2020/02/03

Where to eat in style on the slopes in Zermatt/Switzerland v.2.0

Location

3 more mountain restaurants for discerning epicure

After returning from my third stay in Zermatt, I want to keep you updated when it comes to eating in style on the slopes in one of the world’s best and biggest ski resorts, located in the western Swiss Alps. Last year, I published a post about eight ski huts for foodies in the area and now I would like to add three more as I further explored the culinary scene in this fabulous ski region.

General

Zermatt is not only known for its slopes (and its great mountain restaurants) but also for the iconic Matterhorn, which can be viewed from almost every spot in the town of Zermatt and on its slopes. For me and many others it is the most beautiful peak in Europe if not in the world. You get never bored gazing at this majestic mountain, be it in the morning before the sun has risen
or shortly afterwards when it illuminates its very top,
be it on a slightly cloudy day
or on an almost cloudless day,
it is always a feast for the eyes!

Zermatt’s ski hut scene in overview

Once again, you find my overview of recommended lunch spots on Zermatt’s slopes, made with Google My Maps, complete with updates to three restaurants I have newly visited on my recent stay:


I went not only to two venues on the Italian side of the ski resort, but also to one ski hut on the Swiss side, more precisely in the Furi area, where I have not eaten yet. First to the latter.

1. Les Marmottes (Furi area)

This restaurant, “The Marmots”, is set at the top of the Furi area at the edge of the forest, either reached by ski from Schwarzsee (the station above Furi) or by foot from the Furi station in about eight minutes. It is run by a couple, both husband and wife from families of restaurateurs.

You can either have lunch inside or, weather permitting, on the favorably located sun terrace. My husband and I were lucky enough to have had lunch outside, and this in January, on a mild, springlike day.
The choice of dishes is wide, from pasta, cheese dishes, several fish and meat options as well as some game dishes. We went for pasta
and found it skillfully done. After this, we could not do otherwise but also have a sweat treat, a homemade apple tart with crumbles,
delicious! Service is amiable and fast, the portions are generous. As usual in Zermatt, where you have to dig quite deep into your pockets to have lunch in style, it is fairly pricey but worth the price tag. We will return to Les Marmottes when coming back to Zermatt!

After this find on the Swiss side of this ski resort, now to two more culinary discoveries on its Italian side.

A between remark for those who are not so familiar with the ski region of Zermatt. If you stay here and benefit from favorable weather, in other words enough sun and little wind, you can also make use of the Italian ski resort of Breuil-Cervinia and Valtournenche (for an additional charge), which is a great thing. The lifts and amenities here are not exactly up to Swiss standards, but the skiing is just as good, and the restaurants are less expensive. But take care that you do not miss the last lift and be stuck in Italy for the night!

2. Chalet Etoile (Cervinia area)

This institution has been into business since 1974 and is still managed by the same family! You find it in Cervinia, above Plan Maison. The restaurant is separated in two parts, a self-service restaurant and one with table service, both with their own terraces. I am only referring to the latter one, which is located in the rear and can be reached by struggling through the crowds queuing up in the self-service place.

Once arrived, you find yourself in a nicely decorated room
and are welcomed by friendly and efficient staff. Italian cuisine is on offer here with a large selection of antipasti (starters), fish dishes, primi piatti (pasta and risotto) and secondi piatti (meat). My husband and I settled for a chef’s recommendation called Missing Bali, Nasi Goreng and chicken sate,
which was impeccably prepared and presented, and served in no time. We also shared a tiramisu,
which was exquisite however a bit too sweet for my taste. Pricewise, the costs are lower than in Switzerland, however not exactly inexpensive.

3. Foyer des Guides (Valtournenche area)

The restaurant is located near the end of one of the longest ski runs in Europe, the one from Klein Matterhorn to the village of Valtournenche.
Apart from the interior restaurant there are two terraces, a lower one, which is bigger and quite busy,
and an upper one with fewer tables and more quietude where we were seated. The couple running the place comes from families of guides and they want this restaurant to be a meeting point for guides, yet other guests are welcome of course, too.
As at Chalet Etoile, Italian cuisine is available here, and also divided into the sections of antipasti (starters), primi piatti (pasta and risotto) and secondi piatti (meat and fish). This time, my husband and I chose homemade pasta, Ravioli alla Foyer, stuffed with beef, Swiss chard and salvia, accompanied by a roast meat gravy, an excellent dish!
A small dessert – a tea gourmand, tea with delicious homemade cookies and chocolates –
completed the meal just ideally.

While we had to wait quite a while for being able to place our order – the spot was buzzing –, the food was served within minutes. The price level here is a bit lower than at the other Italian restaurant I spoke of.

Overall

All the mountain restaurants included in my overview (eight from an earlier post and the three ones added here) offer high quality food on Zermatt’s slopes and show that this town in the western Swiss Alps is indeed a heaven for skiers who want to have lunch in style.

While you cannot expect bargain meals in the spots on the Swiss side, the situation is a bit different on the Italian side of the Matterhorn (by the way, the peak is not as impressive from here as it is the case on the Swiss side).
The food in Italy is a serious rival to that on the Swiss side, but the price is friendlier.

And one last remark, do not forget to make reservations at all the establishments. These are best done in the morning of the same day. At this point of time, you are supposed to know where you are going to ski at the day in question depending on weather forecasts and up-to-date information on lifts and cable cars operation.

Date of visit: January 2020


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