Le Cirque Bids High for Monster Truffle

Bar Martignetti

Sirio Maccioni stops to smell the mushroom.Photo: Melissa Hom

It hasnt been a great growing season for white truffles, but the pezzonovanti who frequent Le Cirque wont let that bother them: Owner Sirio Maccioni has somehow managed to acquire a mammoth one-pound truffle recently unearthed in Italy. Sirio submitted the winning bid of $7,000 for the gigantic tuber, the biggest of its kind found in several years. Sirios son Mauro Maccioni, who runs the restaurant along with his father, was thrilled: Truffles are very scarce this year, so to find such a pristine, large one is really amazing. Its a gem. Its almost a shame to eat it!

Bar Martignetti

Giddy chefsPhoto: Melissa Hom

The precious fungus is accepting your admiration all week. After that, it's time for a shave. Expect to see the truffle in chef Christophe Bellancas lush Tallegio-cheese-filled tortelloni and the chestnut-flour tagliatelle with porcini. We would prefer a plain truffle risotto, the better to enjoy the behemoth in all its glory. But since such a dinner would likely cost us a weeks pay, well just enjoy the pictures, like (nearly) everybody else.