Thursday, 17 January 2013

Food & Verbier


There are dozens of restaurants in Verbier on and off piste but let me tell you about one that I still have dreams about today. Don't let the name fool you, but 'Al Capone' (http://www.alcapone-verbier.com) is for me by far the best restaurant there.


The atmosphere is not stuffy but very homely and the prices are reasonable for a mountain restaurant. You will have difficulty deciding what you want on their Italian & Swiss menu. We decided on the truffled tortellini that would blow you away, and the star of the night would have to be a traditional Swiss dish called 'Chicken in a basket'. It is half a roast chicken served with fries and comes with an amazing secret sauce that will have you dribbling for days to come. The last time I was in Verbier and came here I asked the manager what was in this sauce and where I could buy some to take back with me. "If I tell you, I'd have to kill you" he said. I know better than to mess with Al Capone, but if I had to guess there's a lot of home-made mayonnaise, vinaigrette and an unidentified dashing of curry and spice. Having concluded that the only way I could ever have this chicken and sauce again means I will have to come back to Verbier made me happy knowing this will not be my last time.

Truffled tortellini mmmm

The one and only Chicken in Basket....that yellow sauce!!
The previous night before visiting Al Capone we dined at Le Rouge which is an upscale restaurant in town. It also hosts one of the best apres ski, rivalling itself with the apres ski at Farinet. Looking around the restaurant you will see a lot of beautiful people fashioning beautiful clothes with trimmings of fur. You know you will be paying a lot when you dine here. In 2009 we came to Rouge and was very impressed with the food and atmosphere. It had just opened not that long ago and was doing very well. Getting a reservation 2 days before proved difficult, fortunately my brother knew someone who could help. This year however we called one day before and got a table with no hassle. We should soon find out why. We left the restaurant feeling slightly disappointed with the food and slightly robbed. I understand we will always pay a premium in a resort like Verbier but I felt at least the food should match up. Just the scene is not enough for me.



On the slopes we ate at Le Dahu (http://www.ledahu.ch) which sits at the bottom of the La Chaux Express lift. Having burnt 800kcal on your morning skiing, all you want now is a cheesy and carb filled lunch and La Dahu will give you just that. The menu ranges from fondue, soups, salads, steak, pizza and a local speciality croute au fromage.  And what really makes the place is its location because the restaurant over looks the valley and mountain chains opposite. It really is a stunning view to have lunch, and it also offers a huge terrace for sunny days and for those people who do not mind eating in the cold. I need comfort and warmth when I eat, I need to take off my jacket, undo my boots and sit for a long and slightly boozy lunch. Afternoon skiing as you can imagine is much less productive.

Simona's Croute au Fromage...gooey cheeseness 


View from La Dahu
The addition this winter to the slopes is an old lift station that has been converted into a restaurant called La Vache which sits at the top of the 'James Blunt Lift' (Yes that is really the name). Owned by James Blunt, Rob Sawyer (owner of Farinet & Casbah), Lawrence Dallaglio and Carl Fogarty (whom of which are all regulars to Verbier) with the backing of Heston Blumenthal it aims to provide excellent mountain food without feeling ripped off. Unfortunately for me I did not get a chance to dine here, but from word of mouth I hear that the food is very good. 
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