Chef and Menu Report: Week of 11/30/14

Every week, we take a look at some new chefs and menus that have been announced across the country

Special menus featuring both white and black truffles can be found around the country this coming week.

New York
Bacchanal will launch their inaugural Barrel Brunch this Sunday, December 7. Chef Craig Hopson has created a menu full of traditional favorites that take some unexpected turns – think egg yolk jam in the steak tartare and an everything bagel in éclair form. And of course, brunch wouldn’t be complete without unlimited cocktail and wine options, such as bloody Mary’s, mimosas, house-selected barrel wines, draft beers, and a specialty Bacchanal brunch cocktail, which will rotate regularly.

Join Davio’s Manhattan, located in Midtown East, for dinner to enjoy the black and white truffle season. Executive chef Chad Brown has specially prepared a choice of either a four-course ($150 per person) or six-course ($250 per person) black and white truffle dinner menu with wine pairings. On Monday to Saturday evenings through December 23, enjoy plates like center cut Filet Mignon with polenta rustica integrale, wild mushrooms, black truffle rossini sauce, and shaved white truffle, and pappardelle with Maine lobster, pancetta, poached egg, black truffle butter, and shaved white truffle.

Following his departure from Grindhaus, chef Aaron Taber joined chef Hyland’s kitchen at EMILY and we’re excited to announce that he will host a pop-up tasting menu on Wednesday, December 10 during EMILY’s regular dinner service. The restaurant is offering 40 seats for the 5-course tasting menu, and three seatings will be offered: 6 p.m., 7:45 p.m., and 9:45 p.m. for $65 per person and a maximum party size of 6 people. Taber plans to include the likes of fluke, hake, squid, chicken consommé, and smoked jowl.

Beginning tonight, December 5 and running until Friday, December 19, STATE Grill and Bar, located in the lobby of the Empire State Building, will introduce “Black Truffle Fridays.” Award-winning executive chef Octavio Becerra will take inspiration from the coveted black fungi to create a special menu, complete with a four-course tasting menu, and à la carte items will be available. The prix-fixe menu is priced at $95 per person, which includes food only, while à la carte prices range from $15 to $49. Think: day boat scallop carpaccio with sunchoke confit, and warm walnut and truffle vinaigrette, and stuffed quail with cardoon, stone ground grits, quail egg, and truffle gravy.

Shake it up with The Third Man’s experienced bartenders in one of their next “Cocktail Connoisseur” class on December 15, December 17, or January 14. Whether you’re looking to perfect the ultimate Manhattan or to create the latest seasonal libation, their classes offer an interactive experience blending tastings and education. Along with your acquired skill set, a customized bartender kit is available to take home (at an additional cost). Email their team to make your reservation today. 

Riviera Beach, Fla.
3800 Ocean’s executive chef Larry LaValley of the luxury all-suite Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa, will take diners on a culinary tour of the truffle via their taste buds at an exclusive Truffle and Prunotto Wine Pairing. The December 12 event will feature a seven course menu utilizing the exotic ingredient, each of which will be paired with a Prunotto by Marchesi Antinori Wines. An Hors d ’Oeuvres reception will commence at 7 p.m., followed by dinner from 7:30 to 10 p.m. The truffle tasting and wine pairing is $165 per person excluding tax and gratuity. Reservations are required.

Various Cities, California
Presented by Visit California, more than 30 destinations across the Golden State are creating special restaurant week or month-long promotions throughout the entire month of January, providing diners with incredible offerings such as gourmet prix fixe menus and wine pairings at a fraction of the normal cost. Consult the calendar below to find out when your town’s restaurant week is happening:

Northern California

Berkeley January 22 to 31

El Dorado County January 18 to 25  

Lake Tahoe January 9 to 16

Manteca January 11 to 17

Marin County January 1 to 31

Mendocino County January 16 to 25

Nevada County January 23 to February 1

Oakland January 15 to 25

Sacramento January 15 to 24

San Francisco January 21 to 30

Suisun City Waterfront January 16 25

Vacaville January 16 - 25

Yosemite/Mariposa County January 14 to February 4

Central California

Santa Barbara  January 27 to February 7

Santa Cruz County January 4 to 30

San Luis Obispo County January 4 to 29

Santa Ynez Valley January 25 to 31

Stockton January 16 to 25

Tuolumne County January 18 to 24

Southern California

Dana Point January 10 to 16

Escondido January 19 to 30

Irvine January 9 to 15

Los Angeles January 19 to February 1

Manhattan Beach January 25 to 30

Newport Beach January 19 to February 1

Oxnard January 10 to 25

Pasadena January 11 to 16

San Diego January 18 to 24

Santa Monica January 4 to 11

Temecula Valley January 1 to 31


Kate Kolenda is the Restaurant and City Guide Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @BeefWerky and @theconversant.