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100 Favorite Restaurants: Asking for Truffle

Kim Fredericks

The most popular dish on Marc Haeberlin’s menu at Auberge de l’Ill, in the Alsace region of France, is an irresistible paragon of excess. Dubbed La Truffe Sous la Cendre and invented 40 years ago by Haeberlin’s now-semiretired father, Paul, it features a 1-ounce (30-gram) black Perigord truffle, which is covered in layers of foie gras and poultry stuffing, encased in pastry, and then deep-fried. The creation is presented in a shallow pool of Périgueux sauce, a rich concoction that contains still more foie gras and black truffle.

The delicacy is priced at about $200 (137 euros), and on a typical evening, Haeberlin and his chefs prepare eight orders. Some patrons request it as an appetizer, while others make it their main course.

Auberge de l’Ill’s version of “truffles under the ashes” tweaks the original recipe, which calls for baking the pastry-wrapped fungus—sans foie gras and stuffing—in the embers of a fire. “The deep-frying,” explains Hae­berlin, “brings high and direct heat to the dish and develops the flavors inside the pastry.”

Auberge de l’Ill, Illhaeusern, France, +33.3.89.71.89.00,
www.auberge-de-l-ill.com

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