Fabio Vivani’s Truffle Mushroom Risotto for BALANI

Truffle Mushroom Risotto Recipe

There comes a time in every man’s life where it becomes absolutely pivotal for him to cook a mouth-wateringly incredible meal. We’re not talking about just any old recipe; it’s THE recipe. A show stopper to be exact. One that makes a lasting impression, and is coveted deeply in your culinary arsenal. 

This is that recipe. 

 Necessary Ingredients 

(SERVES 4-6)

– 2 C. Aborio Rice

– 1 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

– 2 T. Butter (unsalted)

– 2 EA. Spanish White Onion (diced)

– ½ C. Dry White Wine

– 6 C. Vegetable Stock

– 1½  C. Mixed Mushrooms, Roasted (Shitake & Oyster)  **We added baby bella mushrooms to our recipe**

– 1 C. Fava Beans (Cleaned)

– ½ C. Robiola Cheese (Can be substituted for a Mild Brie Cheese)

– 2 T. Truffle Butter

– 1 T. White Truffle Oil

– 2 T. Truffle Pate (Found in specialty stores like Eataly or online at Amazon.com)

– ½ C. Grated Grana Padano

– Salt & Pepper to taste


STEP 1: In a large sauté pan, melt the butter with the olive oil, once it is melted and hot sauté the onion until translucent.

STEP 2: Add the Aborio Rice and toast it, stirring constantly for 2 min.

STEP 3: Add the white wine and cook until the wine is completely evaporated.

STEP 4: Add Fava Beans & Mushrooms, cooking till well incorporated about 1 min.

STEP 5: Add 2 C. of the vegetable stock & cook stirring constantly until the stock is evaporated.

STEP 6: Add more stock  ½  C. at a time letting it get absorbed before adding the next one. Continue this process until the rice is tender but still has a little bit of a bite to it about 18-20 min. Stir, stir, stir!

STEP 7: To finish the risotto add the Robiola and Grana Padano, cooking the cheeses into the risotto to make it nice & creamy.

STEP 8: Add the truffle ingredients, butter, oil, & pate. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Serve on plates garnished with micro greens and enjoy!


Elizabeth FasulaFabio Vivani’s Truffle Mushroom Risotto for BALANI
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5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Summer Style

1.) Get Sporty
A summer sport coat is the fun cousin to the navy blazer. It gets all the attention and everyone wants to hang out with it. This particular sport coat has a big, bold pattern and lots of color. It’s not meant to blend in – it’s guaranteed to stand out.

Plaids, checks, and bold windowpanes are the perfect pattern for a summer sport coat. It commands a presence whether it’s worn with a pair of cotton trousers or dark denim jeans.


2.) Ditch your Dad’s Tie

Let’s face it, we all have ties in our closet that are old, tired, and need to be tossed. If it’s wider than 3-1/2 inches, has a bizarre 90’s pattern, and looks like it was a hand-me down, it’s time to get rid of it.

Updating your tie collection is the easiest way to modernize your wardrobe. Start by purchasing ties that are between 2-1/2 inches (narrow) to 3 inches (new standard) wide, have modern designs, and compliment your shirt and suit collection. This step will singlehandedly elevate your summer wardrobe game.


3.) Explore shirt cShirt and Tieolors

Summer fashion is inspired and drawn from the colors we’re surrounded by each day. So don’t be afraid to get out of the shallow end and dive headfirst into the deep end of the color spectrum.

For those who have spent years tiptoeing away from color, incorporating cool pastel tones in a micro stripe or check pattern is a great place to start. Cool pastels are extremely subtle and have bluish/grey undertones making it easier for men to experiment with. Most micro patterns have a white base and accent color in the pattern. Lilac, blush pink, violet, almond, and aquamarine are great options.

For those who freely embrace color, now’s the time to go bold! Try mixing in a brighter color palette such as, coral, tangerine, scarlet, turquoise and yellow.


4.) Accessorize above the waist

After reading step 2, we all know that a fantastic tie is a great addition to any wardrobe. Normally, I would never condone breaking up a suit and tie love affair; however, sometimes a little variety is necessary and quite frankly, a lot less boring.

Contrary to what you might think, men have considerable options when it comes to accessories. Spice up your relationship with your suit by adding a lapel pin, cufflinks, tie bar, or pocket square.

For those who are new to accessorizing, stick to 2 accessories at a time. If you prefer a conservative look, opt for a white cotton pocket square and silver tie bar. For those who want a modern look, add a patterned pocket square and colorful lapel pin.

5.) Lighten Up Your Loafers

Incorporating new colors to your wardrobe is not just reserved for clothing. The concept applies to accessories and shoes as well. With that said, it’s time to branch out from your standard black and dark brown lace ups and add some lightly colored loafers to the mix.

loafersSome of the most dynamic and fashionable colors for loafers are the lighter and brighter shades of the classics. Instead of a dark brown, go for a tan, chestnut, camel, or burgundy loafer. They will help bring out the warmer tones in any navy suit or blazer.

For those who aren’t afraid to branch out, try a bright blue or light grey suede loafer. Different textures will give your outfit visual interest and depth.

Elizabeth Fasula5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Summer Style
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Men’s Top 3 Spring Fashion Trends for Men

SPRINGtrendSpring is in the air, and this season, men’s custom clothing is brighter, smoother, and bluer than ever.
Creamy beaches, cool blue seas, Caribbean sunset tones and earthy greens serve as inspirations for the fabrics and patterns we’re seeing all over the runway. These tropical influenced colors are fresh, fun, and harmonious with the airy feel of spring.

Here’s our recommendation for The Top 3 Spring Fashion Trends for Men

Island Glen Paid Suit

Put down the Hotty Toddy’s and get ready for the mojitos, because spring is officially here. Which means one thing – color!

The “Island Glen Plaid Suit” is unique and a spring must-have, due to it’s beautiful color combination of sky blue and pale grey. This color blend creates an incredibly subtle glen plaid pattern making it extremely wearable, and a perfect option for those who don’t typically gravitate toward a patterned suit. Coconut brown buttons, and a navy lapel buttonhole will help pull the look together.

The suit’s versatility lies within its ability to be dressed up for a daytime event or worn casually for a destination wedding. The bluish-grey hue of the suit, works famously with a crisp white shirt and cotton pocket square. Add a navy tie to incorporate the navy detailing in the lapel buttonhole. Complete the look with blue socks and a caramel leather belt and shoes.

For those looking for casual wedding attire, draw start by going tieless with a powder blue shirt and colorful pocket square. Finish off the look with a navy canvas belt and white Sperry’s.

The Nautical Windowpane

Can’t decide between getting a classic navy blazer or a patterned sport coat? No problem, the “Nautical Windowpane” is the jacket for you.

The dark navy base shares the same characteristics and versatility of a navy blazer, while the light blue windowpane adds the pop and personality of a traditional sport coat. The best part about this jacket is its ability to transition into all four seasons.

For the warmer months of spring and summer, wear the jacket with a pair of cobalt blue cotton pants and a light blue check shirt. A knit navy tie and linen pocket square will add texture and color to the ensemble. When the weather starts to cool down in the fall and winter, swap out the cotton pants for a pair of wool slacks and add a cashmere sweater under the jacket.

Cream Cotton Pants

Not all khaki tones are created equally. In fact, cream is considered the fairest khaki of them all. Keeping with the nautical theme of previous seasons, cream is this season’s must-have color. Less stark than white, and more versatile than beige, cream is elegant, versatile and masculine. Combined with the lightweight cotton fabric, this pant is the ideal investment for spring.

Elizabeth FasulaMen’s Top 3 Spring Fashion Trends for Men
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Top 3 Custom Suits to Own First

Navy Suit with red tieImagine this, you land an incredible new job that requires you to wear a suit twice a week. Your previous job was business casual, so your suit game is outdated, ill fitting and essentially nonexistent.
So where do you start? You’ve already decided to purchase tailor made suits, but what colors should you buy first? What are the most versatile suit colors? Should you buy a pinstripe suit? Or is a solid suit fabric best?

Luckily, we’re here to help answer all your suit questions. Here’s our recommendation for the top 3 custom suits you should own.

1.) Charcoal Suit (Solid)

A charcoal suit is the most valuable suit in your entire wardrobe. Why? For its incredible versatility, elegance, and ability to conform in every situation. Commonly associated with loyalty and trustworthiness, charcoal is a customary choice for men who work face-to-face with clients.

One of the major advantages of a charcoal suit is its compatibility with the majority of shirt colors. Ranging from basic white, to jewel tones, pastels, and earth tones, charcoal has a chameleon like ability to work seamlessly with all colors.

Secondly, charcoal works beautifully with brown, black, chestnut, and merlot colored accessories (belts and shoes.) When you’re looking to lighten up a charcoal suit for spring, wear it with a chestnut shoe and pastel shirt. For a more conservative approach, wear it with black shoes, a crisp white shirt, and white pocket square.

2.) Navy Suit (Solid)

When starting a new job, a solid navy suit is absolutely essential. The rich navy color conveys confidence, power, trust, and stability. Like a charcoal suit, navy is appropriate for any business occasion. For that reason, it’s the perfect suit to wear when attending a meeting with your superiors, or when making a presentation in front of clients.

It is also extremely versatile in regards to shirt and tie combinations. For an important meeting, opt for a white button down shirt and a red tie. For a less demanding occasion, swap in a checked shirt and light blue tie. You’ll achieve two entirely different looks, all while wearing the same suit.

3.) Medium Grey Texture (Sharkskin, Herringbone, Glen Plaid, Nails Head, Birdseye)

Now that you have your two basic suits, your third custom suit should have a little more personality. A great way to achieve this is by going with a textured fabric, over a pattern.

The advantage of a textured fabric is that it provides visual interest, while offering the same versatility as a solid color. While pinstripe suits and windowpane suits are classic patterns, they are bold and much more difficult to match with shirts and tie combinations. Textures on the other hand, are much more subtle and give the wearer the ability treat the suit as a solid while capitalizing on the visual depth of the texture.

Elizabeth FasulaTop 3 Custom Suits to Own First
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5 Men’s Clothing Essentials for Fall 2014


Ready or not, summer is coming to an end.  While we’re not completely ready to say goodbye, we can all breathe a sigh of relief knowing that Fall clothes are here, and they are better than ever. So put away the white pants and bring out your Fall favorites.

Slate Three-Piece Suit

Not quite charcoal and not quite blue, slate is both unique and stylish. The greyish-blue color makes for a modern three-piece suit and stands out in a sea of basic navy and charcoal suits. Appropriate for the office or a fall wedding, the darker slate color lends itself to a variety of looks.

For those who work in a conservative environment, let the suit speak for itself by keeping it simple and monochromatic. Wear it with a white dress shirt, grey tie, black shoes, and silver cufflinks.

If it’s originality you crave, pair the suit with a checked shirt, patterned tie, dark brown belt, and flannel flower pin.

 Berry Bamboo Blazer

Bamboo. Really? Yes, really! It’s latest and greatest fabric to hit the market, and it’s phenomenal.

Bamboo has the feel of cashmere, the look of silk, and the durability of wool. The natural luster in the fabric gives the jacket an elegant and dressy look. The key is finding the color that is right for you.

That’s where berry comes in to play. Whether you prefer blueberry, raspberry, or even blackberry, berry tones are the “it” shades for jacketing this season. These colors are dynamic and eye catching, yet versatile and sophisticated enough to be paired with trousers or jeans. Suede elbow patches and subtle details will compliment the bamboo and help give it a casual feel.

Cashmere Sweater (Medium Grey)

There’s no better time to reintroduce cashmere into you wardrobe than fall. Known for its warmth and soft hand, cashmere is also incredibly lightweight making it the ideal fabric for sweaters.

The medium grey color, gives you the ability to mix and match outfits with ease. Wear it atop a patterned shirt and trousers and you’ll have a casual layered look for the Fall season. When the weather starts to drop, swap out the vest in your three-piece suit and replace it with the grey cashmere sweater. It’ll give your suit a fresh look and keep you comfortable and warm.

 Whipcord Travel Trouser

A dressier alternative to denim, whipcord is the ideal fabric for traveling. Why? It’s durable, wrinkle resistant, and holds up well to pilling. Originally used for outerwear, the angled twill weave in the fabric gives it strength and resistance to the usual wear and tear. This is the perfect trouser to take with you need to transition your outfit from day to night.

 Flannel Flower Pin

We said it in The 5 Essentials of Spring and we’ll say it again this Fall, flower lapel pins are all the rage. With the change in season comes a change in fabric. Flannel gives the flower a totally different look and feel. The brushed wool is a colorful and cozy addition to a suit lapel.


Elizabeth Fasula5 Men’s Clothing Essentials for Fall 2014
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Summer Must-Haves


It’s hot.

It’s humid.

It rains and then it pours.

The weather is as unpredictable as which country will win the World Cup.

The good new is that we can still look impeccably stylish amidst these harsh summer elements.

These are BALANI’s Summer Must-Haves:

British Blue Suit & Patterned Shirts

Get a case of the Summer blues and embrace your British Blue and sapphire tones. The warmer shades lend themselves nicely for suiting, trousers, and even blazers. Great for summer weddings, outdoor events, or even the office, a British blue garment balances beautifully with pastels and brighter colors.

Pump up your blues by adding a patterned shirt such as a check, stripe, gingham or plaid. These lively patterns are great for a festive summer look. To tone down a brighter blue suit and make it more conservative, simply pair it with a white shirt, darker shoes, and minimal accessories.

Colorful Accessories (Flower Lapel Pins – Socks – Pocket Squares)

This season, accessories are all about color, texture and pattern. One of the easiest ways to incorporate your personality into an outfit is to accessorize it with flower lapel pins, socks, cufflinks, and pocket squares.

Floral prints are a huge trend this summer, but we realize not everyone is ready to sport a bold, floral print shirt. That’s where flower lapel pins comes in handy. A subtle detail for your lapel buttonhole, flower pins will help baby step you into a hot trend and give you that little extra pop of color where you need it the most. Flower pins are made in all colors, so you can match the flower to your suit or spice it up with a bright pattern.

Socks and pocket squares also offer a unique opportunity for adding color and pattern. Whether you prefer stripes, polka-dots or wild patterns, these accessories give you the freedom to showcase your style without going overboard. For those looking to keep it classic and conservative, a white cotton pocket square is best.






Sonny BalaniSummer Must-Haves
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5 Facts You Didn’t Know About BALANI

1.) We have a suit you can pour a glass of red wine on and it won’t stain the fabric.

What is this miracle fabric you ask? It’s our Aquaplan collection by Dormeuil. For those of you who have a tendency to spill your drink (no judgment), this is the perfect fabric for you.

The Aquaplan collection is made from Super 130’s wool and finished with special Nano Technology treatment making it resistant to stains and also giving it a smooth finish. With this suit, you’ll never have to worry about rain or red wine again.

2.) The Most Expensive Suit BALANI Has Ever Made Cost Approximately $30,000

Yes you read that correctly. Thirty. Thousand. Dollars.

Made from 100% vicuña, this fabric is incredibly expensive because so few vicuñas actually exist.  In the 1960’s vicuñas were hunted to near extinction and today, they are an endangered species exclusive to South America. Incapable of being held captive or farmed, their wool has to be collected the old-fashion way.

Similar to the llama, vicuñas have extremely fine hair which can only be shorn once every three years. Their hair is so fine, that each sheering only produces 17 ounces of fiber, making it incredibly rare and one of the most expensive fabrics in the world.

3.) BALANI has dressed two First Ladies

Back when BALANI was Medos Custom Tailors, founder Peter Balani gained early recognition as as a world-class tailor. Eventually his connections gave him the opportunity to work with Jacqueline Kennedy and Claudia (Lady Bird) Johnson.

4.) The biggest suit BALANI ever made… Took an entire 9 yards of fabric to construct

That’s 1 yard shy of a first down! Just to put this in perspective, the average suit requires 3-3.5 yards of fabric.

Standing tall at 6’8” and weighing over 700lbs, our client was unable to find a suit that fit him off the rack. Knowing his struggles, Peter Balani was determined to make him a suit that fit. After taking his measurements, and evaluating the proper cut for his client’s build, Peter Balani created an incredible fitting suit. To this day, he considers this to be the most challenging suit he has ever made.

5.) BALANI made a red trophy jacket for the winner of a Beer Pong Tournament

We’ve all seen the Masters’ prized green jacket, but did you know there’s also a highly coveted red jacket?

While we don’t get requests like this very often, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to create such an original and valued garment. This fully custom jacket was made for two winners of an extremely competitive beer pong tournament. How competitive you ask? So competitive that the winner of the qualifying rounds play in Ireland.

Crafted from Holland and Sherry Super 120’s wool, the prize winning jacket is dark crimson with a white trim around the lapel. In order to guarantee this jacket is one-of-a-kind, an official championship patch was added right below the chest pocket.

Sonny Balani5 Facts You Didn’t Know About BALANI
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Debunking 3 Common Clothing Urban Legends

How to Match 3 Patterns
Urban Legend #1: It’s Never Acceptable to Wear Black Shoes with a Navy Suit

This particular urban clothing legend is one we’re asked about daily.

Let us start off by saying that the answer isn’t as cut and dry as you’d expect. While many people believe black shoes and a navy suit to be a clothing sin, we don’t necessarily agree.

To get the optimal shoe for your navy suit, it’s best to examine what type of “navy” you have. The color navy varies so drastically that the spectrum ranges from almost black to brighter blue. When trying to match up a pair of shoes with your suit, consider the hue of navy that you’re wearing.

For darker blue tones, such as midnight navy, black shoes are going to be the optimal choice because they are understated, formal and conservative. They will garner less attention and blend seamlessly with the look and feel of a traditional power suit.

When it comes to warmer blue tones, such as cobalt or British blue, lighter shades of brown will look the best. Camel, chestnut and merlot colored shoes will brighten the sapphire tones within the suit and make it feel less formal.

Urban Legend #2: No One Will Notice if You Wear Your Suit Coat as a Blazer

Gentlemen, this is simply not true. A suit jacket and a sport coat are two very different things. You cannot wear a pinstripe suit jacket with a pair of slacks and try to pass it off as a sport coat. People will definitely notice, and you will look ridiculous.

A blazer is not only styled differently from a suit jacket, but the fabrics are different as well. Generally speaking, blazers have a lot of texture. They are often made from a hopsack or bird’s eye fabric, whereas suits are more often made from a simpler gabardine fabric. Blazers also have different  stitching, pockets, and buttons from a suit. These distinguishing factors are extremely telling when wearing a suit jacket versus a blazer.

What about a navy suit jacket, you ask? While we don’t encourage wearing a navy suit jacket as a blazer, we understand that sometimes you have to work with what you’ve got. For example, if you’re traveling and need to pack light, you might have to wear your suit as separate pieces. In this situation, always pack a solid color suit; preferably navy. Avoid packing a suit with a pattern, otherwise it’s a dead giveaway you’re double dipping.

Urban Legend #3: You Should Never Wear 3 Different Patterns at the Same Time.

False. Mixing patterns can be challenging for a lot of guys, but when it’s done right, it looks incredible. Mastering this skill set is simple when following these 2 guidelines.

1.) Color

A monochromatic theme is the easiest place to start when attempting to combine patterns. For example, if you have a navy glen plaid suit, you can easily pull out the blue tones in the fabric by pairing it with a light blue checked shirt. Complete the look by adding a navy striped tie. It’s that simple.

2.) Scale

When matching a patterned suit, shirt, and tie begin with the scale of the suit pattern. For example, a standard pinstripe suit has stripes about 3/8” apart. When trying to match a shirt and tie with the suit, go for different patterns and different scales. We typically recommend a narrow stripe or small checked shirt pattern when matching up a standard pinstripe suit. For the tie, go with either a diagonal wider stripe or small dot pattern to keep the eye drawn inward.


Sonny BalaniDebunking 3 Common Clothing Urban Legends
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