Eating out in Meribel & the Three Valleys
New Regulations for for Home Made Dishes
First of all I must mention a new law that came into force this summer in France. This new law requires restaurants to display on their menu whether or not the item is 'Fait Maison' (home-made). According to Didier Chenet, the head of the restaurant federation Synhorcat, the idea is to make things more 'transparent to the customer' and to 'restore respectability to the trade.' It will be interesting to see how this will effect the restaurants in Meribel and the rest of the Three Valleys, maybe prices will go up, perhaps menus will become more limited or perhaps nothing - after all, how will it all be policed...???!!
One thing I can assure you of though, at Delicious Mountain, we do make everything ourselves, (apart from the bread and morning pastries - we can't compete with the boulangerie on that one) and if you are staying on one of our luxury holidays, you can even watch us preparing it all, from scratch, every day.
Another little snippet of information that might be useful is an understanding of Savoyard fayre - the cuisine of the region. The food is rustic mountain cuisine and typically uses potatoes, local cheeses, diots (local sausages) and crozets (local pasta). The most famous dish is tartiflette and most restaurants have a version. Tartiflette was first mentioned in a book from 1705, Le Cuisinier Royal et Bourgeois written by Francois Massialot and his assistant cook B Mathieu. The dish now enjoys huge popularity in French ski stations thanks to a big marketing campaign in the 1980's from the makers of one of the key ingredients - reblochon cheese.
So, after 8 years living and working in Meribel and skiing the Three Valleys, although we are a long way off being proper locals, we have been around long enough to gain a lot of experience eating out!! We want to share our experiences with you and here, in no particlaur order, is part one of a little selection of those places we like best.
Chez Kiki - Meribel
Monsieur Kiki has, for more than 50 years, been cooking meat on an open fire in the middle of the restaurant as diners look on. The cote de beouf is what the place is famous for but the menu also features traditional French food and local specialties. The restaurant is situated up near the Morel part of Meribel which is actually very close to our own Luxury Catered Chalet, it would be one place we would recommend for our night off for sure.
Le Montagnard - Saint Martin de Belleville
The interior of this place alone is worth the visit, but if your are not into bloomers and old farm relics hanging all around the place, then you should go because the service is great. If good service doesn't bother you, then you have to go for the food. This little gem of a place we have been coming to since we first starting working in 3 valleys. It is our special treat restaurant and never fails to dissapoint, anyone we have sent on over has agreed too. The menu is Savoyard with some meat and fish dishes, all excellently presented and delicious. As this is only an inside restaurant, with no terrace, I would save it for a cold or overcast day. To find it, you head down Biolley - a lovely long blue run - you head through the tunnel towards Saint Martin de Belleville, and immediately turn right, past the beginner area. Keep right on the piste and about half way down, before you get to the drag lift, there is a little bridge, stop here and take your skis off and if you look up ahead, you'll see Le Montagnard 100m's away.
Le Refuge - Meribel
This restaurant is split in 2, downstairs is the pizzeria where you can also get pastas, all things forno (oven), steaks, tartiflette and salads. Upstairs is posher Savoyarde cuisine. Really though, I am recommending it for the pizzas. I think they are the best in town - but HUGE - so watch out. It is a pretty informal place with fast service, and don't expect your food to arrive together or in order, because, coming from 2 separate kitchens, it just won't. Great place to go with kids, or if you just fancy a quick bite before you hit the town as it is right in the centre.
Le Farcon - La Tania
It was for the first time this summer that we were lucky enough to head here for some dinner - what an experience. It does hold a michlin star, so we knew it would be good, but we were blown away! Course after course of 'creative and modern' deliciousness and finished with the most amazing chocolates and marshmallows. For lunch time they do a skier menu which is just 32 euros, incredible value in the Courchevel valley. There is a terrace out of the front, so a great place for lunch in sunny weather. To get to Le Farcon, you can ski down either the blue or the green run that go all the way to La Tania. It is near the bottom of the beginners drag lift, in the village.
Chalet de Neiges
Chalet de Neiges is at the bottom of the Allemandes run on the way into Les Menuires, where the Roc de Trois Marches 1 bubble terminates. Here you can get good, reasonable priced pizzas, Savoyard fayre and a god bottle of wine, but what is truely great about this place is the amazing terrace and the views on a sunny day. On a sunny day definitely worth booking ahead.
There will be more restaurant reviews to follow, please do keep checking back or sign up to our blog for updates.
See you in the snow :-)
Page written by Louise Hill.