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Truffle Feast at David Santos’s Louro
December 5th, 2012 by donuts4dinner

I’ve been pretty terrible about blogging them, but suffice it to say that our first trip to Chef David Santos’s underground supper club was the first of many. Dave’s food is this hard-to-find combination of incredibly comforting and refined, and his passion for what he does makes it taste even better. And now the chef finally has a proper home, Louro in the West Village.

The night before the official opening, we were lucky enough to get a couple of seats at his first Monday night Nossa Mesa supper club dinner, part of a weekly series of themed meals. This was the Black and White dinner, featuring loads and loads of truffles.

Louro NYC Truffle Dinner

Louro NYC Truffle Dinner

This dinner was BYOB, but the bar was fully stocked, and we of course had a glass of Riesling. The space, formerly housing the restaurant Lowcountry, has been redesigned with whites and granites, gorgeous branch-like lighting fixtures with exposed bulbs, and a “library” of photos of books lining the walls. Classy.

Louro NYC Truffle Dinner
Chef Santos’s famous/infamous Portuguese “butter”

Actually lard. With lots and lots of black pepper.

Louro NYC Truffle Dinner
Chef Santos’s equally famous/infamous “flatbread”

Actually the fluffiest bread. Not at all flat.

Louro NYC Truffle Dinner
amuse: uni, grapefruit

One of the better preparations of uni I’ve had. The tart grapefruit didn’t highlight the bitterness of the uni, as I would expect, but they balanced one another. A very clean, refreshing start.

Louro NYC Truffle Dinner
hamachi tartare, quail egg, grilled scallions, white truffle aioli

I never thought I’d ever call scallions the highlight of a dish, but these were so flavorful and had such a great chewy texture. Between the over-easy quail egg and the aioli, this became a creamy mess within seconds, and all of us were practically licking our plates to get every last bit of scallion-y oil-slicked hamachi.

Louro NYC Truffle Dinner
celery root soup, black truffle pudding, celery in textures

I have a friend who hates celery, and never was I sadder for her than when eating this belly-warming bowl of celery-flavored cream. Slivers of celery lined the bottom of the bowl, but the textures weren’t even necessary for me when the base was so incredibly rich with celery.

Louro NYC Truffle Dinner
risotto, lardo, parmigiano foam, white truffles

Refusing to let up for a second, the chef followed with another creamy dish: the most cheesy, fatty risotto. You think you’re going to get tired of eating a whole bowl of the same flavor and texture, and then you take a single truffle-laden bite and wish the bowl was bigger.

Senat Farms chicken two ways:

Louro NYC Truffle Dinner
first way: black truffle, corn bread, wild mushrooms

Tender chicken with a crispy skin and cubes of granular cornbread, mushrooms, and onions marinated in truffle oil. So many deep, dark, umami flavors in one dish. I needed about ten times more cornbread and ten times fewer mushrooms, but I understand that normal people love mushrooms.

Louro NYC Truffle Dinner
second way: polenta, confit ragu, wild mushrooms

Very reminiscent of the buttery potato mousseline served on the side of the whole duck at Eleven Madison Park, this was so smooth it was hard for me to equate it with the grainy fried polenta I’m used to. The tender chicken almost disintegrated into the creamy polenta. I hope this shows up on the regular menu so I can eat it again in the dead of winter and be comforted.

Louro NYC Truffle Dinner
foie gras beignets, truffle sugar and glaze

Donuts4dinner! Only sadly, I didn’t care for them. For me, they weren’t nearly sweet enough to be dessert because of the truffle, but they were also too sweet to be savory because of the sugar, and they were also a little funky thanks to the foie gras. On the bright side, they were just the right fluffy-but-filling consistency, and one of my friends thought they were entirely successful, so.

Louro NYC Truffle Dinner

Louro
142 West 10th Street
New York, NY 10014 (map)



In the name of self-congratulations, I’d also like to mention that some of my photos were used by New York magazine’s Grub Street blog yesterday in the announcement of Louro’s opening this week: What to Eat at Louro, Now Serving Fry Bread and Rabbit Rillettes in the West Village. (Click on the picture to see more.)

I couldn’t have been more pleased at the opportunity to shoot Chef Santos’s food and to have my work shown in one of my favourite blogs. Here’s one of the outtakes from the shoot to get you ready for Louro’s regular menu:

Louro NYC


6 Responses  
  • Jess + Garrett writes:
    December 5th, 20126:09 pmat

    Great photos, and much-deserved recognition by Grub Street. 5 donuts all around!

    • donuts4dinner writes:
      December 6th, 201210:20 amat

      Thank you, thank you! Much appreciated.

  • famdoc writes:
    December 5th, 20127:01 pmat

    Nice work capturing the beauty of Dave’s cooking and plating. I don’t know if you caught it, but as the beignets were served and David came out of the kitchen, our table spontaneously gave him a standing ovation. That’s the kind of joy his food and events inspire. For me, it’ll was the first of many visits to his new home.

    • donuts4dinner writes:
      December 6th, 201210:22 amat

      Thank you! We were part of the clapping but had no idea who started it or if we were even clapping for Dave. We were all of the way in the front at the bar and couldn’t see anything! But yes, your standing ovation was truly deserved, and I too can’t wait to visit again.

  • Tracey writes:
    December 5th, 201210:30 pmat

    Yeeeeeeah, New York Magazine!

    I want to hear more about the famousness/infamousness of the not-at-all-flat flatbread! You know I have a hard time getting behind the non-flatness, but it looked delicious despite its deceptiveness.

    • donuts4dinner writes:
      December 6th, 201210:24 amat

      You and your terrible taste in breads would totally hate it, but the rest of us adore its crisp, buttery outside and fluffy inside. The infamousness comes from the fact that it’s always served with his lard spread, which gloops and glops all over the plate and demands to be licked off of forks and fingers.


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