Paris Part I: Maison de la Truffe – Worth It’s Weight in Tubers

Less than a fortnight ago, I returned from an eight-day jaunt to Paris, France. As we all know, Paris is one of those food “meccas” I’ve mentioned in past posts. Since the amount of photos, restaurants, and general food related goodness is just massive, I decided the best way to tackle the documentation would be to split it up into pieces. Think of it as a tasting menu of Paris itself. I figure I’ll start with the best first, just to shake things up, the incomparable Maison de la Truffe. Enjoy.

Maison de la TruffeRight: Le Petit Journal Left: Travel in Happiness

A strange irony exists in the world of gourmet cuisine. Born from the unsavory beginnings that many of the most highly sought after foods share. Take truffles for example, small, knobby, black tubers that grow underground and are up-rooted from the soil by the snouts of pigs and dogs. Yet, they demand a staggering price at fine restaurants around the world. One of these, Maison de la Truffe in Paris, builds it’s reputation around the filthy growths.  The old cliché, “the diamond in the rough” comes to mind when a stunning plate of burrata and heirloom tomatoes with copious amounts of shaved white truffles was placed before me.

Maison de la Truffe apps

The chefs at Maison de la Truffe daily transform little lumps of earthy fungi , into some of the most diabolically delicious dishes one can find. Every plate on the menu can include truffles  if desired. Choices range from seasonal truffles, black Melanosporum, or white Alba truffles. This also causes the price to balloon from about $35 to almost $100 for the same dish depending on the tuber of your choice. Maison de Truffe has many of the traditional standbys of French cuisine (albeit buried in truffles) like Tartare de Boeuf (which Ashley had and was amazing), Filet of Sole, and Steak Frites. However, the real treat comes from the strange and surprising combinations they have come up with. For instance, a truffle gazpacho with cucumber sorbet, or a truffled crème brulée, which had the most intense truffle flavor and blended perfectly with the vanilla, both were unspeakably delicious. The latter seems to cross some sort of imaginary boundary but is possibly the most delicious crème brulée one can find.

Truffled creme brulee

Also on the menu for the night was a Risotto covered in white Alba truffles, Ravioli with summer truffles and truffle cream, and Tagliatelle with white Alba truffles and truffle cream. Needless to say, not a single morsel of truffle was left on the plate.

Maison de la Truffe entrées

Establishments like Maison de la Truffe represent the reprehensible and sometimes downright disgusting origins of our most luxuriant food items. Whether humans are drawn to food with humble beginnings or pigs have impeccable taste, one can be sure that truffles will always be on the menu.

Menu and truffles


“Porktures” Speak a Thousand Words

Another trip to Mings brings about more food porn. Even when I’m not hungry, I have to partake. I think Eat a Duck might morph into a photo diary of sorts for the time being. Expect many pics in the near future. Please fill free to share yours as well. What you see here is crispy pork belly, followed by Pork Siu Mai and Shrimp and chive dumplings. The last grainy picture, I sneakily snapped, is the women of Mings keeping it real and hand crafting the dumplings for all to see. It’s great to receive a basket of dim sum that is imperfect in shape. This screams of authenticity. Sometimes you could find yourself with a Monet inspired dim sum feast which I have had the misfortune of experiencing. Looks good from a distance but leaves you feeling hollow and manipulated. But what’s this? A new contender has entered the ring, and it’s name is Mazzaros. This might challenge the Chinese propensity to produce pork products in dominating fashion. We have a taste of Iberico ham which is the one of the most prized and expensive treasures I’ve come across, and it lived up to its reputation. Then there’s  Truffled ham. So let me get this straight. You use pigs for centuries to forage for truffles so you can make bank, and then infuse them with the very ingredient that they are prized for uncovering, just to make them taste even more delicious? This is morally wrong and I couldn’t be more supportive of this practice.

Southern Comfort (Food)

Recently, my wife and I took a trip down to Florida to visit our family. Logan and his wife were kind enough to let us stay for a while, and in return, we provided the provisions. We were able to make a fantastic meal almost every night. So instead of my normal long, drawn out, and overly wordy description of every single dish (since there were many). I’ll simply write out the menu, in no particular order, and leave you to salivate. Bon appetit!

Menu:

1. Pizza of San Marzano tomatoes, basil, bufula mozzarella, woodear mushrooms, garlic, and proscuitto di parma.

2. Guacamole with fresh Haas avocados, garlic, heirloom tomatoes, lime, and cilantro.

3. Lobster risotto (thanks to Mr. Nielsen) fresh Florida lobsters, shallots, and fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

4. Lobster tempura with sautéed shitake mushrooms, fresh chives, in a creamy spicy sauce. Paired with fresh tempura battered Haas avocados with a homemade ponzu.

5. Roast duck over rice, scallions, sautéed shitake mushrooms, and soy sauce.

6. Roast rack of lamb with a red wine and fig reduction. Served over a crimini mushroom risotto, and white truffle cream.

7. Bison burgers topped with applewood smoked bacon, muenster cheese, Haas avocado, heirloom tomatoes, garlic aioli, and stone ground mustard. Served with Kristone’s famous potato salad, with scallions, aioli, and garlic.

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Guacamole di Kristone

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