Truffle Mania at Casa Nonna
Meryle Evans - December 4th, 2013
When the fresh, precious, pungent, black and white tubers are in season, tasting menus abound. But at Casa Nonna’s Truffle Fair, the Manhattan restaurant pulled out all the stops: cocktail to cannoli. To start the festivities, Chris Donahue, cocktail specialist of the ESquared Hospitality restaurant group, created a truffled apple tea-ni featuring white truffle–infused Hendrick's gin, Macallan Scotch, black tea, oatmeal-steeped apple cider, honey syrup, bitters, and lemon juice.
Then, executive chef Julio Genao took over for truffle topped pizzas and a selection of other dishes, including truffled fontina fondutta served with house-made sausage, fingerling potatoes, and Tuscan boule bread. From the restaurant's kitchen, open to the street, passers-by can watch Genao's staff rolling fresh, house-made pasta, but at the fair, guests were invited to try their hand at rolling the dough to make truffled ricotta gnocchi with sautéed porcini, porcini sauce, pecorino cheese, and shaved black truffles. For the dolce finale, cannoli were filled with truffle oil–infused mascarpone with roasted hazelnuts and chopped chocolate, and even the chocolate truffle was laced with truffle oil.
Casa Nonna means “grandma's house,” but how many grandmas can acquire such an abundance of precious edible treasures? At the restaurant, truffle dishes will be on the menu all season, and will be switched to white when in season.