IT’S SNOWING WHITE TRUFFLES IN CARMEL VALLEY
LUCIA RESTAURANT & BAR KICKS OFF THE SEASON WITH A SALUTE TO THE DIAMOND OF ALBA
New Truffle-infused Menu & Cocktails for the Fungi Fanatic
Prized by kings and coveted by chefs, Italy’s famed Alba White Truffle hits its annual stride late fall when the nutty aromatic tuber debuts in auctions and A tables across the globe. Served raw, shaved by a specific slicer, the tuber magnatum pico from the Piedmont region is highly prized with pricing to match, ranging upward from $2,000 per pound. These aromatic subterranean spores, known for their pungent earthy and ethereal aroma, will be showcased in a variety of formats at Lucia Restaurant & Bar November 1 – December 15, 2019.
Chef Cal Stamenov’s month-long salute to the Diamond of Alba is no understatement. “Truffles are extremely fragile with a seven-day shelf life,” says Stamenov, who runs through 10 pounds per season, on average. Gracing Fallow Venison with cured duck liver, gnocchi and roasted persimmon or shaved atop a savory Warm Stuffed Ravioli plumped with soft quail egg and purple artichoke in a brown butter bath, this seasonal stunner is a classic complement to a variety of dishes. The wild underground fungi, harvested by special Lagotto Romagnolo dogs, lives in symbiosis with the roots of oaks, hazels and poplar trees taking on the color and essence defined by each species. “The flavor profile determines how we create each dish, and it changes by the harvest,” he adds.
As the season turns, diners will be offered an express lane into the culinary depths of this ancient wonder, with dishes such as a Classic Carnaroli Risotto with bone marrow, Parmigiano Reggiano and shaved white truffles and Nantucket Bay Scallops, paired with sunchokes and San Danielle Prosciutto, finished with a dusting of white love. Entrees include a Handcut Squid Ink Fettuccine, the ideal foil for truffles, served with Monterey Bay squid menuiere and shaved white Alba truffle. For game lovers, the red wine braised Guinea Hen Breast with braised leg stuffed agnolotti, paired with seasonal root vegetables and shaved truffle is a sure bet. Ensuring no opportunity is overlooked, Stamenov and team are also rolling out a sinful Heirloom Pear & White Truffle dessert as well, paired with caramel pot de crème, Meyer lemon madeleine and white truffle ice cream. Dishes are offered on a revolving monthly menu, market price.
TOAST OF THE COAST
Truffle-infused cocktails are also on tap this November, ensuring guests get their full fungi fix. Kick things off with The Hunt, featuring truffle infused WhistlePig Rye Whiskey, Punt e Mes and Bitter Truth chocolate bitters served in a classic coupe. The Garden Glass steps up with Belvedere vodka, Clear Creek pear liqueur, Meyer lemon, Bernardus honey and fresh shaved Alba truffle. Ideal for Carmel’s crisp fall nights the Nog Blanc combines Armagnac, truffle cream, fresh nutmeg and brown sugar syrup, shaken and served up. $25.
LUCIA RESTAURANT & BAR
Tucked 12 miles inland from the Pacific, the Forbes Four-Star Lucia Restaurant & Bar has long set the standard for dining along the California coast. Named after the majestic Santa Lucia Mountains which provide the dramatic backdrop to the 2,300 sq., ft., alfresco terrace, the contemporary 90-seat dining room is set in rich white Italian leather paired with rustic treatments crafted in marble, oxidized copper, teak and reclaimed wood. French wooden floors, chandeliers and stunning exterior fireplaces grace the mixed-use table layout with a focal point fireplace styled from Bagattini Oregon stone marking the main entrance. Paired with Stamenov’s light touch and artisanal integrity, the restaurant underscores the authentic relationship between food and terroir.
Classically trained with an eye to sustainability, Stamenov’s light touch and artisanal integrity are evident in every offering. Wielding an impressive resume working under the ardent eye of such culinary greats as Pierre Gagnaire, Michel Richard, Alain Ducasse, Eric Ripert and the legendary Masa Kobayashi, his California country cuisine plays off locally-sourced product with the essence of the dish taking center stage. Subtle reductions and thoughtful flavor marriages are his mantra, paired with a back pocket of local farmers and foragers keeping Lucia’s kitchen at a steady simmer.
Culling from the Lodge’s two-acre organic garden and a private two-acre cornucopia flush with 150+ fruit trees, heirloom vegetables, 180,000 Italian honeybees and a cache of Plymouth, Barred Rock, Rhode Island, Speckled Sussex and Ameraucana chickens, Stamenov’s seasonal spotlight menu is certain to please.
Winter Whiteout Menu
A Seasonal Celebration of Trifola d’Alba Madonna (Truffle of the White Mother)
November 1-December 15, 2019
Warm Stuffed Ravioli
Soft quail egg, purple artichoke, brown butter, shaved Alba white truffle
Nantucket Bay Scallops
Sunchokes, San Daniele Prosciutto, tuber magnatum pico
Roasted Guinea Hen Breast
Red wine braised leg, agnolotti, shaved Alba white truffle
Classic Carnaroli Risotto
Bone marrow, Parmigiano Reggiano, shaved Alba white truffle
Cured duck liver, chestnut, gnocchi, persimmon, shaved Alba white truffle
Handcut Squid Ink Fettuccini
Monterey Bay squid meuniere, shaved Alba white truffle, fresh Carmel Valley olive oil
ABOUT BERNARDUS LODGE & SPA
Perennially recognized by discerning readers of Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Best Resorts” and Conde Nast Traveler’s “Top Resorts” and as well as a Wine Spectator award recipient (2001-2019), this Forbes Travel Guide Four Star property has long set the gold standard for wine country vacationing. Reopened after a full resort renovation in 2015, Bernardus Lodge & Spa is set on 28 pristine Carmel Valley acres awash with vineyards and lavender and boasts 73 luxurious guestrooms, suites & villas, the signature Spa at Bernardus, award-winning Lucia Restaurant & Bar, a junior Olympic size swimming pool, a hilltop adults-only infinity Jacuzzi, an alfresco croquet and bocce court, two tennis courts and 4,300 sq. ft. of meeting space. Woodside Hotel Group, an operator of a portfolio of distinguished independent luxury properties throughout Northern California, is the management company for the property, which is located on the Monterey Peninsula, 120 mi./193 km, south of San Francisco and 330 mi./531 km., north of Los Angeles. For information, contact Bernardus Lodge & Spa at 831-658-3400 or visit their site.