Last evening we were invited guests at a very special white truffle dinner hosted by the Make-a-Wish Foundation at La Fiorentina. The night promised a magical meal prepared by the chefs at the Lombardi family restaurant, but the evening was more about children that could not be with us that evening.
You are no doubt familiar with the legendary organization, Make-a-Wish. Over the years they have fulfilled thousands of dreams (215,139 to date) of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Each wish costs an average of $7,000 and last night they raised at least that much in a live auction, proceeds from the dinner, and a very generous donation by the Lombardi family.
You may refer a wish child, or simply make a wonderful holiday donation at their official website. There are also volunteer opportunities at the same website.
The dinner did bring the house down with a rather upbeat video that was played for the packed restaurant that was closed just for the Make-a-Wish banquet. Then there was a flurry of white truffles.
We will share a few dishes that we sampled. After the dinner was complete we were told these were a few that might be included on the new menu. We have a reservation for later in the week to check out that new menu we have heard so much about, and plan to share that in full detail.
The dinner started with a host of passed Crostinis, but the opening dish was pure splendor. The Chestnut and Porcini Cappuccino Soup with Sliced White Truffles drew gasps at our table. The intense bite of the porcini’s blended harmoniously with the pungent white truffle in a mini symphony. There is nothing quite as amazing as the first taste of white truffles of the season.
Next we were offered a Beef Carpaccio topped with mixed Fall vegetables and more Alba white truffles. The Carpaccio was rich, almost too rich, but we noticed a lot of happy plates around the room. The call of the truffle is a strong one.
The next course was an off-menu item that the kitchen prepared and offered as a bonus for the evening. We enjoyed the simple dish of fresh pasta dashed with butter and more white truffles. La Fiorentina makes all their pastas in house and we were delightfully pleased to sample this dish. We pray Lombardi offers this dish on his new menu.
Because excess is best, the next dish was a Wood Roasted Quail stuffed with more white truffles and quail and a Reggiano and truffle infused risotto. There was a hearted debate if the risotto was better than the pasta dish, and we finally decided a draw.