For my wife Jun and I, our first overseas trip as a couple was to Italy back in 2016, and one of our favorite places during our trip was not surprisingly Florence. In addition to many iconic Renaissance sites and museums, we had wonderful meals there. We were both deeply impressed with the focus on execution and the quality of ingredients from the Tuscany region without playing fancy tricks (see my review here at one of the places we had visited https://kenscale.com/2016/10/25/losteria-di-giovanni/), and ever since it became hard to visit Italian restaurants in New York City where many places juice up flavor without achieving the beautiful simplicity that we have encountered in trattorias in Florence and elsewhere. When I heard of a popular restaurant known for its extensive use of truffles coming to visit NYC through the Chefs Club residency, I knew I had to book this dinner. While we hadn’t had a chance to visit Osteria delle Tre Panche during our stay in Florence, I was hoping to use our visit as an opportunity to reminisce about our culinary journey in Italy. More or less the meal at the Chefs Club pop-up delivered that mission, although the heavy use of truffle might have something to do with it.
If you want to go full truffle mode for a meal, the Osteria delle Tre Panche residency is the perfect time to do so. The use of truffle was more often than not successful in enhancing the flavor of the dishes. While the use of truffle can at times overwhelm your palate, what made the truffle such a great addition to the dishes at this pop-up was that the flavor of each base dish was fairly well-balanced in the first place such that truffle was able to bring another element without juicing up the flavor to unbearable degree. Artichoke quiche was already delicious in its original form but the addition of truffle was an added bonus that turned it into a memorable one. The ravioli with pecorino cream was surprisingly not too heavy, which is precisely how truffle gave an extra spark to the pasta that you wouldn’t get tired of after a couple of scoops. On the other hand, the parmesan flan with cauliflower cream was already a fairly rich dish from the beginning so adding truffle didn’t bring much marginal value. If you want to see what a steak dish with truffle on top is like, by all means go for the tagliata strip steak where the meat was very well grilled with just a bit of salt and the truffle did the rest in defining the dish’s flavor. For dessert, we were looking forward to the famed cheesecake from the restaurant (based on a recipe dating from 1986 and also available for purchase of the whole cake at a whopping $180 per cake), but it turned out to be a little bit too much like egg tart for our taste.
The pop-up quickly sold up following the announcement; if you can snag last-minute tables or try the bar seating, do give it a shot. Given the origin of the restaurant, the wine list was exclusively Italian and you can find some good value like a bottle of Super Tuscan we shared for our meal. While the meal at Osteria delle Tre Panche was overall pretty delicious, Jun also thought it was hard not to dislike the meal here given the heavy use of truffle. If we had gone only with dishes without truffle, what would’ve been like? With that said, if you are a huge truffle fan, this is one opportunity you don’t want to miss.
KenScale: 8.25/10 (Jun’s Score: 8.25/10)
- Creativity: 8.0/10
- Execution: 8.0/10
- Ingredients: 8.5/10
- Flavor: 8.5/10
- Texture: 8.5/10
- Value: 8.0/10
Address: 275 Mulberry Street, New York, NY 10012
Telephone: (212) 941-1100