Italian Festa del Fungo celebrates truffles, mushrooms, and wine

CinCin Ristorante's ricotta ravioli with truffles.

CinCin Ristorante’s ricotta ravioli with truffles.

Mushroom lovers are in rapture this time of year as many restaurants around Vancouver celebrate the wild, local bounty. CinCin Ristorante + Bar has declared the entire month of November a Festa del Fungo. In addition to featuring locally foraged mushrooms, it’s upping the ante with luxurious Italian truffles.

Fans of these sought-after delicacies will have several opportunities to indulge as the Robson-street restaurant holds two unique truffle dinners, paired with wines from two of Piedmont’s top wineries, this month.

The dining room at CinCin Ristorante + Bar.

The dining room at CinCin Ristorante + Bar.

This Thursday (November 6), CinCin executive chef Andrew Richardson will be preparing a five-course tasting menu featuring both black Piedmont and white Alba truffles.

Dishes include ricotta and Parmesan ravioli with black truffles, truffle-poached Nova Scotia lobster, and slow-cooked rabbit with porcini mushrooms and white truffle.

Wine director Shane Taylor will be paring these dishes with wines from the century-old Damilano Winery. Managed by the founder’s great grandchildren, the estates produce mainly Nebbiolo de Barolo and Barbera.

Shaved white Alba truffles from Italy top this risotto. | Wikimedia Commons, Arnold Gatilao photo.

Shaved white Alba truffles from Italy top this risotto. | Wikimedia Commons, Arnold Gatilao photo.

On Thursday, November 27, chef Richardson will be offering a similar five-course tasting menu, which also features Piedmont black truffles and Alba white truffles. Dishes include a black truffle and foie gras parfait to start, and Barolo-braised beef short ribs with black Piedmont truffle.

This evening will feature G.D. Vajra wines from Vergne, Italy, which is the highest commune in Barolo. Taylor will pour wines including the 2010 Vajra Barolo Bricco delle Viole and 2005 Vajra Barolo Baudana.

The new Grillworks inferno at CinCin Ristorante + Bar.

The new Grillworks Inferno at CinCin Ristorante + Bar.

For both evenings, several courses will be prepared on CinCin’s new Grillworks Infierno rottiserie grill. Last month, the restaurant installed this special stainless-steel grill, which is the first of its kind in Canada.

The  two-metre giant operates on a pulley system with steel crankwheels, which raise and lower the grills above apple-and-alder hardwood embers. It’s capable of hoisting whole lambs and is also used for sear-grilling prime steaks and chops over high heat.

If you can’t make either of the truffle dinners, there are daily mushroom and truffle features through November 30. A la carte options include mid-course dishes, such as chestnut and potato gnocchi with rosemary, truffle cream, and almonds.

You can add on shavings of black Piedmont truffle or white Alba truffle, for $9 and $16.50 per gram respectively, to dishes like veal carpaccio, porcini soup, and wood-grilled polenta.

Chef Richardson will also be offering a changing selection of locally foraged mushrooms–such as pine, hen of the woods, and king oyster varieties–that can be ordered for the table.

You can peruse the Festa Del Fungo menu here. Both the November 6 and 27 truffle dinners start with a 6:30 p.m. reception, followed by dinner at 7 p.m. Tickets are $185 per person, plus tax and gratuity, and are available by calling 604-688-7338 or emailing info@cincin.net.

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