As a general rule, the mountain restaurants in the Dolomites are among the best in Europe. “The mountain restaurants were much cleaner and cheaper, with better food than their French counterparts,” said a reporter. We’d agree: except at the very loftiest end of the culinary spectrum.
That said, you should still steer clear of the big self-service eateries you find at the top of the lifts in Selva. Head for the smaller huts and restaurants lower down the pistes instead.
The area in the Val Gardena known as Seceda – where you’ll find many skiers from the towns of Ortisei and S.Cristina on a sunny day – is particularly good sector for huts. The Danielhütte, under the Fermeda chair-lift, is a locals’ favourite. The Curona is smaller but a real classic of the genre, near the top of “La Longia”, the 10km descent down to Ortisei.
Over in the Piz Sella sector, heading over to Canazei, Rifugio Emilio Comici specialises in fresh fish and seafood. Go on a little further, to the Col Rodello and you’ll find a lovely table-service restaurant at the Rifugio Salei (+39 0462 602300). Meanwhile, Baita Panorama (+39 0471 795372), on the Dantercepies piste above Selva, has good homely fare. Reporters praise Piz Setaur at Plan de Gralba: “We went there twice and loved it so much – try the a delicious lemon risotto with carpaccio of prawns”.
At resort level, the place for a blowout gastronomic dinner (venison fillet with black truffle, steamed sole with quail’s egg, etc, etc) is the Alpenroyal Gourmet, at the Alpenroyal grand hotel. Its young Puglian chef Felice Lo Basso won a Michelin star in 2012. At a less exalted level, the Gourment Restaurant Nives in the Hotel Nives serves a good mix of Ladin specialities and mountain standards in modern and relaxed dining room. The best pizzas in town come courtesy of the Restaurant-Pizzeria Sal Feur.