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With Spring on the horizon, any good foodie know that means it’s sadly the final days of black truffle season. Fans of the savory fungi should make a point to dine at Westwood mainstay Tanino Ristorante Bar where owner and Executive Chef Tanino Drago is known for making magical things happen with black truffles. His coveted Annual Black Truffle Menu will be available through the end of March.

“I’ve been doing a special black truffle menu for 20 years,” Tanino explains. “The flavor of the black truffle is completely unique and unlike the white truffle. Black truffles are less fragrant than white truffles, and black truffles also have a longer season. Being able to celebrate for a limited time makes it very unusual, and we love bringing the culture of the black truffle to Los Angeles. It is a wonderful experience for our guests, and it’s very exciting for me too. I always look forward to black truffle season every year when it comes.”

Chef Drago’s enthusiasm is evident in the creation of his special à la carte menu, which focuses on traditional Italian fare and is specifically designed to highlight the flavor and texture of the black truffle. First on the menu, is the Zuppa di funghi al Tartufo Nero, which is a mushroom soup with fresh black truffles, followed by the Tramezzino di Polenta con Funghi e Tartufo Nero, a polenta tart with mushrooms, Fontina cheese and black truffles.

And Tanino’s famous house made pasta dishes, such as the Raviolone all’Uovo e Tartufo Nero, which is a delicious egg yolk ravioli with asparagus and black truffle, or guests can sample the Taste of the Season with the Tagliolini al Tartufo, made with fresh Tagliolini pasta, Reggiano cheese and a generous shaving of black truffles. 

One of Chef Drago’s favorite dishes is the Risotto al Tartufo—Arborio rice with Fontina cheese and black truffle. Says Chef Drago,

“The secret to this dish is the truffle infused Fontina cheese, which covers the pasta in truffle decadence,” explains Chef Drago. “Then we shave additional black truffles on top, to create one of the most authentic Italian black truffle dishes on our menu.”

Lastly, there’s a succulent dish for all the meat eaters as well—the Saltimbocca Alla Romana e Tartufo, which is a sautéed, pounded veal topped with prosciutto, Fontina cheese and soft polenta with black truffles.

FYI, Black truffles are native to Italy, and Chef Tanino has spared no expense importing them over the course of the past 20 years for Tanino Ristorante’s patrons to enjoy; encouraging them to expand their palate and sample more wares from his native country.

“It is never about the money,” Chef Drago says. “I do it because we care about our customers, and they look forward to it every year. We help people create memories with our food, and they call us when the season is approaching to say, ‘Please, please call us when you get the black truffles in!’”

Chef Tanino Drago’s Annual Black Truffle Menu is available through the end of March. Don’t delay!

Tanino Ristorante Bar is located at 1043 Westwood Blvd. Call 310-208-0444.



Top photograph courtesy of Tanino Ristorante Bar



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