first Alba truffles of the year @TonyVallone

I snapped this photo today at lunch at Tony’s in Houston, the first Alba truffles I’ve seen this year.

Tony — my friend and client — talked about how the truffles are arriving early this year because of drought conditions over the summer in Italy.

There is no food in the world with a greater aura. (Does anyone get my Latin paronomasia?)

New York Stories 3: Eataly with Michele Scicolone

Still not quite sure what to make of Eataly. But was thrilled to check it out with one of my favorite Italian food writers and authorities, our good friend Michele Scicolone, who took time out from her writing to stroll through the different pavilions with me.

The “Piazza.” I’m not the first or only one to note that it’s a “Disneyland of Italian gastronomy.”

I was really impressed by the salumeria slicing and packaging.

The trouble with truffles… They’re EXPENSIVE no matter where or how you slice ’em…

The “vegetable butcher” will trim your veggies for you.

Michele is so awesome. I can’t recommend her books highly enough.

More New York Stories to come…