Deep-pocketed foodies better really love subterranean mushrooms for this indulgence. The Philadelphia Italian restaurant Le Castagne is offering a $26,000 truffle dinner for four -- tip not included.
"The CEOs and the top management are people we think this might appeal to," Le Castagne managing partner Anthony Masapollo told The Huffington Post.
He added that he hopes to attract celebrities as well, mentioning Cameron Diaz and Jimmy Buffett as boldfaces who have dined at his restaurant. "Obviously this isn't for everyone," he said to HuffPost. "This stands out, and this is what we we wanted to do."
The deal includes a 47mm Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 Amagnetic 3 Days Automatic Titanio watch, which retails for around $11,000, according to Gear Patrol.
Explaining the timepiece tie-in in a press release, Masapollo said,"Timing is critical for both cooking the most delicious food as well as harvesting Italian truffles, the most expensive food in the world."
The nine-course meal features white truffles, a delicacy that can cost more than $6,000 a pound, according to CNN.
So here's the menu, available now and ending when the restaurant can't procure anymore truffles, Masapollo said:
- puree of pumpkin soup, faro almonds, pumpkin oil and white truffles
- milanese style egg, truffle bread crumb, spinach, roasted cherry tomatoes, truffle vinaigrette and humboldt fog goat cheese
- beef tartare with marinated pioppini mushrooms, shaved parmesan cheese, quail egg, and white truffle ricotta mousse
- tagliatelle con tartufi bianchi pasta with parmesan cheese sauce and white shaved truffle
- veal rack, roasted baby potatoes, turnips, bacon, parmesan and shaved white truffle
- roasted quail stuffed with house-made sausage, potato, guanciale and finished with black truffle demi-glace
- creamy polenta, wild mushrooms, pancetta and shaved white truffles
- fillet of dover sole stuffed with scallop, shrimp mousse and black truffle beurre blanc
- chocolate lava cake with truffle ricotta gelato and honey
- wine pairing with each course from the world-renowned Antinori Estates
- one limited-edition 47mm Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 Amagnetic 3 Days Automatic Titanio wristwatch
- one full-day Italian cooking class conducted by Le Castagne executive chef Michael DeLone.
One last thing in case you're considering a dine and dash: You'll have to pay up front.
Also on HuffPost:
The closest thing to the real truffle experience is another kind of truffle. Different varieties exist in all parts of the world. On the high end are European varieties like black truffles and summer truffles; they are far less expensive than the prized white truffle. Much less expensive still, though, are "truffles" from other parts of the world -- like the "pecan truffle," pictured above. Often found beneath pecan groves in the American south, these lack the strength, complexity and sticker shock of their European counterparts.
Truffle oil has gotten a bad rap in recent years; it's often said to be overused, and <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/16/dining/16truf.html?pagewanted=all" target="_hplink">nearly all of what's on the market</a> is artificially derived. But sprinkling <a href="http://www.sabatinotartufi.com/WHITE-TRUFFLE-OIL-3-4-fl-oz-100ml-130-258-prod.htm" target="_hplink">some of the good stuff</a> on top of pasta or mashed potatoes reproduces the aroma of freshly-shaved white truffles as accurately as any other method.
True, morels are expensive in their own right, and they aren't nearly as pungent as a good truffle. But they have a big advantage over their subterrean cousins: texture. A wild morel, at the height of spring, cooked in cream and butter, is one of nature's great delights.
Dried Porcini Mushrooms
Dried porcini mushroomss, which are <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Melissas-Dried-Porcini-Mushrooms-0-5-Ounce/dp/B000F47E32" target="_hplink">relatively inexpensive</a>, are the perfect way to deliver some of the funky, savory flavor of truffles in a manageable way. They never go bad and can be quickly reconstituted in warm water.
Here's where we start to get a little further afield. But bear with us. Good Parmigiano-Romano cheese is from northern Italy, is extremely fragrant, and can be shaved atop pasta and other carbs to delightful effect. Sounds a little like truffles to us!
Another salty, rich Italian food. As with truffles, a little goes a long way.
On the face of it, truffles and durian, a large tropical fruit grown mostly in Southeast Asia, have little in common. But both have strong, funky smells that can turn some people off, and both are, to some degree, luxury foods. They're both rumored aphrodisiacs. We wouldn't recommend shaving durian on top of your mac n' cheese, but if you're in the mood for something that can replicate the all-consuming aroma of a top-notch truffle, durian might be your ticket.