Top 5 mountain restaurants in the Trois Vallee
One thing is certain, if you spend time on the slopes at altitude, you will develop a good appetite. With that in mind, you would want to find the perfect spot for lunch. If you ski in the Three Valleys region, here are five suggestions you might like to try. I had lunch at all and had great food and a lovely time in the five. Try them out, see what you think.
La Bouitte in St Marcel, near St Martin de Belleville
In La Bouitte, René and Maxime Meilleur, father and son, have distilled the essence of excellence, cooking with heart and a real passion for the best local products. Magnificent fish from Lake Geneva, exceptional meats from the surrounding farms, divine herbs and berries from the mountains. Maxime loves going to pick aromatic herbs which is a source of inspiration for what they will cook for lunch and dinner of the day.
When René and his wife started 44 years ago, La Bouitte was just a restaurant with local mountain specialties for hungry skiers but they had done it well and their little restaurant had done quite well. One day when they went to Paul Bocuse in Collonges at the Mt d’Or to have fun. René had a kind of revelation and decided to turn his restaurant into a gourmet restaurant. Soon joined by their son Maxime, they began to climb culinary heights little by little to finally reach the climax in 2015 with three incredible Michelin stars.
The menu is quite interesting as all the main course menus are a surprise and you just have to choose from a long list of products and ingredients, all from Savoy. Everything we tried was sensational… starting with some excellent appetizers before the first starter which was a “little vegetable garden with a citrus vinaigrette and a double cream of Gruyère”. This dish was like a gourmet dream with young vegetables cooked to perfection, a little sweet and sour sauce to give the dish punch and the softness of this delicious cream. So tasty and totally well balanced. The main course was perhaps the most amazing moment. Beautifully cooked and with an incredible melting texture, arctic char, with a crispy skin filled with aromas and secret ingredients with a velvety sauce made from Savoie wine.
The service was extremely attentive, kind and smiling. The waiters and the butler were very attentive. They put all the guests at ease and with each dish served, they had a little story to explain.
Finally, a good dinner would not be perfect without a good wine and the wine list of La Bouitte is encyclopedic, perhaps a little expensive, but with the best Grand Cru bottles and a very interesting selection of local wines. We had a crisp and refreshing Apremont which went perfectly with our dinner.
Cave des Creux – Courchevel 1850
La Cave des Creux is an altitude restaurant and probably has the most luxurious decor and setting among the altitude restaurants in Courchevel 1850. Chef François Breda selects quality and exceptional local products. He cooks Savoyard specialties but also fish, meats and dishes with Asian flavors. The wine list will delight connoisseurs and for the most demanding the famous buffet of homemade desserts awaits you.
Former cheese cellar and alpine sheepfold, the Cave des Creux once served as a shelter for shepherds and their flocks. The ancestors of the owners roamed the pastures of Courchevel long before the resort was created. The spirit of the pioneers, builders and visionaries who allowed Courchevel to become an internationally renowned resort is omnipresent through the mountain decoration and the spirit of the place.
The food, service, and wine selection are excellent – but the view is a total highlight. The mountains turn pink at sunset.
Chalet de Pierre – Courchevel
Old woods, freestone, master fireplace… The architecture and decoration of this former Maurienne station fit perfectly into the cultural heritage of the Courchevel ski resort. Le Chalet de Pierre is a must-see in Courchevel. It has a wonderful terrace and also a lot of interior space with beautiful views when the temperature is not right.
Located on the restaurant terrace, the Chalet de l’Ecailler offers a wide choice of seafood and shellfish. There is no greater delight at the top of the slopes than the immense dessert buffet that runs through the restaurant. Numerous pies, pastries and fruits adorn this sumptuous buffet which will delight the most demanding. There are many regional specialties on the menu that are worth trying, but I would recommend the black truffle pizza. The dessert buffet is spectacular and the service is very friendly and efficient.
Le Chalet de Pierre is located at the foot of the slopes, but easily accessible from the city, on foot, on skis or by car.
Le Farcon – La Tania
Julien Machet’s mission statement is quite simple. “My idea is to rediscover the cuisine which is inspired by quality food from the market, our natural environment and ingredients grown and delivered by producers passionate about quality”. Julien Machet creates dishes with authenticity. His roots for thirty years, the Savoyard informs his soul and his spirit. At the same time, Julien is open to meeting new, unique, cosmopolitan and original influences.
Le Farcon is a place for sharing Julien Machet’s cuisine, which is expressed through a creative process that is always in transition. For more than 10 years, its objective has been to make possible an awakening of tastes, always changing, easy to understand and accessible to all, without elitism. To maintain the freshness of the products, the quality of the dishes and the quality of the service, Julien offers a unique menu for every lunchtime and every dinner. Farcon’s dishes have evolved from year to year to create a unique menu.
Le Clos Bernard – Méribel
The Chalet Restaurant Le Clos Bernard is located in the heart of the Altiport forest in Méribel, accessible by ski, on foot or by horse-drawn carriage. It is a magical place full of sun. Quality service, gourmet menu, grills by the fire, regional dishes and homemade creations. In the restaurant, the Chef works with fresh products and offers dishes combining traditional flavors and know-how. I have to be fair and balanced here.
Even the best restaurants will get a bad review from time to time. Le Clos Bernard has had quite a few lately. I have to say that the few times I have been I have been impressed. Maybe something has changed? Or maybe they are victims of their own success? If the standards of Clos Bernard have lowered, it will be a real shame because it has always been a great experience for the guests.
Danny Frith is a director at SkiBoutique. SkiBoutique is a luxury ski chalet agency based in Switzerland.
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