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Jan 28, 2010 08:10 PM

Dolomites: Bolzano to Berchtesgaden. A Memorable Experience?

We are binging in the Italian Alps from Bolzano north to Salzburg this year and looking for places that have real "character." This is one of the most beautiful places on earth and almost unknown on this side of the Atlantic. I've already done a great deal of research (i.e. "Magazin" is a Michelin starred restaurant in a renovated bomb shelter-yes, once a bomb shelter!) but am looking for anywhere that might provide a memory and an experience to share. There is very little on Chowhound or any other board for that matter.

Does anyone have any exceptional experiences?

In particular El Molin is a Michelin starred restaurant in a flour mill that dates to the 16th Century. The photos of it are incredible! The menu is, too- "smoked pasta prepared over the embers of correct wood..." Zur Rose in San Michele which also has a Michelin star and whose building dates to the 12th Century? Gasthof Kohlern Or the Hotel Castel Fragsburg and its dining room:

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  1. Joe - we had a memorable meal in 2002 at a place called Patschneiderhof, in Renon, a little town just north of Bolzano. It was a pain to reach, on a small, windy road up the side of the mountain, but the location was amazing. We were there in the evening, but the view by day must be extraordinary. The atmosphere was quite rustic. I have to confess that I don't remember the details of the meal - it involved speck and other cured meats, dumplings, and groestel, and the like. I see that it is still rated in the Slow Food guide. Telephone is 0471/ 365267. In the same town, they also mention a place called Signaterhof, and even give it a "snail" designation.

    We tried to visit Zur Rose during the same trip, but arrived just after their lunch hours and were turned away. It looked very good.

    Sorry that I have nothing more concrete or recent to offer. Please report back.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Jeremy M

      Thank you, Jeremy, really appreciate your thoughts. From Via Michelin, they do not have a website but this information is listed for Pat Schneiderhof which also has a bib gourmand: via Signato 178 I - 39054 Signato
      Phone 0471 365267
      Name of owners
      Opening times closed from 7 to 24 January, July and Tuesday
      Meal prices - Menu: 25€/35
      "RemarksIn this authentic maso (farmhouse) enjoy regional cuisine of undisputed quality. While there are not that many specialities on the menu, the high quality produce used gives rise to delicious and well-presented dishes; the memory of which you will cherish."
      The last sentence: "the memory of which you will cherish" is not typical of Michelin-it speaks volumes!!! Thank you!

      1. re: Joe H

        additional links

        Patscheider Hof
        via Signato 178, Signato Bolzano, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol 39054, IT

        Zum Lowen
        via Principale 72, Tisens, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol 39010, IT

        St. Hubertus
        Str Micura de Rue 20, San Cassiano, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol 39030, IT

        Localita Signato,166, Ritten, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol , IT

    2. Thanks for posting this, Joe. I am just starting to think about another trip to Italy in 2011, and want to go to the Alto Adige (we passed through on the train from Salzburg to Venice several years ago, and it was just beautiful), so though I have lots of time yet I will be watching this thread with anticipation.

      1. It was an incredibly beautiful area when I accompanied my sister to the Busoni International Piano Competition in the 90's. Having briefly passed through Innsbruck at night in transit (either getting there or leaving there) was enough for me to make a trip to Innsbruck on my next opportunity.
        Unfortunately, all I remember eating wise in Bolzano was seeing a pictured menu posted on the wall of dessert like "spaghetti & meat ball", and "sushi" and were as best as I understood, ice cream made to look like those savory dish. It was already past store hour so we didn't get to find out.

        Have a great time! Looking forward to your report!

        13 Replies
        1. re: HLing

          Thank you rrems and HLing. I've driven from Munich to Verona a half dozen times over the years as part of a much larger business trip and always thought that the Dolomites into Austria were one of the most beautiful places on earth. Yet, I've never really thought of this area as one for great food until I started doing a bit of research. There are 25 MIchelin starred restaurants within 50 km of Bolzano with half of these within an hour's drive. When I started looking at website and the photos it only confirmed that this would be our "binge" this year. Several of these really appeal to me including El Molin (look at the photo of the two story five hundred year old wood beamed and stone walled dining room with very soft lighting. Click on then English, then Restaurant then Cuisine then Opening Hours to see it) along with Zum Lowen (more stone walls) and St. Hubertus in San Cassiano which has two Michelin stars. A number of these are also members of a group called Jeunes Restaurateurs of Europe which are young, ambitious, often extremely creative and passionate chefs that I've had very good experiences with in travelling. Still, the ambience is transporting. Look at the one photo above from Castel Fragsburg with the dining room seemingly floating in the sky.

          By the way most of the restaurants' websites are in English yet I wonder how many Americans actually go to this area? I'm guessing it's mainly English.

          1. re: Joe H

            I'm very interested in your report as I will be in Sud Tirol later this year. Two questions. (1) Where is the restaurant Magazin? (2) When you reach Salzburg will you visit Ikarus or if you've been what's your impression? Personally, I prefer Landhaus Bacher in Mautern, but I'm curious as to your opinion.


            1. re: Trip Klaus

              Trip Klaus, Magazin seems to have changed: this is their website I must note that I have been almost obsessed with this place for several years. It HAD a communal 24 seat table in an underground bunker dating to WW II; the earlier photos on their website from a year or two ago were incredible. This is one of those restaurants that I told myself, "one day I will go there." Well, now that I've gone back to their website it's still there. And, yes, they still have a Michelin star. But, the communal element has changed. Now, they have individual tables which, for me, introduces a whole different dining experience. My guess is that the Magazin that I have wanted to visit for several years is now still an excellent restaurant-but a very different experience from what it once was.

              An experience that is no longer a priority for me.

              I have not been to either Landhaus Backer or Ikarus but now, needing to replace Magazin, am extremely interested!!! Any more info for either of this? We would really like to go...

              1. re: Joe H

                This was the Magazin I was thinking of. I'll pull together some ideas on Salzburg and Austria and post on Europe.

                1. re: Trip Klaus

                  Any thoughts on the area around Berchtesgaden?

                  1. re: Joe H

                    Berchtesgaden is my favorite place in the world for hiking. This link is really useful as you can search by difficulty level, time needed and "scenary quality". they also give GPS directions.


                    To keep this food related, there is almost always a "huette" at the top of the summits. Usually a nice place to spend a couple of hours with a radler and a slice of homemade reiberdatschi.

                    1. re: Behemoth

                      Erm, zwetschgendatschi rather. Some sort of datschi, in any case!

                      1. re: Behemoth

                        I've actually walked about 35-40 miles a week for over 30 years and really look forward to hiking there. Thank you, Behemoth. Much appreciated.

                        1. re: Joe H

                          Joe, when are you visiting this year?

                          Also, in case you hadn't seen I left you some info on the Europe page about Salzburg. Forgot to mention Magazin, I visited and its was good. Reminded me of Retts in Berlin or even a more formal Wein & Co in Vienna. No one star is bad it just wasn't an "experience", the way you wrote about.

                          1. re: Trip Klaus

                            Just read your Salzburg comments, Trip Klaus-I've already written down Pfefferschiff and pulled out my map! Really appreciate your thoughts and thank you for sharing. Magazin interested me because of the communal setting in what, I believe, is a bomb shelter. (I'm attracted to unusual places like this for dinner!!) Still, a friend of ours went and essentially said the same as you, it was good. But he didn't think it was exceptional. I've been to Wein and Co which helps lend a reference. My guess is that based on your and his comments we will not visit it.

                            We're there for eight nights and nine days from the last week of April through to the first week of May. One of the highlights of the trip-forgive me-is seeing Bayern Munich play at the Alliance. I paid more for the tickets which I already have than I probably will for most dinners!!!

                            This is an area of northern Italy/Austria which has received very little attention on most message boards. For myself, it is an absolute pleasure to find a place that is unknown my most Americans, or even English. Several of our best experiences in Italy were at restaurants that similarly have received almost no American press, i.e. La Fornace di Barbiblu (a 2,000 year old Roman era furnace which now houses a Michelin starred restaurant) or a seeming Michelin starred Mecca for wine, Osteria La Fontanina in Verona which I've now been to three times and rank as my favorite restaurant in Italy.

                            El Molin and several others just have a very real adventure about them. I've also heard about a mother and daughter who have a farmhouse north of Vicenza and seat a small group of people each night for dinner. I'm told that it's almost impossible to make a reservation unless you speak fluent Italian and even then, they are really...well, eccentric. And, if you speak fluent Italian and call 30 days in advance your chances of getting in are almost as good as getting into...El Bulli.

                            I am also told that there is no one in Italy who is more talented and that they have incredible sources for their meat, they grow many of their own vegetables, even some of their spices. Trattoria Filippetto in Creazzo is the name of the restaurant. I know of it from several extremely sophisticated friends who were taken there by a friend who grew up in Vicenza and is as obsessed with food as anyone on CH. He's spent 50 years, almost daily, eating his way around Italy! All of them said in its own way it is the equal of Dal Pescatore or Le Calandre. In some ways a better, certainly a more unique experience.

                            These are the kinds of places that I am looking for and hope to experience.

                            1. re: Joe H

                              In Salzburg there is Ikarus at Hangar 7, which hosts a starred chef (like Achatz) from somewhere in the world every month, have a look at their calender.
                              Also, about 90k from bechtesgarten there is Restaurant Überfahrt, which is a super experience.
                              you can find both on the internet.

                              1. re: vinoroma

                       is a superb blog with an extensive report on Uberfahrt (as well as a number of other German restaurants in English). Thank you for your recommendation. Ikarus at Hanger 7 is also quite interesting. The visiting chef for May is Cornelia Poletto whose restaurant I have eaten at in Hamburg. April is the chef from Rust en Vrede from Stollenbosch who make a great red wine that I am quite familiar with.

                                1. re: Joe H

                                  Thanks for the link to the high end food blog, it looks really interesting and I will have to consult it for future visits. BTW, I mean't Weinbar Rutz on my earlier post about Magazin. InRe Ikarus, as I said the space was really interesting if a little over the top for me, kind of like the last time I saw Die Zauberflote at the Vienna operahouse and it was set in space with everyone dressed as aliens.

                                  Enjoy Allianz I assume you'll be seeing Bochum so hopefully another rout will be in order. The first time I visited the spaceship I was spontaneously swept up from the Chinesischer Turm biergarten by some Bayern fans with an extra ticket. Great experience.

          2. I have no direct experience with this place, but at the end of this month, I am headed to The Elephant in Bressanone/Brixen. I got this recommendation from Flora at Da Flora in North Beach, San Francisco, who grew up in the area of the Alto Adige. I was there to get some of her famous sweet potato gnocci. As related by Flora, the King of Portugal gave Archduke Maximilian of Austria an Indian elephant in 1550. After walking all the way from Portugal, the elephant decided to go no further than Bressanone. It was housed in the stables of the local inn and people came from all over to see it. The hotel and restaurant were built and grew famous from this trade. A few years passed and the elephant finally decided to move on to Vienna, its original destination. Even without the elephant, people still came for the food. Flora said I must go there to eat and I should stay the night because I’ll have to have a good portion of wine.

            6 Replies
            1. re: BN1

              BN1, thank you for sharing. It looks really interesting-nice story/legend about the elephant, too!

              1. re: Joe H

                I know it's late but I just read a Falstaff article that recommended several places that might be of interest to you.

                Civezzano- Maso Cantanghel
                Giovo- Maso Franch Gourmet & Relais
                Isera-Locanda delle Tre Chiavi
                Trento- Locanda Margon
                Le Due Spade
                Scringno del Duomo

                I tend to respect the writers at Falstaff, so these places should be worth investigating.

                1. re: Trip Klaus

                  Thanks, Trip Klaus. We have reservatons for El Molin, Zur Rose, Hangar 7 (Salzburg). Geisole's Vinotek (I really liked it!) and will add a couple more probably including the Michelin starred restaurant in the Berchtesgaden Intercontinental. Sunday, in Munich, after five dinners in seven nights at Michelin starred restaurants we will probably eat pizza. Any familiarity with Langolo Della Pizza? Of course this all assumes that air traffic has returned to normal next weeked.

                  Appreciate the consideration!

                  1. re: Joe H

                    Hi, how did your trip go?

                    I am flying with my husband and eight month old son to Munich in two weeks, where we'll get a car then plan to drive to Salzburg, Bled, Ljubljana, Trieste, then back to Munich through the Dolomites. I plan to eat at Pfefferschiff in Salzburg, but so far that's all I have planned. I would love to hear where you went to eat, in what order (what route you took), whether you stayed in the same places where you ate or not, etc. I have been frantically trying to do some research, but find that since the baby arrived, I'm very scatterbrained and have so little time! Any help and info re: the places you went would be much appreciated. Thanks very much!

                    1. re: cjk5

                      cjk5, we actually cancelled the trip several days before we were scheduled to leave because of the volcanic ash and the difficulty of travel at the time. We'll go to Munich for the Christmas Market in mid December but the Dolomites will have to wait until next Spring. HUGE disappointment for us. I've actually driven from Munich to Moravski Toplice through Austria and it was an incredibly beautiful drive; we came back via Salzburg.

                      1. re: Joe H

                        Oh, so sorry to hear that your trip was cancelled! Thanks for your reply. If I find anything worth posting about on my trip, then maybe I will be able to help you out for your trip next spring!

            2. Hello all! Ive been researching Dolomites cuisine and I found this article that was helpful:

              I thought some of you may be interested in it as well.

              I can't decide between visiting Dolomites or Sils in Engadine or Gstaad next winter, so I'm trying to let food help me make the decision. :)

              41 Replies
              1. re: eviemichael

                Like the article, I think the Alta Badia area of the Dolomiti has a lot to offer foodies --- maybe just because local zoning restrictions make it less overrun with tourists, farmland has been preserved, and it's not just about attracting skiers. Not mentioned in the article are the food shops of Brunico and the cheeses of Dobbaico. (Check out Fred Plotkin's book for that). There are also some tasty wines from the sudTirol. I can only compare with Gstaad (and I'm not a skier), but the Dolomiti is a place I would gladly return to experience again.

                1. re: barberinibee

                  Did you not like Gstaad? (so this post doesnt get erased- did you not like it in terms of food??) :)

                  1. re: eviemichael

                    I don't care for Swiss food in general, nor Swiss wine, such as it is! Gstaad is enchanting, but Gstaad and the Dolomiti are not really comparable.

                    1. re: barberinibee

                      Aren't there a lot of french food and wine options in Gstaad restaurants? Like the Chesery, etc? Sorry for the million questions, but you seem to be familiar with the area. Thanks. :)

                      1. re: eviemichael

                        I have to admit I was on a beggar's budget when I was in Gstaad, and while I recall enjoying hot chocolate and good dark bread, my experiences in restaurants were really constrained by my limited funds -- no french dinners or wines! (I'm not sure I would have gone looking for them in German-speaking Gstaad anyway, even though I know Gstaad rolls in money.).

                        But I really wasn't in Gstaad to eat (I wasn't in the Dolomiti to eat either, just wanted to note that the Alta Badia is, in my view, the best part of the Dolomiti for untouristy eats).

                        Have you asked on the Switzerland board?

                        1. re: barberinibee

                          Yes I will post a question over there. I just noticed doing some searching already on that board that there isn't much discussion or response with questions about Gstaad.
                          Thanks for your input!

                          1. re: eviemichael

                            In the Alta Badia area, within 30 km. from Corvara, there is a fantastic food "culture" of wonderful restaurants. Corvara, La Villa, San Cassiano, Armentarola, and some rifugi as well (e.g. Scotoni). And, of course, the skiing is fantastic. (World Cup races end of December). Great area. Totally different from the rest of the Alto Adige (and Cortina in the Veneto)

                            1. re: allende

                              We ate at St. Hubertus, in San Cassiano two months ago, and it was absolutely incredible -- one of our best meals ever (I've eaten at a fair number of of Michelin three stars -- I think St. Hubertus is a two star, but I'd give it three. The service was absolutely amazing, too). I highly recommend it -- it's in the Rosa Alpina hotel.

                              1. re: cjk5

                                wondering how the prior posters would describe the food at St. Hubertus and the Alta Badia restaurants. We are considering a summer visit to this area.

                                1. re: jen kalb

                                  I've been wondering the same. It looks to me like a lot of the notable restaurants in this area are fancy/pricey (guess that goes with skiing?). Not that that's a bad thing, but I would LOVE to know about some delicious traditional osterie in Alta Badia (like Patschneiderhof, but closer). The slow food guide doesn't mention any in this (immediate) neck of the woods. Gambero Rosso mentions Armentarola, Siriola de l'Hotel Ciasa Salares, Maso Runch, La Stua de Michil at Hotel La Perla and of course the St. Hubertus, of which only Maso Runch looks at all laid back/traditional.

                                  Any other notable rifugi (for food) in Alta Badia besides Scotoni? It looks like some of the local chefs do specials at the rifugi around the valley. Anyone tried this?

                                  1. re: _emilie_

                                    Here's a list from the Restaurant page for Alto Adige generally. It includes several places in the Badia area from the Gambero Rosso lowcost guide which look promising. You can move in out and around on the map and also click on the restuarants for more info. Unfortunately, Im still researching for a trip - can not give a personal account. Looking forward to hearing more from others.


                                    1. re: jen kalb

                                      I only see two low cost places in the Badia area. Other than Runch Hof and La Tor, which ones did I miss?

                                      Runch Hof is okay, lots and lots of food, not great food not bad food. La Tor, don't bother. La Stua and St. Hubertus are expensive and fancy. Siriola just lost its Michelin star (don't know what is in the new Gambero Rosso), because the chef left, although we like the new chef, but we'll have to see what he's up to.

                                      The best places in The Alta Badia for osteria/trattoria, traditional food (and not pricey), are clearly Pre' de Costa in Armentarola. Wonderful food, good wine list (very reasonably priced), great great setting, excellent staff. Second would probably be the second place at Hotel La Perla, L'Murin Ostaria (yes, spelling is correct), totally different from La Stua. Only in the summer. Third would be The Wine Bar at the Rosa Alpina. Norbert Niederkofler of St. Hubertus controls the room.

                                      Aside from Scotoni the other two choices for very good rifugi meals for us are, don't laugh, Las Vegas and Malga Sarghes

                                      1. re: allende

                                        Dasser was also on that list and not far. do you know that one.

                                        1. re: jen kalb

                                          Don't know Dasser. Near, but not in Alta Badia, a good 40 minutes from Corvara. Great rifugio 13 km from there, at the top of Passo Erbe. Very difficult drive.

                                          1. re: allende


                                            We'll be traveling to the Dolomites in February for a week (staying in San Cassiano), and have already booked tables at La Stua and Siriola, and are waiting on confirmation from St. Hubertus and Jasmin. We'd like to mix in a few more casual meals, and will likely look to Armentarola and the Wine Bar at Rosa Alpina after reading your above post.

                                            We're considering driving one night to either Anna Stuben or Tivoli, but both seem like a bit of a schlep. Are either (or both) worth the trip in your estimation for the food?

                                            1. re: slcorlis


                                              Isn't Jasmin casual? Any place at a garni usually is.

                                              Tivoli is fantastic, for us so much better (by a factor of two) than La Stua, St. Hubertus or Siriola. No comparison. We've been to Tivoli perhaps a dozen times and have had really excellent meals each time, which is a very unusual occurrence.

                                              That being said, you probably do not want to drive it at night because you have to go up and over Passo Falzarego. It's a lovely drive during the day and having lunch at Tivoli is relaxing and leisurely. It is right outside of Cortina, and Cortina in the morning is a great people watching experience, particularly at that time of the year when everyone is out walking on the main street (there is only one and it's a great street) and stopping to have a ciocolata calda at the outside bars.

                                              We've never been to Anna Stuben, but the drive from San Cassiano to Ortisei is much worse than to Cortina (Passo Gardena is hell during the day and has to be much worse at night).

                                              Where are you staying in San Cassiano?

                                              1. re: allende

                                                I don't know much about Jasmin other than it just (last month) garnered its second star, and that it has a young chef who is doing some inventive and exciting cooking. It has been the on the two star watch list (Le Promesse) for two or so years, I believe.

                                                I really appreciate your feedback about Tivoli and Anna Stuben and the drives to each. If I can convince our group to take a break from the slopes for a lunch at Tivoli it sounds like a must do, but it sounds as though the drive at night is best avoided. Is is possible to take a cab over such distances, or is it pretty cost prohibitive?

                                                We'll likely book an apartment in San Cassiano on Via Costadedoi - we're waiting to hear back from a few other apartments before committing, though are mindful that February is only two months away and peak season in the Dolomites.

                                                1. re: slcorlis

                                                  I thought you were speaking of the garni Jasmin in San Cassiano. The restaurant Jasmin, which you were referring to, is in Chiusa. I presume you're going to go there on the trip up or back from San Cassiano.

                                                  Car at night to Tivoli is very doable but very expensive (the driver has to wait for you).

                                                  If you haven't been to San Cassiano before, be careful how far down you go on via Costadedoi because it is not in town and the walk to town is not fully on a sidewalk.

                                                  1. re: allende

                                                    Yes, we would plan to hit restaurant Jasmin on either the way to or from San Cassiano. It looks to be about a 1h 15 min. drive [in good weather]?

                                                    When you say very expensive, do you mind sharing approximately how expensive? (200 Euro? More?) I only ask because what people might classify as expensive varies, and it could be that for us the meal and the convenience of not having to drive (thus being able to truly enjoy the meal) may outweigh the cost.

                                                    From the town map I was able to find online, it looks like the apartment we're considering is just to the east of the traffic circle, about 150m from town. I'm hopeful it's a relatively easy and safe walk.

                                                    Are there other trattoria/refuguio, open for dinner on winter evenings and easily accesible from San Cassiano, that you would recommend to help round out our week? What we're looking for is not necessarily the most expensive/over the top/etc. experience, but more for food that is delicious, interesting, and perfectly-prepared, in an inviting space. Good wine lists are important as well.

                                                    1. re: slcorlis

                                                      An hour and a half in good weather and if you don't get stuck behind a bus or truck on Passo Gardena. Then it can be more as the bus has to back up on many of the switchbacks.

                                                      Probably 200 euros ,maybe a bit more.

                                                      To the east of the traffic circle is perfect. Sidewalk all the way for the five minute walk to the Rosa Alpina... town.

                                                      All trattorie/ osterie are open for dinner. It is high, high winter season. The best trattoria around, for us, is, as I said, Pre' de Costa.

                                                      Refugi are another story. You'd have to make special arrangements to be taken (after all you are in deep mountain territory at night; you can't hike as you would during the day). Typically in the winter, you eat at refugi at lunch, unless you're staying there. Your best bet near San Cassiano is Las Vegas (don't think you can get to Scotoni at night, but I might be wrong). One other thing; rifugi serve basic local dishes, emphasis on the basic, nothing more. But they're fun.

                                                      Keep in mind that none of the refugi have good wine lists (and few trattorie do).
                                                      In any event, if you're up in Alta Badia, or anywhere in the Alto Adige, stick to Lagreins and Blauburgunders (Pinot Nero), particularly the Lagreins which are undiscovered very good wines, particularly the riservas, but also the non riservas.

                                                      Except at La Stua and St. Hubertus, you're not going to find great Baroli etc. And why not drink mostly local wines, especially if they're very good.

                                                      We'll be up for ten days in late January and early February. If we see anything new (or any problems), I'll post.

                                                      I hope you'll take the time to post your comments about your experiences (good and bad). So many people on this board just "take" and never write about their trips.

                                                      1. re: allende

                                                        Many thanks for your continued help, allende.

                                                        When I said we were looking for "good" wine lists, I should have been more clear - the ideal would be a fairly-priced list of interesting wines. If they're wines that are difficult to source in the States, so much the better - what we're really looking for is to get a real sense of place, which sounds as though it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

                                                        One last question: I gather that Pre' de Costa is not the same as the restaurant in Hotel Armentarola (Norbert Egger's place)? If it's a separate place entirely, I'm having trouble finding an email address for it - do you have one you wouldn't ind sharing?

                                                        1. re: slcorlis

                                                          Pre' de Costa email? Surely you're kidding :)

                                                          This is an Italian trattoria, about 3/4 of a mile behind and to the east of the Hotel Armentarola (which is "eh" for us; not good, not bad, but it's gotten worse during the last ten years). It's right by the Hotel Gran Ancei in Armentarola ( also "eh") and a cross country trail. It doesn't have an email that I'm aware of. Just call when you get to San Cassiano (047 1849443), or a few days before have your hotel make the reservation for you. Remember, it's a trattoria, albeit one that always has a few good bottles of Largrein (all very fairly priced), and, surprisingly for a trattoria, it uses good glasses to serve the wines; and has very good food, all local dishes, carefully prepared. Great trattoria soups, pastas and meat dishes. And one should definitely have the torta di Grano Saraceno for dessert if they've baked it.

                                                          The best wines to try in the Alta Badia are the Lagreins and then down a notch or two the Blauburgunders. The best Lagreins don't travel out of the Alto Adige and certainly not to The States.

                                                          1. re: allende

                                                            @ slcorlis
                                                            Just back from 10 days in San Cassiano. Great as usual. Lots of snow, although they'll need another storm soon because the weather over this weekend is supposed to be above freezing.
                                                            Stick to "mountain food." Simple, hearty.
                                                            Pre de Costa. Very good meal. Exactly what it should be. Simple, well cooked food. Great choice. A trattoria i.e nothing fancy. If you want pompous, foam and weird food combinations, don't go here.
                                                            The Wine Bar and Grill (Hugs) at Rosa Alpina... up a notch in terms of food; nothing special but well prepared food. The Limonia at Rosa Alpina for stinco di vitello ( must special order ahead), really excellent. And, as with Hugs, of course, very excellent wine list (the same one as St. Hubertus).
                                                            Had a very good lunch La Terrazza" at Ciasa Solares. Wonderful place after a morning of skiing. Diner at same place mediocre because you are basically just an adjunct to the hotel guests; service mediocre and the same dishes as lunch, but not nearly as good for whatever reason. Did not try the former Michelin starred restaurant.
                                                            Had not been to Hotel Armentarola for probably six or seven years. Decided to give it a try because the comments in The Gambero Rosso seemed to indicate that the chef had improved quite a bit. Go at your own risk. Really poor. Surly, bordering on insulting, service (same waiters as many years ago). The same old menu as in the past (with a quarter of the listed secondi, not available). Food preparation and taste poor (how can a pasta dish come out less than five minutes after you ordered it?; how can the timing on a risotto be the same?).
                                                            Decent wine list. Would never, ever go back.
                                                            A new place for us. Someone, whom we respect, said that L'Fana's "Grillstube" in La Villa was as good as Scotoni for meat ( This is not the restaurant part of the B&B, but the place downstairs. Really excellent grilled meat, as good as Scotoni.
                                                            Additionally, a super wine list. The owners are passionate.

                                                            1. re: allende


                                                              Many thanks for such an informative update. We're leaving on Friday for 8 days in San Cassiano and we'll hope for some cooler/snowier weather (the next few days look to have highs in the mid 40s). We're booked for dinners at The Wine Bar & Grill, St. Hubertus, La Siriola, La Stua de Michil and Restaurant Jasmin. I need to call this week to book a table Pre de Costa for one of our open nights, and L'Fana's "Grillstube" sounds like a must do for our other open night. It's an ambitious food itinerary, so I'm just hoping we can keep up :)

                                                              Any favorite on-mountain places for lunches while we're skiing? We're planning to buy the Superski pass, I think, but will probably spend a good chunk of our time at Alta Badia.

                                                              St. Hubertus
                                                              Str Micura de Rue 20, San Cassiano, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol 39030, IT

                                                              La Villa, Badia, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol 39036, IT

                                                              1. re: slcorlis

                                                                Malga Sarghes and Las Vegas for on mountain lunches, but remember the places are rifugi, so no really good wine. If one day you do a 360 skiing tour (very easy to do with the Superski) you'll probably come down the slope behind the Hotel Armentarola (the don't go to place). Just walk across the street to La Terraza at the Ciasa Solares, where La Sirola is. As I said, wonderful lunch and you have the full wine list from La Siriola.

                                                                With Hubertus and La Stua, you really are into pompous, foam and weird food combinations :) Don't know about La Siriola today with the new chef. Under the old one lots of pomposity, foam and weird food combinations.

                                                                Spoke with one of my friends in San Cassiano today and they think (hope?) the weather will get colder over the weekend and that a storm is on the way. That's all good.

                                                                Have a lot of fun and please be kind enough to report back.

                                                                ps if one day, for whatever reason, you can't ski, don't forget Tivoli for lunch.

                                                                strada de Pre de Vi,12, San Cassiano, Puglia 73020, IT

                                                                1. re: allende


                                                                  As always, you've been incredibly helpful. I really appreciate your wealth of information, and will be sure to report back after we return from our trip the week of February 21.

                                                                  We don't plan to ski every day, so thanks for the reminder about Tivoli. Would a booking be necessary for lunch? We had also given some thought to exploring the Weinstrasse near Bolzano. Have you driven any of it before? Would it be worth the trip?

                                                                  We enjoy foam and weird food combinations (maybe not pomposity, so much) as much as well-executed and simpler more traditional fare, so I'm glad the region seems to have both in spades. We're hoping to pick up items for breakfast in town somewhere and I've made a list of the regufi mentioned on this thread for lunch.

                                                                  Keeping my fingers crossed for snow...

                                                                  1. re: slcorlis


                                                                    A reservation at Tivoli for lunch is a must. On any given day it could be totally empty or totally full.

                                                                    We have driven the Weinstrasse many times and we passed by it when we came (and left) San Cassiano in the last two weeks. In the summer it is very pretty. At this time of year, it is very dreary. Also, it is 1 1/2 hours to Bolzano from San Cassiano.

                                                                    If I were you, on a day when you don't ski, take a long walk from San Cassiano to Santa Croce (right from town and great views and a fun rifugio in which to have lunch... good hearty food) or up to Prolongia' (from behind the "don't go to" Hotel Armentarola), have lunch at a refugio (from Prolongia it is an easy walk to Malga Sarghes or Las Vegas; do not eat at the rifugio at Prolongia') and then take the lift down if you don't feel like walking. You won't get a full breakfast in San Cassiano except at your hotel. There is Franz and the pasticceria, but they don't have fruit, cereal etc.

                                                              2. re: allende

                                                                Thanks again for posting! Do you know if Pre de Costa has a day it is usually closed? In high season probably not, but in the shoulder season?

                                                                1. re: _emilie_

                                                                  So in looking for their closing day, I found these hours for Pre de Costa, which make no sense (unless these are the OFF hours):


                                                                  Mattina: 8:00 - 12:45
                                                                  Pomeriggio: 15:15 - 20:15
                                                                  (So closed for Italian lunch and dinnertimes?? That can't be right.


                                                                  Closed Tuesday and Friday.
                                                                  (This I figure could be right.)

                                                                  Can anyone confirm?

                                                                  1. re: _emilie_

                                                                    It's not correct. Very big lunch crowd in both winter and summer high seasons, and, of course, open for dinner. Not closed Friday.

                                                                    1. re: allende

                                                                      Thanks, Allende. What do you think of this:

                                                                      ...basically turning a hike (or ski day) above San Cassiano into a moveable feast -- sampling a different chef's dish at each of the rifugi like a daytime tapas crawl? Did you try any of these dishes when you were there? The one place best loved by the reviewer -- Club Moritzino -- seems a little too apres ski for my taste, but I could be wrong. Too pretentious? Thought it might be a good way to sample some of the 2 star cuisine without committing, as you've said, to a full on foam-fest.

                                                                      1. re: _emilie_

                                                                        I know about the program, I know all the players, but this is not the way we enjoy eating in Alta Badia. Nothing wrong with it, just not for us.

                                                                        1. re: allende


                                                                          This is kind of off-topic, but i was wondering if you knew the best hotel for half-board, food-wise, in the alta badia region. We were looking to go this year but are going to Madonna di Campiglio (tomorrow) instead. Last year we went to the Val Gardena, and while we loved the skiing in the region, we found the food at our hotel in Santa Cristina to be not as good as hoped, tho it had gotten raves on tripadvisor, one of the only websites i found that had any reviews for half-board hotel food. I know that Alta Badia has a better reputation for food, but I didn't know if that extended to the half-board dining rooms. We travel with kids and find the half-board option best as it's easy, but good food is important to us as well. It doesn't have to be super-impressive michelin stuff, just good food with top-notch ingredients. Particularly important is the pasta course, which our hotel really fell down on last year.
                                                                          Anyway, we want to do the alta badia next year, so was hoping you might have some suggestions, since you seem to know the area well.
                                                                          The trifecta would be a nice hotel with great half-board food and a pool that is situated within walking distance of the slopes. I can dream, can't I?

                                                                          1. re: missmasala


                                                                            If you've ever been to the Madonna di Campiglio region and know some good mountain huts for skiing lunches, I would love suggestions.


                                                                            1. re: missmasala

                                                                              you are north of the pasta line up there! good luck and hope you get some good reccs.

                                                                              1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                Yes, that's what I had thought last year. But in the mountain huts and in some hotels for lunch, we got wonderful pasta and polenta. However, at our hotel it wasn't that great. So I was wondering if that was a drawback to half-board or if in the alta-badia, which has a better gastronomic reputation than the val gardena, there was good half-board with pasta to be found.

                                      1. re: jen kalb

                                        lstill getting the hang of this - inks re Allende's trip report

                                        strada de Pre de Vi,12, San Cassiano, Puglia 73020, IT

                                        La Villa, Badia, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol 39036, IT

                                        Pre de Costa
                                        Strada Pre de Costa 20, Badia, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol , IT

                                        Rosa Alpina (Wine Bar)
                                        San Cassiano Strada Micura de Ru, 20, Badia, Puglia 93030, IT

                                        1. re: jen kalb

                                          I really don't think Chowhound should put links on the site until it can get the links correctly done. The maps are all wrong (e.g. Pre de Costa), two links give the indication that the restaurants are in Puglia.
                                          All of this, particularly the maps are going to confuse people.

                                          1. re: allende

                                            Allende - the problem is with data entry in the restaurant data base - sometimes the wrong region name is generated (especially in Alto Adige Sudtirol, for some reason) - as long as the town name, street address and the map are correct, I have been letting this minor glitch go. Yes it is infuriating. .
                                            The issue with Pre de Costa is that I could not find a street address for it. Any time a restaurant is added to the Restaurant database without a street address, the mapping function places it in the geographic center of the town. I find that many people add restaurants without the necessary detail - trying to fix this when I find it. If you have an address for Pre de Costa there is an easy fix - just click on the name of the Restaurant, click on the edit entry item and you can put in the address.

                                            I hope you can get less irritated (I will take the Puglia, Sicilia (see zur Rose, yes Bolzano is in Sicily) issue up with the tech folks) but know that what you have to say will be seen by more people and more easily with the linking. Hopefully too more people other than me will input restaurant data which will likely improve it!

                                            1. re: jen kalb

                                              Pre de Costa
                                              Strada Pre De Costa 20
                                              Tel: 0471849443

                                              strada de Pre de Vi,12, San Cassiano, Puglia 73020, IT