Dining Guide | 6 Best Truffle Dishes in Phoenix
Ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars per pound, truffles are the most expensive mushroom you’ll likely come in contact with. With such a hefty price tag they have become synonymous with elegance and extravagance along with foie gras, Wagyu beef, and caviar. With the expense and intensity of flavor these diamonds of the kitchen are used sparingly; too much and you’ve put a lot of money on a plate that may not be palatable to most and too little and, well, what’s the point?
Whether sliced and placed delicately atop a beautiful dish or infused in oil to enhance the flavors and aroma of a dish, we have found some of the most tantalizing and creative use of truffles in some of your favorite local restaurants, without the help of a trained pig. So feast your eyes and taste buds on these decadent dishes and prepare for a treat; our picks for the 6 best truffle dishes in Phoenix.
6 Best Truffle Dishes in Phoenix
Christopher’s and Crush Lounge
2502 E. Camelback Road| Phoenix| 602.522.2344
If you have had the pleasure of dining at Christopher’s, you know that there is something magical that happens in the kitchen there. The dishes are complex and creative and fully encapsulate Chef Christopher Gross’ talent. His classic dishes have just a touch of his beautiful madness in each bite. A brilliant example of that is the Cedar River AZ smoked truffle infused filet mignon. This steak, on its own, with perfect preparation would shine with flavor and tenderness. Chef Gross adds to that beauty and is somehow able to infuse the headiness and musk of the smoked truffle throughout the steak so that you experience the individuality and aromas simultaneously. It’s a full body experience.
3603 E. Indian School Road| Phoenix| 602.358.8666
Located in the Gaslight Square shopping center, you’ll find the restaurant has an eclectic collection of décor and seating options. The menu is small but mighty. All of the dishes are well thought out and the ingredients have been selected for their impeccable taste and complement to one another. One of Chef Cullen Campbell’s most raved about dishes with those in the know is his semolina gnocchi. The gnocchi is made from locally grown wheat and is much lighter than the more traditional potato gnocchi. The shape is a little non-traditional as well, but that lends itself to the uniqueness of the dish. The gnocchi is placed atop a ragu of lamb neck, truffle, cacao e Pepe and fig. The consolidation of these ingredients creates a very rich dish which is cut, ever so slightly and delicately, by the addition of acidity from the fruit in the sauce.
Garage Wine and Tap
1534 E. Bethany Home Road| Phoenix| 602.265.4125
Wings are standard pub fare and you’re sure to find a variety of sauces to compliment the tiny chicken treat. From barbecue to hot sauce, Asian inspirations and even some on the sweet side; there are a plethora of options. One option you might want to give a second glance when at Garage Wine and Tap is their honey truffle sauce they offer for their chicken wings. The chicken wings themselves are rather large and come ten to an order. The wings are perfectly sauced and not sitting a pool as you may find at other locations. The heady flavor and aroma of the truffle do a delicate dance with the sweetness of the honey, allowing you to get a glimmer of each on their own. The honey also helps to ensure that the truffle component is not overpowering, ensuring a perfect balance.
Pizza People Pub
1326 N. Central Ave.| Phoenix| 602.795.7954
Pizza People Pub became a reality after years of a successful food truck (Pizza People) and now their devoted followers can find them in the same spot day after day at their brick and mortar location. This locally owned restaurant has a menu that holds clever and cheeky names for their pies. There are the classics that you would expect from a pizza place, but some unique and creative combinations as well. While the fun guy pizza is not ground-breaking as far as ingredients go, it gets extra points for intense flavors. The pie is comprised of mozzarella, cremini mushrooms, fresh arugula and truffle oil. The mushrooms and truffle oil pair perfectly, being from the same family. The arugula is what sets this pie apart from others. The strong pepper element that comes from it adds an additional component and really plays into the truffles resulting in a unique and enjoyable union.
7822 N. 12th St.| Phoenix| 602.870.3015
While Thai food and truffles may not seem to be a common pairing, Red Thai has created a dish that somehow makes more sense than you may think. Chef Johnny Chu has taken a relatively mundane dish, though delicious and addictive, in edamame and elevated it to an I-need-to-have-a-huge-bowl-of-this-right-now status. On its own, edamame has a sweet and nutty nature and is a perfect introduction to any Asian dinner. At Red Thai, they steam the edamame and then toss that in a truffle butter and then top with sea salt. The addition of the truffle butter adds a musky note that evens out the sweetness and plays into the nuttiness of the edamame creating an entirely new taste profile.
Vincent’s on Camelback
3930 E. Camelback Road| Phoenix| 602.224.0225
Vincent’s on Camelback is synonymous with exquisite French cuisine here in the Valley and the uniqueness of this spot is not in its fine dining backdrop. It is in the little hints of the Southwest influence that you will find in Chef Vincent Guerithault’s dishes. One of the restaurant’s signature dishes are the corn ravioli with truffle oil. The delicate ravioli houses and explosive merger of corn, onion and I pressure a healthy dose of butter. Those lovely purses are then dressed in fresh corn and tomatoes and then laced with white truffle oil. The sweetness of the corn marries well with the heady essence and aroma of the white truffle, creating a unique combination of flavors.
This article originally appeared in the February 2016 issue of Uptown Magazine.