Snow and stars: Michelin star restaurants in the Alps

21st February 2011 | Christina Rebuffet Broadus

Resorts in this article: Chamonix, Champéry, Courchevel, Gstaad Mountain Rides, La Tania, Les 2 Alpes, Megeve, Saint Martin de Belleville, Val d'Isère, Val Thorens, Verbier

South-facing terrace at Airelles, Courchevel

South-facing terrace at Airelles, Courchevel

French and Swiss ski resorts tempt foodies with local dishes like tartiflette and fondue, but they also shoot for the culinary skies with a hearty number of Michelin star establishments. 

Here's our pick of Michelin star restaurants in the Alps:

FRANCE

The famous gastronomic guide book has given its blessing to an impressive seven restaurants in Courchevel. For something unforgettably upscale try the edible art of chef Pierre Gagnier at Les Airelles (two stars). Surprising and sumptuous best describe this establishment, accented with jewel-toned silk curtains, Hermès tableware, and Saint Louis chandeliers. At the table comes a parade of delights such as malabar-peppered goose liver soup with green lentil gnocchi, carob-rubbed red mullet oven baked on bread, and Indian Jelly (crystallized quince syrup and coconut milk lassi). Be prepared to spend anywhere from €200 to €600 per person.

Our other Michelin-star choices in Courchevel include Le Chabichou, Le 1947 - Cheval Blanc, La Table du Kilimandjaro, and Azimut. Prices can range anywhere from €28 to €250 per person.

Le Chabichou Hotel, Restaurant & Spa

Copyright: Le Chabichou

In Megève, the audacity of chef Emmanuel Renaut sets Flocons de Sel (two stars) apart. He doesn't shy away from unconventional combinations like bitter and tart, making for some unexpected palette-pleasers. Signature dishes include fine pike stuffing with lake crawfish, roasted pigeon perfumed with juniper, and suckling lamb with black radish and prune purée.

Flocons de Sel also organises cooking classes for €60 featuring delicious but accessible themes like sauces and gravies, vegetable starters, and macaroons and other sweets. Fixed price menus range from €39 to €139.

Other remarkable two-star restaurants in the French Alps include La Bouitte in Saint Martin de Belleville, Hameau Albert 1er in Chamonix, and Jean Suplice in Val Thorens.

La Bouitte dining room in St. Martin de Belleville

There are also many fine one-star restaurants peppering the French Alps. including Le P'tit Polyte at Les Deux Alpes, for example, serves dishes such as mi-cuit foie gras with winter fruits and spiced wine jelly or langoustine served with crispy cannelloni and caramelised red cabbage in an authentic chalet, which has been run by the same family since 1879. Fixed-price menus are priced at €55 and €73.

A few other one-star resturants include Le Farçon at La Tania, Le Bois Fleuri at Corrençon en Vercors, Le Bistrot at Chamonix, and La Table de l'Ours at Val d'Isère.

SWITZERLAND

Cross the Alps into Switzerland and you'll find an equally satisfying selection of Michelin-star establishments serving a variety of cuisines. 

The most unique dining experience can be had at Centre Champery in Champéry, where Chef Denis Martin has embraced the molecular cuisine movement. Dishes like abstract risotto (orange flavoured risotto with fried black pasta and parmesan flavoured bouillabaisse cube), beef tartar with egg at -196°C, and black tempura of whiting with rose yogurt and vanilla-infused parsnips will pique the curiosity of any true foodie.

The chef also serves surprising nibbles at Le Bar à Tapaz. Why not share portions of wasabi and white chocolate red tuna or poached prawns with Granny Smith gaspacho with your ski buddies? Fixed price menus range from 85 CHF to 175 CHF and tapas are priced at €16 for a four-piece portion.

Restaurant le Chesery, Gstaad

Copyright: www.chesery.ch

At Le Chesery in Gstaad, chef Robert Speth takes more of an updated traditional approach to mountain cooking. Here, guests enjoy a particularly wide choice of fish dishes such as turbot filet with artichokes, whole line bass in salt crust, and seafood pot de feu. Fixed-price menus change with the seasons and are priced at 154 or 168 CHF.

For a true inter-Alpine experience, try La Table d'Adrien at Verbier, where Chef Marco Bassi offers original dishes influenced by his Italian origins. Don't expect any pasta or pizza, though. On the menu, you'll find delectable creations like scallop and truffle carpaccio, clam and cockle soup, or roast venison with tricolour polenta. Fixed-price menus range from 160 to 210 CHF and offer an exceptional variety of tastes thanks to elaborate dishes with up to four accompaniments.

Bon appétit from OnTheSnow!

Read more about restaurants in the Alps here: Best mountain restaurants in France

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