Atmosphere: The outside terrace is very popular on sunny and warm days. Lovely views of the valley and ski slopes attract many diners. It is lively and refreshing. Inside there are two parts of the same restaurant. One is a bit more elegant and the other has a rustic mountain feel. When cruising the slopes we prefer to sit in the more casual one. Decorated with animal head trophies, horns and mountain photographs, the place assures you that you are in the European mountain area. Everyone wears their ski suits boots and even hats if they do not feel like taking them off. The room is pleasantly warm though so it is up to you how much you decide to undress.
Food: Honest, rustic and generous. The portions are not huge ( especially if you compare them to the portions typical in the US), yet most of the dishes are very filling. When skiing I like to warm up with a bowl of rich soup. The creamy Molligatawny Soup is my favourite. This curry-based creamy soup with pieces of chicken is hearty and tasty. It surely gives you a good base of energy for at least a couple of runs down the slopes.
Local meat platter is also a nice starter. Engadin specialities such as Deer carpaccio. Fish carpaccio or Tuna tartar are lighter and refreshing options.
The pizza is the reason why we return to Salastrains each time we ski in St Moritz. But this is not just any pizza. Crisp, thin crust with a hefty dose of cheese, crowned by a light brown cap of white truffles. What to say – it is the most gourmet pizza (and probably the priciest one) one can imagine. You can get also deer carpaccio, house-made noodles or risotto sprinkled with the precious white truffles from Alba.
Pasta are the restaurant’s signature as well as the fresh lobster. The homemade pastas are delicious, especially the linguine. The lobster is very nice for Europe, yet not superb like the Main lobster. You can have it steamed or grilled, served with a green salad or plain. Veal Milanese would surely please any lover of this Italian “schnitzel” style speciality.
There is a tempting dessert buffet in the restaurant, so if you still have a space for an “Apfelstrudel” , “Topfenstrudel” both served with vanilla sauce or a Chocolate mouse go for it. Not fussy, just home-style and generous.
Drinks: Warming up with a cup of mulled wine or tea with some schnapps (strong liquor) is a must in the mountains to get you soaked properly in the winter atmosphere. The wine list offers Italian, French and Swiss wines by the bottle and some by the glass (2 whites and 2 reds). If you feel like having some bubbles then a tiny bottle of Champagne (185ml Moet et Chandon) will not send your head into flying mode while replenishes your imaginary energy levels through the combination of sparkle and alcohol. Half bottles for those conscious about safe skiing are great option if you do not want to feel the drinks in your head. Magnums are perfect for big groups.
Cuisine: Italian and Engadin (area around St Moritz) traditional.
Visit: January 2012
Price: Medium to high (if you get truffles on everything you order then you will get a three-digit bill).
Opening season: All seasons. The restaurant is located at the Salastrains hotel.
Address: Via Salastrains 12, 7500 St Moritz, Switzerland
Contact: Tel: +(41) 81 830 07 07