A special truffle dinner!

Last year Stefan van Sprang held his first “truffle-feast,” which was so successful that it got a reprise at Aan de Poel**. From October 8 through (at least) November 2, you can order a special 6-course extravaganza that combines white and black truffles with Van Sprang’s favorite ingredients. As it was already a year ago that we visited Aan de Poel with Koen and Erica, this particular occasion was a no-brainer to revisit the restaurant.

Some dishes included truffles in the preparation, but many were selected from Stefan’s collection of signature dishes and then gilded by generous shavings and gratings of Umbria’s white and black gold. They call truffles that for a reason, so the menu is priced accordingly at €185 (excluding drinks); the normal 6-course chef menu sets you back €125.

There were some classic combinations (like egg and risotto) in which it would be hard not to let the truffles shine, but they also were served on “existing” dishes. As truffles will inevitably change their original flavor profile, it is quite a feat to get the balance right, which mostly was spot on. The only dish that did not fully hit the mark for us was the Smoked Eel dish. We missed the textural element a bit as the Pommes Soufflés had been filled and therefore lacked their crunchiness. Even though the white truffle was a bit overpowered by the smokiness of the eel, it was one of the best smoked eels that we had in quite some time.

For the wine-pairing, Aan de Poel did not go for the obvious choices, i.e. wines from the same Northern Italian region as the truffles, but we got served a nice variety of delicious reds and whites and a very good PX for dessert.  Speaking of which, the combinations of the truffles and the dessert dishes were terrific. I had mine – the blackberry and beetroot sugar dome – twice before last year, but the truffle did bring it to the next level!

Therefore, all in all, a delightful dinner. We can’t wait for next year’s edition!

To ease us in, only one of the first 3 amuses had truffle in it.
Second amuse course: Egg Yolk and Black Truffle
1a. Lobster (Truffle Marinated, Seared, and Salad), Sauerkraut, and Black Truffle
1b. Sauerkraut, Swede, and Black Truffle
2a. Smoked Eel, Pomme Soufflé, Eel Beurre Blanc Sauce, and White Truffle
2b. Cucumber, Apples, Tapioca Crisp, and White Truffle
3a. Foie Gras, Confit, Apple and Almonds (Candied and Foam), and White Truffle
3b. Grilled Courgette, Courgettini, Asparagus Broccoli, Pomegranate, and Black Truffle
4. The ‘Black & White’ Risotto


5a. Beef – topped with Bonemarrow and Crackling – , Cep Mushroom, Celeriac, Jus de Veau, and White Truffle (paired with a vibrant red Rioja Alta from Sonsierra) 
5b. Celeriac, Gnocchi, and White Truffle
Dessert Amuse: Vanilla Ice Cream, Balsamic Vinegar Pearls, and White Truffle

The main dessert was Praline Ice Cream, Cacao Nibs and Chocolate Cake on the plate on the left. The right plate had Coffee Ice Cream, Shards of different types of Chocolate, a Maple Syrup Leaf, and Black Truffle.

Given the hazelnuts in the praline, I got a different dessert:

Sugar Ball with Blackberry, Beetroot, Lavender, and Black Truffle
My selection from the friandise section: Whisky and Honey Bonbon, Tartelette with Coconut, and (of course…) the Pasteis de Nata.


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