Half the point of coming to Moena and the Val di Fassa is to eat well – both on and off the mountain. Interesting local ingredients, excellent wines from the Alto Adige, and the rich mix of cultures – Ladin, Austrian and Italian – have created a top-notch culinary scene, which is nowhere near as expensive as you’ll find in the French Alps. Once you’ve sampled it, you’ll wonder how you ever settled for the usual melted-cheese-with-everything schtick further north.
On the slopes, Baita Checco is the highlight
The star of the lunchtime scene is the Baita Checco, in the small but stunning ski area of Ciampedie/Cantinaccio. There chef Matthias Trottner (pictured above) cooks local ingredients superbly – amongst the many highlights are orzotto (like a risotto, but made with barley), polenta with sausage and porcini mushrooms, and slow-cooked veal.
Meanwhile, on the slopes above the Passo San Pellegrino the Baita Paradiso is the place to aim for. It’s the way all self-service restaurants should be run – with bread (and pizza bases) made fresh on the premises each day, and gnocchi and pasta cooked fresh to order while you wait. Chef Gino Defrancesco is the brains behind the operation: “Yes you have to be quick in a restaurant like this,” he says. “But that doesn’t mean you have to serve boring food”. Welove2ski wishes they could open a chain of Baita Paradisos to replace all those ghastly French “selfs” where an insipid plate of chicken chips will set you back €15.
If you’re skiing at Alpe Lusia, chalet Valbona is the place most people head for, with a large sun terrace and a choice of self-service and a more formal restaurant for lunch. It even has an oyster bar. At the Ski Center Latemar, the main gathering point is the Zischgalm is the place everyone congregates, especially if the sun’s out.
At night you’ve got two restaurants to aim for
For dinner, the two restaurants to target around Moena are Michelin-starred Malga Panna and the Rifugio Fuciade. Rifugio Fuciade is a real treat – an old-fashioned and atmospheric spot which you reach by snowmobile (included in the price of dinner). This is proper gastronomic grub, at roughly half the price you’d pay in France. Specialities include fig ravioli, vension with juniper berries and cream, and the pungent local cheese, puzzone, dipped in spicey mustard-seed chutney. Yummmmmmy!
By the way, the locals reckon the Tyrol restaurant, at the Post Hotel in the middle of Moena, is nearly as good as the Malga Panna.