I have to admit, when we were preparing for our ski trip, I didn’t realise there was going to be so much yummy food on offer. I should have known better – after all, the French are synonymous with good food. Here is a round-up of our unexpected, French foodie weekend on the slopes.
Cuisine: French/ Japanese fusion
Best for: Fine dining in a romantic setting
On our first night, we headed to La Mourra, located in Hotel La Mourra. The restaurant is warm and intimate and serves a delightful French/ Japanese fusion menu. We pretty much got one of each of the starters to share, so that everyone could try a little of everything. I thought the sea bream ceviche with coconut and shitake pickle and the yellowtail tiradito with jalapeno were exceptional.
We ordered our mains individually. I was torn between the black cod with miso sauce and the beef sirloin with truffle, wasabi spinach and eryngii mushrooms, before deciding on the steak in the end, which was tender and full of flavour. Although, I had massive food envy when Si’s fillet of duckling glazed Japanese style arrived. It was out of this world!
Peau du Vache
Cuisine: French/ speciality – burgers
Best for: High-end group lunches on the slopes with convenient lift access for beginner/ non-skiers
The next day on the slopes we went to Peau du Vache for lunch. They have an outdoor terrace with incredible views out over the slopes, however, the weather wasn’t the best whilst we were there so we opted for an indoor table. The restaurant was warm and welcoming and was dimly lit by candlelight adding an air of sophistication.
The house special is a selection of gourmet burgers. Whilst they were incredibly LARGE (I’m talking, the size of your entire head), I found they lacked flavour. I would recommend Peau du Vache for the atmosphere, over the quality of the food.
Best for: Atmospheric dining with live entertainment (don’t sit too close to the band!)
That evening, we headed to La Baraque for a bit of live music served alongside our meal. A three-piece band was set up in the middle of the bar as we walked in, belting out some lively tunes. Squeezing past the bottleneck at the bar, we made our way to the restaurant at the back. It was late, but the restaurant was still jammed pack.
I had the most delicious lamb I have ever had in my life. A bold statement, but totally true. The leg of lamb was tender and succulent, and the outside was delicious and crispy; it reminded me of the roast lamb my Nana used to make. The portions were ginormous. My meal could have fed two very comfortably.
I’m actually going to gloss over where we went for lunch the next day – I wasn’t a huge fan. I thought Le Trifollet was pretty average, and other than having an incredibly friendly waiter, there was nothing else really worth mentioning about it. Plus, it wasn’t in an ideal location for the beginners in our group, so getting there not only scared the shit out of me but also excluded others from joining us for lunch. I’ve been told La Fruitiere is really good and is in a similar location. It is right next door to La Folie Douce, so there is always the option to take the lift from La Daille if you are not a great skier. This may make a better alternative if you are considering Le Trifollet.
Cuisine: Pub grub
Best for: Chilled out eats
Cost: Good value
We had a bit of luck that evening, stumbling across Victors. I had the most delicious burger. Victors burgers are way better than Peau du Vache’s, but the restaurant is obviously not as special.
They also have a great selection of cocktails available. Nick decided to take advantage of this and order 16 Espresso Martini’s for the four people at our table drinking them 😜 They also had a strong wine menu – sometimes it can be a bit hit and miss when you go to a pub, but these guys seem to know their stuff.
Best for: A lavish treat with incredible views
The next day, we had the most gorgeous lunch. We skied over to Tignes (via really nice easy blue and green runs the whole way), to Le Panoramic preached 3032 metres on the Grande Motte glacier.
Chef Jean-Michel Bouvier, creates the gourmet menu daily to delight diners, and as the name suggests, the restaurant has 360-degree panoramic mountain views. As you arrive, you are invited to leave your ski boots behind in a room to dry out and slip into comfortable slippers for your meal.
I HIGHLY recommend trying the grilled spare ribs, they were by far the most outstanding dish on the menu. Again, the food portions were absolutely enormous. If I were to do it again, I’d possibly suggest one starter and one main to share with sides for two.
The dessert buffet is a must – it was stacked with yummy Easter treats, baked tarts and cakes.
The service was impeccable and the wine selection is as you would expect, nothing short of incredible.
Cuisine: Fondue and raclette
Best for: Traditional Savoy comfort food – especially great for couples
When it’s cold out, everyone needs some gooey melted cheese in their life! You will find La Luge in the basement of Hotel Blizzard. Savoy specialities are served in a warm and inviting Alpine setting. The food is decadent and rich in flavour – a little goes a very long way. They also have some outstanding wines to accompany the delicious food.
I’m afraid to say I didn’t make it to lunch the next day. Skiing had gotten the better of me and I need some downtime, but the others headed to Bar d’Altitude, L’Ouillette for a BBQ in the snow with a chilled-out Ibiza vibe. I clearly can’t comment on what it was like, but Si said it was good and it looked super fun. I like the idea, so would give it a go next time I am out there. Listen to me, “next time” – haven’t I come a long way!
Our dinner that evening was a bit on the average side. We were looking for an easy dining option and tried the pub menu at Alex Bar, but it was pretty meh. Given there are so many other amazing options available in town, I’d give this one a miss. Si tells me the pool tables and the dart board were also rubbish.
I hope these little gems get you started when you are next visiting Val D’Isere. If you have any recommendations of your own, please share them by popping them in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time, safe travels.
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