Positive: Every now and then you come across a restaurant that becomes almost an institution in your life. This is a place you choose for romantic evenings, St. Valentine's days, and for special moments with your closest and dearest. It is a restaurant that you visit for years and that takes on the years just as you do. When my wife and I discovered La Clotze in the small valley of Val Ferret next to Courmayeur 6 years ago this was such a find. Sadly Auro and Donatella that owned and ran it sold it last year looking for a change in their lives.
We are very happy to announce that, after taking a sabbatical for a year, they have now reopened having bought l'Impossible in Chamonix (and are now 30 minutes closer to Geneva). Let me tell you why this is one of our all time favourite restaurants, not in terms of 20's or superlatives but for every reason that one loves a job, loves a spouse, loves a city or country where one chooses to live for the rest of one's days: because some things are so honest so beautiful that you cannot but want them to be a part of the passion of your life.
Auro, the chef, is a vegetarian who is absolutely passionate about food (and cooking meat) and specialises in Italian dishes of the Piemont and Lombard regions, slow food and recipes that are not practised any more outside of family kitchen's, using organic produce where possible and very little cream. Many of his dishes have been in preparation for days before they are served to you by a loving team including his wife and daughter. Donatella, his wife, is one of the best hosts we have met, whether smiling and remembering you when you arrive, arranging any special treat you need during the meal, ensuring you have never a complaint, or dressing up in bright red clothing for Valentine's day. Add to this her daughter who, while not a sommelier, knows her Piemontese and Tuscan wines like one, and wine lovers you will not be disappointed to discover some of the best white and red wines Italy has to offer (many which you will discover rival the best of Burgundy and Bordeaux).
We were privileged to have lunch with this lovely family this Saturday one week into the life of their new restaurant. Through them we have discovered innumerable dishes such as polenta prepared with Parmesan cheese and broth to make a delicious dish that has nothing to do with the drier polentas many are familiar with. We have discovered ravioli of rabbit and pasta of wild boar and we have discovered a few of our treasured Italian wine producers.
I am not sure you will fine the greatest experience every time you come here: some days they might have an off day. I am not sure you will find 3 star food, but you will find delicious food that you will find nowhere else, served and cooked with love, and worthy of a trip from Geneva just for a single dinner or lunch as we have often done. Enjoy and make sure you give Donatella a big hug for us when you arrive.
There is plenty of parking next to the restaurant. Auro speaks English which he learned listening to tapes of the Rolling Stones many years ago; Donatella speaks French and of course both speak Italian.
Negative: Very little negative to say. It is a pity that as a restaurant in a resort you cannot ski to it and it is not sitting on a mountain top with the views that you would this have, but food wise this delivers a solid experience with few rivals in its category.