In a resort awash with fine Italian and Ladine cuisine, Rifugio Averau (+39 0436 4660) stands out in its position on a limestone ledge in the Cinque Torri ski area. On sunny days the terrace is packed and when the weather closes in diners huddle around the wooden tables in the panelled dining room. Husband-and-wife team Paola and Sandrone take turns at cooking, and your fellow diners can include resort regulars like Sylvester Stallone, George Clooney, Sting, the Benetton and Agnelli families. Make sure you order the homemade pasta such as papardelle con funghi (butterfly pasta with mushrooms), but don’t limit your choice to one – request three on one plate.
Rifugio Duca d’Aosta (+39 0436 2780), in the Tofana/Socrepes sector, is also recommended along with nearby Rifugio Pomedes (+39 0436 862061). If you’re heading for the Lagazuoi ski area from Passo Falzarego, lunch at Rifugio Scotoni (+39 0471 847330) is an absolute must. The ski-touring hut is situated at 1986m above the San Cassiano Valley. You take the cable-car up then ski the beautiful Hidden Valley, past a giant frozen waterfall that sparkles turquoise. Making your final turns on this 11km red run, the aroma of barbecuing on an open fire at the rifugio has a Sirenesque effect on all passers-by. Highlight is the grilled platter of giant barbecued steaks and lamb chops
Dinner in Cortina matches the fabulous lunches
Dine at Michelin-starred Tivoli, in an intimate ambience enhanced by panelled walls decorated with copper pans and a wood-burning stove in one corner. El Toula is a converted three-storey hay barn with a rustic atmosphere, created by locally-carved furniture and sprigged tablecloths. Leone e Anna is a tiny, romantic Sardinian restaurant that has been pleasing the palates of Cortina for over 30 years. Meloncino al Camineto has a traditional ambience and good quality food. Ariston is one of the resort’s most stylish restaurants, offering home-made pasta and delicious puddings. Ristorante Zanvor (+39 0436 860789) and La Tavernetta (+39 0436 868102) are both recommended. Vienna (+39 0436 866944) has a wide choice of pizzas.