It is our annual indulgent event: lunch at Felidia's during white truffle season. After a fabulous classic turkey and dressing Thanksgiving this year, on the following Tuesday we headed for Felidia's. We were not disappointed. Not a bit. Wife Carol, daughter Sarah, and yours truly settled ourselves in the warm and delightful first floor dining section at Felidia's on East 58th St. (Lydia herself was having lunch in the back corner of the dining room with Christoher Kimball of Cook's magazine.)
The menu took almost no browsing time. As announced, this was white truffle season at Felidia's and we were on. We each ordered the same: the recommended tagliatelle as the base. Simple, perfecto.
We started by sharing an excellent grilled octopus presentation, in oil. For the wine, we took the somelier's advice and had the Livon Chardonnay "Braide Mate" -- label above.
The tagliatelle was the home made variety using extra egg yolks. So it was wonderfully rich. It was presented with perfect texture in a simple butter sauce.
Then the white truffle expert came over with the jewel. He reported that the white truffles this year were maybe not quite as wonderful as last year's perfections, but they were still fabulous. He took his peeler and sliced an abundant array of this delicacy on each of our pasta dishes, while we just kept silent and inhaled, each in our own rapturous worlds.
The eating was everything we had dreamed about all year. Just tasting, eating slowly, ah'ing and oh'ing, and with conversation at something of a minimum, we cherished each bite.
Some cappucino to finish and our heavenly day was complete. The bill was $598 with tax. The pasta specials -- the tagliolini -- were $25 each, and each truffle addition was $110. Worth it.
We learned that a very large white truffle, found by an Italian truffle hunter near a pine tree near Pisa, was sold at a charity auction at Macao, in China, two weeks ago. The truffle was 1 pound, 10 ounces, and sold for $227,000. A record.