON Cornutt

"Before you eat or drink anything, carefully consider with whom you eat or drink rather than what you
eat or drink,because eating without a friend is the life of the lion or the wolf." Epicurius

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