Entries in Italy (3)

Friday
Apr122013

St. Hubertus

Our fine dining tour of the Dolomites concluded with St. Hubertus in the luxurious Rosa Alpina hotel in San Cassiano, the region’s only two-star restaurant, and a clear step above the other two we visited, La Siriola and La Stüa de Michil.

There are several tasting menus offered, but we ordered a four-course meal from the carte. Nothing is inexpensive here. Dinner for two, including wine (a €65 Carmenero) came to €373, or about $467.

Like the other starred restaurants we visited, the space is accented in blonde wood, rustic artwork, and sprays of flowers. The staff dress in a livery of modern gray suits. The service style is classic, elegant, and prceise, with a batallion of servers, up to four at a time appearing at your table whenver there are dishes to be delivered or cleared.

My son, who has become an adventurous eater, started with the calf’s head (€40): as prepared here, by the time it reached the table, you couldn’t really tell what it was, aside from a delicious treat. Variations on duck liver (€41) were prepared four ways, capped by a foie gras crème brûlée.

My son’s spelt linguine with veal ragout (€32) was one of the meal’s highlights, perhaps the best illustration that there’s no limit to how good such a simple dish can be, when the chef has sufficient skill. I ordered a risotto with graukäse (€30), a traditional Tyrolean cheese. For the main course, we both had the lamb (€42), prepared about four different ways (loin, chop, belly, shoulder), all superb.

A baked Tarte Tatin (€22) was the best dessert of the trip. Multiple rounds of petits fours followed.

As I noted in the previous review, I elected not to take detailed notes. I hope these brief impressions, coupled with the slideshow, give some idea of what the restaurant was like. Descriptions of the photos are on the Flickr site.

St. Hubertus, Rosa Alpina Hotel, San Cassiano, Italy

Friday
Apr122013

La St√ľa de Michil

On our trip to the Dolomites, our second Michelin-star restaurant was La Stüa de Michil in the La Perla hotel, in Corvara, Italy.

This place is distinctly old-fashioned, with a dimly-lit dining room that looks like a reconstructed mountain cabin. Servers wear traditional outfits and don white gloves whenever they replace the silverware on your table.

In the basement is a museum of Sassicaia, an elite Super Tuscan that makes Barolo look cheap. But the wine list is stupendous, with plenty of options at every price. A 1997 Morometo Frescobaldi (€58) was the best wine we had all week.

We arrived early and ordered an Aperol spritzer before dinner, which came with a selection of pretty remarkable bar snacks that would have sufficed as the amuses bouches at most restaurant—but once seated in the dining room, there was another round.

We ordered from the carte: and the price of dinner for two was €272, including the wine. By a slight margin, the food was at a higher level than at La Siriola the preceding evening, although the secondi didn’t quite live up to the pyrotechnics of the other courses. The primi, although simple-looking, bursted with intense flavor.

As I noted in the previous review, this was a pleasure trip and I didn’t care to take detailed notes. Enjoy the slideshow. Brief descriptions of the dishes are on the Flickr site.

La Stüa de Michil, La Perla Hotel, Corvara, Italy

Friday
Apr122013

La Siriola

My son and I recently took a week-long ski trip to the Dolomites region of Italy. Naturally, I checked if there are any Michelin star restaurants in the area. Had there been a great many, I would have had to choose; as there are only three, I decided to try them all.

They’re in luxury hotels, within about 20 minutes’ drive of one another. Starred restaurants are like that; they tend to be found in clumps. Quite by accident, I managed to book them in increasing order of merit. Having said that, they were all wonderful. I’d happily visit any of them again.

I wanted this trip to be pleasure, not work, so I didn’t take detailed notes. I am going to post brief impressions, along with a slideshow of each place.

At La Siriola (“nightingale” in Ladin, the indigenous language), there’s a carte, or you can choose (as we did) one of four, four-course set menus, with names like “Hay” and “Moss” (€98 apiece), which include a bounteous bread service, multiple amuses bouches, pre-desserts, petits fours, and so forth, a glass of sparkling wine, and a shot of grappa at the end.

A wonderful 2004 Sacrisassi Rosso from Le Due Terre was €42. I can’t imagine finding that in New York.

The dining room is decorated in rustic elegance, with walls and ceilings of blond wood and white plaster. We were seated in a comfortable alcove, and were well taken care of. The full price of dinner for two, including wine, was €272.

Enjoy the slideshow.

La Siriola, Hotel Ciasa Salares, Armentarola, S. Cassiano, Italy