Italy is well known for it's fabulous food, culture and cities as well as it's spectacular scenery and mountains. We all love to seek out those special places and sample the local cuisine. So let's have a look at what the Aosta and Piemonte regions have to offer and what you might expect both in the resort and on the mountain and what influences bring these dishes alive.
Using fresh and local ingredients, you can expect good quality produce and dishes. Have a look out for these cheeses, made from fresh milk from the cows who graze on alpine pastures.
Fontina - look out for 'Crespelle alla Valdostana' - a filling but delicious dish made with pancakes and melted fontina cheese
Toma - a delicious hard cheese that could be eaten on it's own or with bread and some truffle honey. Grated on a jacket potato or added to risottos. Look out for the Toma di Gressoney, what a treat to sample a locally made cheese.
Fromadzo - traditionally served with polenta and vegetables, but also in risottos.
Reblec - Try it out in a dessert, with cinnamon and sugar with some cocoa powder.
You can't help but visit the Aosta and sample some delicious cold meats and salamis. We love how the Italians tend to serve snacks whilst having a drink. The wine and meats and cheeses complimented together to create a delicious combination of rich and sumptuous flavours.
Vallée d’Aoste Jambon de Bosses - a spiced ham flavoured with mountain herbs.
Vallée d'Aoste Lard d'Arnad - a delicate and soft meat.
We'd like to share some other dishes you might want to look out for that are typical of the area:
Zuppa Valdostana - a rustic and hearty soup made with bread, cheese and cabbage, a great dish that will fill you up and fuel you for an afternoon on the slopes.
Miacce della Valsesia - a simple thin pancake made from cream, white flour and salt, with a filling of speck (a ham with fragrant flavours of juniper and and bay leaves) and melted toma cheese. You can also enjoy a sweet miacce.
Capriolo della Valdostana - venison in a creamy herb sauce with grappa.
Trota - River caught trout - cooked simply with herbs, or smoked.
Risotto alla Fontina - a delicious melt in the mouth risotto.
Gnocchi all Piemontese - a simple gnocchi dish with pepper, butter and sage, with parmesan.
Naturally, you will also find your more classic Italian food both in restaurants on the mountain and in the resorts, such as your classic pizzas, as well some seriously delicious pasta dishes, so plenty to keep everyone satisfied. Don't forget to try out some cafés and bars and sample those delicious coffees and biscotti. Keep your eye out for a delectable biscuit known as Baci di dama, which translated means 'ladies kisses'. Made from 00 flour and sandwiched together with a chocolate and hazelnut filling. We also love sampling the local honey and can't resist a bit of Marmellata di Mirtilli. Don't forget to warm yourself up at one of the pit stops on the piste and sample a truly luxurious hot chocolate with cream.
Desserts will include some delicious apple cake,' Torta di Mele', 'Torta di Cioccolata' (a chocolate and cinnamon cake), as well as apricot tarts made with pastry. You can also sample more classic desserts such as Tiramisu.
With so much to offer, we are sure that you won't be disappointed.
Here are some special places that you might like to try out if you are on a culinary tour. These are all fine dining experiences, with top notch and a touch of finesse.
Hotel Hermitage is a typical mountain chalet which is located in the peaks of the Matterhorn, in Cervinia. The hotel will welcome you warmly and invite you in to its splendid chalet.
Hotel Hermitage has a fine, five star, restaurant known as La Chandelle Restaurant, serving a unique and sophisticated cuisine. With a large open plan grill, delicious meat dishes are cooked and prepared for your enjoyment.The chef prepares traditional dishes from the Aosta and Piedmont regions, with a contemporary finish, worthy of the most demanding and refined gourmets. Ingredients are selected for freshness, authenticity and quality and dishes are accompanied with an excellent selection of close to 1000 wines and homemade grappas. With views over the Matterhorn, you can expect to enjoy fine food with spectacular surroundings.
You can also enjoy Le Bistrot de l’Hermitage where you can choose a lunch based on traditional ingredients from the Alps, Aosta Valley and Piedmont or a lunch by modern international cuisine. The choice is yours!
Start your day in the best way possible!
In the mornings, breakfast is served at Hotel Hermitage. Whether you choose a buffet style breakfast or an á la carte menu option. Start your morning with an espresso or a creamy, warm cappuccino, alongside home-made croissants and cakes. Serving breakfast with alpine butter, local yoghurt, artisan marmalades and honey from the valley. The breakfast is completed by cold cuts and Parma ham, fresh white and brown bread, with walnuts, figs, raisins, focaccia and grissini. To add even more options, eggs and omelettes are also prepared in the kitchen!
Auberge de la Maison - Courmayeur
Auberge de la Maison is a mountain house in Courmayeur, overlooking Mont Blanc where you can breathe in all the charm of tradition and alpine hospitality.
Auberge de la Maison has an exquisite restaurant, L’Aubergine Restaurant, located in an enchanting room, with a breath-taking view of Mont Blanc.
L’Aubergine Restaurant choose products from the best local producers and grow some products in their own garden. They are passionate about the value of simplicity in their food and the taste of tradition.
You can expect to try out dishes such as Piemontese beef tartare with robiola cheese, toasted hazelnuts, an anchovy and garlic dip and crispy bread wafers or braised lamb shank with mountain herbs and Val Veny honey and white wine sauce.
Saint Hubertus Resort - Breuil Cervinia
The Saint Hubertus Resort is immersed in a lush pine forest in Cervinia. With a breath-taking view of the impressive Matterhorn, this resort is a beautiful one to stay in for your ski trip.
The Saint Hubertus Restaurant is under the wide vaults, enclosed with stone walls, with a large central fireplace and candlelit atmosphere.
The chef at Saint Hubertus personally selects top-range, wholesome ingredients, locally sourced from small producers. This allows them to have a varied menu that includes deliciously fresh handmade pasta and traditional filled pasta. All their meals are prepared with extreme care by Chef Andrea Rizzo.
In addition to their amazing restaurant, Saint Hubertus serve a buffet breakfast including fresh homemade cakes, croissants, fresh fruit and products from local farms.
You can also enjoy the restaurant experience from your apartment; Saint Hubertus offer room service so you can dine on traditional Italian dishes in front of your fireplace.
Hotel Jolanda Sport - Gressoney La Trinité
Hotel Jolanda Sport is located in Gressoney la Trinité, and is a firm favourite for rejuvenation.
The restaurant in Hotel Jolanda Sport is located on the ground floor and has a rustic and refined décor, giving it a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Their cuisine, under the guidance of Chef Giuseppe Cardullo, is dedicated to working with high quality raw materials and local products to create a dialogue between Gressoney’s culinary tradition and innovation. From breakfast to dinner, you can experience a wide variety of products and processes made entirely by Hotel Jolanda Sport.
To top off your amazing meal at Hotel Jolanda Sport you can enjoy high quality wine from every traditional Italian wine-growing region.
Au Charmant Peti Lac - Spa & Parc Eco - Hotel - Champoluc
Au Charmant Petitlac hotel is the design hotel in the centre of Champoluc, Valle d’Aosta. Its clean architectural style naturally blends with the wooded landscapes that characterise Val d’Ayas.
Charmant Petitlac have their intimate restaurant within the hotel, Restò Tatà, and The Bistrot which is a 5 minute walk away and offers a cuisine that follows the tradition of the Aosta Valley and Savoyard.
Lunch is served on the large terrace, with a choice of a ‘tasting tray’ of sliced meats, cheeses and fondue, high quality meats of Piedmontese origin, delicious salads or traditional, Italian pizzas. Dinner is served downstairs, in a beautiful, traditional setting where you will be amazed by the high quality meals created by Chef John Targhetta.
Mirtillo Rosso Family Hotel - Riva Valdobbia - Alagna Valsesia
The Mirtillo Rosso Family Hotel's kitchen is overseen by Omar Bonecchi. Omar worked in Milan and was a Michelin starred chef. With the use of local produce and excellent quality ingredients, Omar puts his own flair on traditional and regional dishes to create contemporary and delicious dishes for all to enjoy.
Whilst relaxing in this unique hotel with your family, both adults and children are looked after in equal measure. A break for parents and grandparents is the main focus for this hotel. Therefore, not only are the children entertained and the families have fun together in the family spa, but parents can then have treatments and unwind in the adult spa also for a true break from the every day hustle and bustle of life.
Why not try out the local wines from the Piedmont region: Ghemme, Gattinara and Nebbiolos, something to savour and enjoy.
You will feel fully nourished throughout your stay at the Mirtillo Rosso Hotel, from breakfast through to dinner.