Saturday, October 8, 2016

Truffle Food Festival at Bene, Le Meridien Pune

 Truffle lovers can visit Bene, the newly launched Italian restaurant at Le Meridien Pune where the truffle festival is on till October 15. Be delighted with Italian food with a touch of truffle.  

Tagliatelle with Prawns and Truffle
How many of us are really aware of truffles? Not many! That is where the Italian restaurant Bene belonging to Le Meridien Pune (soon to be Sheraton Grand) comes in the picture. They are holding the Truffle Festival where truffle expert Silvia Landucci has come to remove any truffle confusion. Her family-owned company Boscovivo has been dealing with truffles for quite some time. The newly launched restaurant is also holding a food festival where Chef Roberto Boggio will create Italian truffle dishes as an ingredient till October 15 in the evening from 7.30-11.30 PM.

Zuppa Di Patate E Porri
Silvia reveals that there are around 5 different & major kinds of truffles to be found in Italy. Considered to be god’s gift, the valuable truffles were gifted as a mark of peace. “Prices keep fluctuating daily and can start from as much as 6000 Euros.” While the black truffle has a long season and has a huge harvest, it is the white truffle which is quite famous. Most restaurants depend on Carpaccio or thin slices due to the expensive rates.

Silvia adds, “Truffle is an acquired taste. It is quite a different product in terms of growth. You cannot grow in polluted land. Although some truffles can be grown in the mountainous areas of Italy, it can be mostly found in the other areas.” It takes around 5-7 years for a truffle to grow once found. Interestingly, the biggest truffle found in the world was in the region of Tuscany.

Pollo Arrosto Al Tarufo
Each truffle is a different story. They work best when paired only with the best ingredients. She
suggests, “Try using it with ingredients that can absorb its essence. Always combine it with fat as it absorbs the truffle’s taste. You can try it with eggs & rice. Risotto is also a good example. After making a dish, you can then store it.” Fish like salmon also works well.

Pesche Al Forno
Now that the truffle information is absorbed, we go over to the food festival served by Chef Roberto. His Italian delights with truffle truly are enjoyable. The antipasti - Tagliatelle with Prawns and Truffle – had a slight truffle touch to it which was quite delightful and not at all overwhelming. That was a good sign as truffles can have that tendency. Well-cooked Tagliatelle was slightly spiced with herbs & prawns were cooked to perfection. The soup – Zuppa Di Patate E Porri – was a winner. Smooth was the taste of potato & leeks and the truffle oil when mixed with the soup added to the smoothness. It was somewhere between filling and lightness. The main course was the well-made roast chicken with truffles called Pollo Arrosto Al Tarufo. Simple was the word for this dish. I ended the meal with the master touch – a dessert called Pesche Al Forno – a chocolate peach dessert. Chocolate was baked with peach and topped with custard. I was in seventh heaven with each bite of this melt-in-your-mouth sweetness. The dishes were paired well with Sula wines.

The set menu has the price for the main course while you get to select dish each from the antipasti, soup, salad and dessert. So, get your 5 course meal at the price of one. A perfect deal! Visit the Truffle Festival created by Chef Roberto Boggio at the newly launched Italian restaurant Bene at Le Meridien Pune (soon to be Sheraton Grand). Visit till October 15 in the evening from 7.30-11.30 PM. 

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