It’s that time of year again—Spuntino Wine Bar and Italian Tapas, at Westbury Plaza in Garden City, is hosting their annual Fall Truffle Festival.
Twice a year, Spuntino highlights the prized truffle, which has become known as “the diamond in the kitchen.” If you thought Spuntino’s spring festival was good, wait until you see what they have in store for the fall. This year, the Fall Truffle Festival will take place from November 7 – 20, and Chef Ryan Keough has already been preparing a magnificent array of dishes.
I interviewed Chef Ryan back in the spring, and I had the opportunity to try many delicious items from the regular menu as well as the spring truffle menu. You can read the whole story of Chef Ryan and Spuntino here.
Chef Ryan invited me back to preview the fall truffle menu. Being a big fan of this amazing mushroom, I was happy to oblige. Chef Ryan started me off with a soft polenta featuring pecorino tartufo, black truffle and a quail egg. This dish was exceptionally delicate and light and very flavorful. It paired well with a glass of Gavi from San Matteo Piedmont. Next up was a fabulous seared sea scallop with a creamy truffle turnip puree in a brown butter sauce with microgreens. It was topped with shaved black truffle. The scallop was perfectly seared and seasoned, and the truffle turnip puree was so delicious that I wanted to lick the bowl! It was served with a glass of Arneis, a white wine from Ceretto Piedmont. A hearty short rib casarecce came out next. I will dream of this dish on a cold winter night. Chef Ryan started making homemade pasta from scratch a few months ago, and of course there is nothing like it. In this dish he made fresh casarecce pasta, and combined it with braised short rib which he cooked in-house for 4-5 hours. It was finished with ricotta salata and thinly sliced black truffle, and was served with a glass of red wine – a Dolcetto d’alba from Mascarello Piedmont.
Following the pasta dish was a sliced flat iron steak served rare, with roasted cherry tomatoes on the vine, truffle porcini demi and truffle butter. This dish had so much flavor, and the tomatoes paired well and looked beautiful on the plate – real farm-to-table which made it quite inviting. The acidity of the tomatoes and the richness of the dish worked perfectly with a glass of Barbaresco, a red wine from Villadoria Piedmont.
Lastly, for dessert there was a small, dark chocolate tartlet with Amarena cherries, orange crème, truffle whipped cream and candied brittle. It was light with just a hint of truffle, and it really served to round out the meal, along with a glass of Taylor Fladgate 10 Year Tawny Port.
The Fall Truffle Festival tasting menu is $55 per person. If you would like your meal paired with wine, it is $75. Menu selections are also available a la carte. For the true truffle lover, for an additional cost, you can top any dish with white truffles from Italy. Spuntino says it is “the ultimate truffle experience.”
“As an Italian restaurant, it made sense to have these festivals,” said Keough. “It really brings the true flavors of Italy to our customers. Like everything at Spuntino Wine Bar and Italian Tapas, the idea for our Truffle Festival was a collaborative effort among our team.”