THE BEST RESTAURANTS IN THE FRENCH AND SWISS ALPS
Text by: Quartz Co. Editorial Team
There's no shortage of fond memories after a well-spent holiday. If you're heading on a skiing holiday in the Alps this winter season, what will be the moment you'll remember most after your trip? A glass of fine wine served on a panoramic terrace, or a perfectly balanced dish made from the most gourmet local ingredients? We've got you covered with these five alpine restaurants that promise as many unique foodie experiences as they do unforgettable moments.
Chef Julien Machet welcomes you in his restaurant at the foot of the Courchevel slopes, at an altitude of 1400 metres. He’s on a mission to make you discover the Savoyard cuisine of his childhood, which he has been reinventing over the years. Local produce and family tradition are at the heart of his menu: Mr Nicolin's pig or veal from the Eponnet farm are on the menu alongside pasta and eggs (a tribute to the only dish his grandfather knew how to cook). The importance Chef Machet gives to the provenance of his ingredients, combined with his technical mastery, earned him a Michelin star in 2006.
The Hotel Le Crans’s restaurant, in Crans-Montana in the heart of the Swiss Alps, is located in a rotunda overlooking the snowy peaks of the surrounding mountains. The menu, developed by Pierre Crepaud, “simply a cook” by his own humble account, is brimming with freshness and inventiveness. Evocative themes set the tone for different meal experiences: the open sea, farmhouse inspirations, a visit to the dairy farm... Eating at the Mont-Blanc is nothing short of a sensory journey, which is why the establishment was awarded a Michelin star. For a simply unforgettable experience, you can book a table on the heated terrace which offers stunning views over the Alps.
The Ursus restaurant came to be because the Maison Bouvier wanted to offer its hotel customers a great gastronomic table. Chef Clément Bouvier was inspired by the Alpine forest, decorating the restaurant with no less than 380 trees to create an atmosphere that’s both organic, dream-like and cozy. The menu, inspired by regional dishes and fresh seasonal fare from local producers, has been awarded one Michelin star. And since a good meal in good company is a shared experience, the same menu is served to all the guests at the same table. Three menu options are offered daily to keep things varied and it's up to you and your guests to choose the gastronomic journey you wish to embark on!
Chez Vrony, nestled at an altitude of 2,100 metres in a stone cottage decorated with logs, offers breathtaking views of the Matterhorn. Traditional family recipes, passed down through generations of the family members that own the restaurant, are served on the famed panoramic terrace. This is the ideal place for a quick lunch before heading back down the slopes (although the hot midday sun is sure to make you want to linger a little longer). Hearty Swiss specialities such as röstis and cheese fondue are served here, and are best accompanied by Glüwhein or a glass of regional wine. Cheers!
A true institution in Zermatt, the Blatten Alpine Restaurant has been run by the Taugwalder family for over 150 years. Located at the foot of the Matterhorn and accessible directly from the slopes, this mountain hideaway offers comforting Swiss cuisine. Every Wednesday during winter, a fondue evening is held: this is the perfect opportunity to bring friends or family together for a cozy evening. Blatten’s large patio hosts many special events all year-round so you should check the happenings ahead of your stay to reserve a spot. You’ll love to have a drink or two there, and when the sun finally disappears behind the mountains, all you have to do is put on your stylish Quartz Co. coat to continue celebrating the evening away outdoors while staying warm and comfortable!
More than just a place to eat, these restaurants picks will all allow you to live true Alpine experiences and bring wonderful memories back home. Which one will you try first?