Despite reassuring reports that fattened duck liver would still find its way onto plates across California even as the state's ban on the stuff went in to effect July 1st, noted French Laundry chef Thomas Keller has promised to stick to the new regulations. (Being one of the highest profile foie fans might have something to do with that.) Anyhow, on the menu at the French Laundry, Keller and Co. have deemed Australian black winter truffles as the suitable second course replacement for the the traditional foie gras add-on.
As the Price Hike notes of the three-star Michelin's restaurant's new menu, the black truffle dish is a $75 supplement to the French Laundry's $270 chef's menu. Forty-five bucks extra for Australian fungus is quite a bump up from old the $30 surcharge for the duck liver, but it is still a better deal than the $100 Keller charges for the truffles at Per Se in New York. So, at least Yountville has that going for them.
Note: a representative from the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group writes in to remind us rather stuffily that Chef Keller never actually said truffles are the new foie gras. If we were more cynical, we could take this as an admission that truffles are an inferior, perhaps even overpriced product.