Ultimate gastronomic experience in the Dolomites

Eating is an essential part of any trip to Italy. It’s one of the main pleasures, not less important than beautiful nature or rich culture and history. To be exact, Italian cuisine IS a part of Italian cultural heritage, without which Italy wouldn’t be Italy anymore…

A memorable meal is not only food delicious on the tongue and light in stomach, it’s also a discovery, a surprise, a travel to the Kingdom of Taste, as well as a social experience and just the pleasant time. The true chef knows how to make your meal exceptional, and every tiny detail matters when we are talking about Michelin-starred restaurants. Originality, outstanding quality of cuisine and excellent service are their distinguishing qualities.

I ate at several Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris, but have never done it in Italy. Dinner at the Michelin 1-star restaurant La Stüa di Michil became my first Italian experience of this kind and definitely a remarkable one! We enjoyed the dinner together with my friend Valentine, an experienced chef, who gave his opinion on the dishes and helped me to edit this article with his professional remarks.

La Stüa di Michil is one of the restaurants of the hotel La Perla where we stayed during our trip to the Dolomites. Its style is in harmony with the style of the hotel: rustic interiors with a touch of vintage chic. The restaurant hall is sombre and mysterious. Rows of wine bottles shimmer shyly on the wooden shelves. Simple linen tablecloth, row wooden tables. Candles and flowers, porcelain and crystal…

La Stua di Michil
In the Kingdom of Wines…
La Stua di Michil
Mountain chic and good old rustic style
La Stua di Michil
A good table for a good company

We start our dinner with a glass of champagne, a variety of home-made breads, traditional Italian crostini and home-made salted butter. We were surprised by the presentation of butter in a classic quenelle shape (you can see it on the photo below) which is a typical French technique; it immediately reminded us of the Michelin level of the restaurant.

It’s a pleasure to sip champagne slowly, read the menu, discuss, make choices, ask questions to the waiter… It was possible to opt for one of two menus, a classical or innovative one, but we could also combine dishes – for example, order the classical menu with the dessert from the innovative menu.

La Stua di Michil
Champagne is the best way to start the dinner!

We both decided in favor of the classical menu, tempted by typical Italian recipes and curious to taste the chef’s version of them. We also ordered wine pairing which means every dish was accompanied by a glass of perfectly matching wine. A great pairing brings the meal to the new level creating the balance between the taste of the dish and the aroma of wine. We were enthusiastic to discover some new Italian wines… and in fact got a surprise at the end of dinner – but I’ll tell about it later:)

The cuisine at La Stüa di Michil is an exquisite mix of Italian and French cuisines, in a delicate way incorporating seasonal ingredients and local products. Smoked egg yolks with Jérusalem artichokes, tortellini with mascarpone flavoured by anchovies and lemon, deer cooked in two technical ways – modern and classic at the same time, with an excellent presentation.

Now let me show you our dinner…

La Stua di Michil
As a starter we had soft and crispy topinambur (Jerusalem artichoke), smoked egg yolk and hazelnuts
La Stua di Michil
Next step – pasta: spelt flour tortilla stuffed with mascarpone and celeriac, Cantabrian anchovies and lemon
La Stua di Michil
My main course: lamb belly artichoke fondant, pecorino and caramelized pine nuts Parmentier
La Stua di Michil
Valentine’s main course: tenderloin of deer barley crust, mild-cooked ribs, winter vegetables and garden lovage
La Stua di Michil
Dessert: coffee soufflé, hazelnut ice-cream and caramel sauce – classics of the French cuisine

As I told you, at the end of dinner we had a surprise: the waitress brought us two glasses of something which had the color of black tea… She asked us to suggest what was that drink offered to accompany the dessert? The liquid in the glasses smelled like old porto wine… Actually it was local beer! First time I drank beer with dessert and it matched perfectly! Xyauyù Barrel beer ages in oak rum barrels to give it scents of dates, caramel and wooden notes…

La Stua di Michil
Xyauyù Barrel beer – a very special drink…
La Stua di Michil
To finish the dinner, we got coffee (perfect as all Italian coffee) with some sweets

Traditional Italian food with a touch of modern cooking, perfect wine pairing and cozy atmosphere unusual for the Michelin-starred restaurants made this dinner really special. It was one of most remarkable moments of our trip – a moment when we discovered the Dolomites by mouth!

La Stüa di Michil 

Str. Col Alt, 105, 39033 Corvara In Badia BZ, Italy

Tel: +39 0471 831000

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