Festa di Funghi – Mushroom and Truffle Festival at CinCin Ristorante + Wine Bar

Follow Me Foodie to Festa di Funghi!

The Mushroom and Truffle Festival at CinCin Ristorante + Wine Bar.

Honestly, I’m pretty much done with the truffle oil thing. I don’t hate it, but I’m not in love with it… anymore. It was a 90’s trend that stuck around and it’s still used by chefs today, but not as popular. Yes, there was a time and place when I liked it on fries, on pasta and drizzled on top of soups and sauces, but for the most part it is a “culinary crutch” and I can’t appreciate it although I’ll still eat it. I think LA Weekly said it best when they wrote an article stating “Adding truffle oil makes food seem sexy without actually doing anything… it’s the fake boobs of food… it’s a crutch”. And I can’t agree more. It’s not really “bad”, but I am a fan of real food.

To be fair, there are some good quality truffle oils out there, but it’s extremely rare. For the most part they are all synthetic and made with olive oil and chemicals, or an organic compound called 2,4-Dithiapentane. To put things in perspective a premium truffle oil from Italy will cost about $70 for a 0.33 oz bottle, and one from Oregon will be about $15 for a 2 ounce bottle. Apparently the one from Oregon is the only 100% verified natural truffle oil on the market too. The price of something doesn’t always represent the quality, but if you’re going to spend so much on a “premium truffle oil” then you might as well just treat yourself to the real deal.

I can’t confirm if it’s all, but the majority of truffle oils in the market, and all but one of them in North America are made from truffle extract, essence, aroma, flavouring or intimation truffle, and none of the above are representable of the real deal. It’s like comparing vinyl to leather, or cubic zirconia to diamonds, or margarine to butter. No matter what way you look at it, it just isn’t. Fair enough each product is catered for a different market, but truffle oil is incomparable to real truffles.

Many people think truffle oil tastes good or makes a dish better because truffles are a luxury product, but it’s more or less a bastardization of the real thing. So if you want to experience the luxury of a real truffle, or just indulge in a variety of mushrooms then Festa di Funghi is something you want to get in on.

I was invited to try Festa di Funghi at CinCin Ristorante + Wine Bar in downtown Vancouver, BC and today is the last day. It which was a celebration of mushrooms and truffles, and I’m not talking about truffle oil, but real truffles. Beautiful, beautiful truffles. And I’ll Cin Cin to that.

Note: The following is just a highlight of what you can expect. The truffles can be added to gnocchi, risotto, ravioli and tagliolini. My full post on CinCin Ristorante + Wine Bar will be posted soon, but I want you to get in on the festival before it’s over and these were the ones I enjoyed most.

On the table:

Agnolotti di Zucca 

  • Stuffed pasta of red kuri squash, parmesan and mascarpone with brown butter sage, pecorino and hazelnuts. $18.50 / $23.50
  • Optional: Black Burgundy Truffles 4.50 per gram (Recommended minimum of 3 grams)
  • Optional: White Alba Truffles 13.50 per gram (Recommended minimum of 3 grams)
  • This was fantastic and my favourite course of the night.
  • I’m not comparing it to the Butternut Squash Ravioli with truffle butter at Cactus Club (although it is very good), but it was that similar idea, but with real truffles which makes all the difference.
  • The brown butter was short of being caramelized and the flavour wasn’t quite nutty yet, but regardless it was a highlight and I would strongly recommend it.
  • It’s rich and indulgent with thin house made agnolotti skins, a creamy filling of sweet and cheesy squash, fragrant sage, shaved black truffles and toasted hazelnuts for crunch and aromatics.
  • Get the wine pairing for this which is the Foxtrot The Waltz Pinot Noir 10 Okanagan Valley. The transition from food to wine was so smooth and almost seamless. Perfect pairing.
Golden Chanterelle
  • 150 grams of BC Chanterelle mushroom bruschetta truffle boschetto, thyme and olive oil $16.50
  • Optional: Black Burgundy Truffles 4.50 per gram (Recommended minimum of 3 grams)
  • Optional: White Alba Truffles 13.50 per gram (Recommended minimum of 3 grams)
  • This was a side dish and I could have had two for myself and called it a night. I loved this.
  • It was “Mushrooms on Toast 2.0”. It it had a sous vide egg underneath I would have kicked the table.
  • It was incredibly rich and indulgent with buttery mushrooms and melting shavings of parmesan on top.
  • There were pieces of crunchy bruschetta underneath which tasted like they were brushed with truffle butter/oil (?)

Tiramisu 

  • House made lady fingers soaked in espresso and Kahlua, Mascarpone mousse $12
  • This is one of their most popular desserts and it was espresso and coffee forward.
  • I could actually taste the mascapone in the mousse which I find is the most important part in a tiramisu.
  • The lady fingers are soaked all the way through and it’s a double layer cake.
  • I prefer a bit more sponge instead of a completely wet cake base, but quality, presentation and flavour were all there.
  • I’m a bit biased because the pastry chef Christophe is my friend, but I wouldn’t recommend something I didn’t like… ever.

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