Gourmet tour through Graubünden
The cuisine of Graubünden has retained a great deal of its authenticity. Capuns, maluns, plain in pigna and pizzoccheri: these recipes have been passed down over the centuries. Contura travelled through the canton and found both award-winning restaurants and small gems in the three language regions.
A small gem: Pizzoccheri and pizza in the Ristorante Albrici, Poschiavo
The Rhaetian Railway winds its way along the Poschiavino river through Valposchiavo. The Hotel Albrici, run by the Zanolari family, is right in the middle of this sun-drenched Graubünden valley – in fact right in the middle of the quaint village square of Poschiavo. In a patrician house dating back to 1682, Karin and Claudio Zanolari entertain their guests with local specialities such as pizzoccheri noodles and capunet as well as pizzas done in a wood stove, baked by pizzaiolo Pasquale from Napoli. It is particularly worth a visit early in the morning when you can watch the village come to life from the restaurant patio.
www.hotelalbrici.ch, Tel +41 (0)81 844 01 73
13 Gault-Millau points: Italianità in the Ristorante Albergo Groven, Lostallo
You can't get to the Ristorante Groven in Lostallo – just a few kilometres from the Italian border – by RhB: take the post bus from Chur or Bellinzona – and the stop is just outside the front door. The restaurant has been in the family for three generations: Alan Rosa has now taken it over from grandmother Maria and father Giacomo. His cooking varies according to the season and the availability of products. Which is why there is a new varied menu every month featuring seasonal specialities – from traditional to sophisticated.
www.groven.ch, Tel +41 (0)91 830 16 42
A small gem: Cheese and Salsiz from Graubünden in the Bistro Staziun, Lavin
We'll be honest: the people serving the delicacies from Graubünden in the Bistro Staziun Lavin – quite close to the south portal of the Vereina Tunnel – are not from Graubünden. Jürg Wirth, Rebekka Kern and Werner Kupferschmid came up from the lowlands to breathe new life into the former waiting room at Lavin station. They are helped out by Beat Gsell. And it's a success. The Staziun has been open for about nine years now, always from Whitsun until mid-November, Friday to Sunday, giving travellers the opportunity to get to know the locals over a cheese platter or Salsiz (dry-cured sausage) with bread from the village bakery. Incidentally, the cheese and the Salsiz are from the hosts' own Demeter farm. The Uschlaingias farm has hit the headlines especially due to its artichokes, which appear to flourish along the RhB tracks.
www.staziun-lavin.ch, Tel +41 (0)79 438 50 08
14 Gault-Millau points: You'll feel at home in the Casa Tödi, Trun
Casa Tödi describes itself as sophisticatedly simple. Simple in terms of its relaxed atmosphere, and sophisticated in its delicacies from the kitchen: chef de cuisine Manuel Reichenbach has earned himself 14 Gault-Millau points in the 2014 edition of the famous restaurant guide. Family cooking has a tradition, as Reichenbach's grandmother also cooked in the Casa Tödi, an old patrician house. Reichenbach came home to cook here after spending time working for celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay in England. He has continued the tradition of authentic, local dishes served in a family atmosphere ever since, although a few modern influences are discernible. Casa Tödi in Trun, just five minutes' walk from the station, is a place where people like to meet and enjoy a good meal – and feel very much at home.
www.casa-toedi.ch, Tel +41 (0)81 943 11 21
A small gem: Wild vegetable tavolata chez Gina and Urs Chiara, Almens
The Chiaras' old and beautifully maintained restaurant is on the outskirts of Almens village. RhB will take you as far as Thusis, and the journey to the small hamlet of just 200 inhabitants continues by bus. This is where Gina and Urs Chiara devote time and attention to their individual passions: she adores cooking wild vegetables, he is passionate about wine and has a well stocked cellar. The perfect combination for offering pleasurable tavolatas in this authentic Graubünden establishment. For 110 Swiss francs per person, Gina will conjure up a surprise menu of several courses from natural delicacies she has gathered herself, with Urs serving wines to match. The big table has space for a maximum of twelve. Reservation absolutely necessary.
firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel +41 (0)81 630 10 40/42
19 Gault-Millau points: Mountain lamb in Caminada's Schloss Schauenstein, Fürstenau
Andreas Caminada's Schloss Schauenstein nestles in the Alpine landscape. The bus trip from Thusis to Fürstenau takes around 15 minutes. With 19 Gault-Millau points, Caminada is one of the youngest three-star chefs in the world. What he conjures up on your plate is reminiscent of French cuisine but always with a regional influence, thanks to the local products. Which is why his menu features Graubünden mountain lamb with black salsify and lemon and sheep's yoghurt ice cream with grapefruit and malt for dessert. Unusual? Caminada says: "Food should be a journey for the senses leaving a lasting impression."
www.schauenstein.ch, www.andreascaminada.ch, Tel +41 (0)81 632 10 80