We all know that, after a hard morning’s skiing, lunch is the only thing on our mind. But, if you consider yourself a foodie, a simple carb-load might not cut it. Here’s our pick of the best ski resort restaurants to try this season.
The Best Ski Resort Restaurants In Europe
- Switzerland: Bären Restaurant, Wengen
- France: La Bouitte, Three Valleys; Le Toî Du Monde, Val D’arly
- Italy: Chalet Etoile, Cervinia; Gostner Schwaige, Dolomites
- Austria: Hendl Fischerei, Leogang
Switzerland: Bären Restaurant
The Restaurant: ‘Why go far away for food when all the good things are close by?’ is the philosophy of Willy and Therese Brunner, owners of the Bären Hotel and restaurant, who serve only home-grown, locally grown or regional products. On the menu is Grindelwald lamb, Wengen beef, game from local hunts, fish from nearby Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, and of course locally produced mountain cheeses and butters. Even the herbs and flowers used to decorate the dishes are grown in the hotel’s garden.
Standout Dish: Pulled wild boar burger with red cabbage salad, fried onions, Bären French fries, cranberry sour cream served in a homemade bun.
The Essentials: Booking advised, though a small selection of dishes are now available as takeaway.
BOOK: +41 33 855 14 19 / baeren-wengen.ch
France: La Bouitte
St Martin De Belleville, Three Valleys
The Restaurant: The tiny Savoie village of St Marcel, in a quiet corner of the Three Valleys, is home to this exquisite restaurant and hotel, owned and run by the Meilleur family for more than 40 years. What began as a raclette and fondue ski resort restaurant now has three Michelin stars, with chef-owners René and Marie-Louise, and their children Sophie and Maxime, serving Savoyard specialities to those who make the extra effort to find this gem. The chalet hotel has also earned five-star Relais & Châteaux status for its 15 bedrooms and spa.
Standout Dish: Chamois (mountain goat) in brown broth, poached foie gras, cranberry beans and chopped lovage.
Don’t Miss: The cheese trolley. La Bouitte offers a selection of 40 local cheeses from the Savoie and Haute Savoie regions.
The Essentials: You’ll need to book, and you can either walk from St Martin (around 20 minutes) or La Bouitte will collect you by car.
BOOK: +33 479 08 96 77 / la-bouitte.com
France: Le Toî Du Monde
Flumet, Val D’arly
The Restaurant: Florent Perrin inherited this former farmhouse, dating back to 1886, and has completely renovated and transformed it into a carbon-neutral eco lodge. Set in Val d’Arly, between the Aravis, Beaufortain and Mont Blanc mountain ranges, much of the produce used in the open kitchen comes directly from Le Toî du Monde’s garden. Everything else is sourced within a 10km radius and there is an on-site smoker to cure local fish and meats. The high-ceilinged ski resort restaurant has been awarded a Bib Gourmand and Etoile Verte in the Michelin Guide for its sustainable cuisine.
Standout Dish: While the menu changes seasonally, one dish is a constant – Le Tartiflette Tatin, an upside-down tartiflette, made using a secret recipe from Florent Perrin’s grandmother.
Don’t Miss: Le Toî du Monde holds regular concerts by the region’s best musicians on the terrace with far-reaching views of Mont Blanc.
The Essentials: Booking advised. Also a four-star Gîte de France eco-lodge sleeping up to 20.
BOOK: +33 479 10 63 53 / letoidumonde.com
Italy: Chalet Etoile
The Restaurant: Built in 1974 by Cesare Frassy, Chalet Etoile started life selling simple sandwiches. Now it does a roaring winter trade with the whole family involved. Cesare’s Swedish wife, Ulla, who came to Cervinia as a chalet girl, is now head chef. Their son Kalle buys the all-important local Italian wine while his girlfriend, Hanna, is the pastry chef. The Frassys’ daughter, Caroline, is front of house and her chef-husband, Alessandro, works in the kitchen with Ulla, introducing new dishes. The Swedish-Italian cuisine has an Asian twist, a nod to the time Caroline and Alessandro spend in Bali every summer.
Standout Dish: Best-sellers include reindeer ravioli, lobster and king crab.
Don’t Miss: The evening private dining experience where the restaurant is decorated with candles. Guests are collected from their accommodation or the village by skidoo.
The Essentials: Tables must be booked several weeks in advance during high season.
BOOK: +39 1669 40 220 / chaletetoile.it
Italy: Gostner Schwaige
Alpe Di Siusi, Dolomites
The Restaurant: A ‘schwaige’ is a type of mountain hut where you cook your own goods, and this refugio is run on the simple philosophy of serving local produce from the surrounding Seiser Alm. Now a family affair, chef-proprietor and renowned local character Franz Mulser, along with his wife, Petra, and parents Michl and Julla, serves food inspired by the surrounding meadows and sourced from the farm that has been in the family for more than 500 years. It also has four suites sleeping between two and four.
Standout Dish: ‘Heublüttensuppe’ – a soup made of hay from the alpine plateau, flowers and 15 herbs, served in a bread crock.
Don’t Miss: Cheese from the family’s farm, set at 1,900m beneath Mt Schlern, including petal cheese, mountain saffron cream cheese and an edelweiss camembert. Best enjoyed as part of a ‘Marende’, a type of Tyrolean ploughmans.
The Essentials: Booking is essential, and if you arrive by train, the family will happily pick up guests from the station. The restaurant is only open for dinner by reservation in the evening.
BOOK: +39 347 836 81 54 / aussergost.com
Austria: Hendl Fischerei
The Restaurant: Taking pride of place opposite the Asitz top station in the Leogang ski area, this ski resort restaurant began life as a simple hut selling BBQ and roast chicken. Today, with its floor-to-ceiling windows and retractable roof offering panoramic views of the surrounding peaks, it’s now one of the most sought after tables in the valley – with bookable private areas including a Zermatt cable car and Champagne box. However the simple, tasty, barbecued food remains the same and the chicken still takes centre stage.
Standout Dish: Huwi’s half a roast chicken, served with stone-baked bread (€12.50).
Don’t Miss: A heli-cab home. Hendl Fischerei partners with Sennair to take guests (and their ski equipment) directly back to their accommodation – with or without a sightseeing tour on the way.
The Essentials: Booking is essential, especially for the private booths.
BOOK: +43 6583 20 800 800 / hendl-fischerei.at
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