A ski holiday does not need to be just about the amazing skiing and fresh tracks, surely it is also about good grub too! St Martin de Belleville has this year been shortlisted in the World Snow Awards for ‘Gastronomic resort of the year’ and we know why. There are a great variety of restaurants to choose from in this quaint French village of a ski resort, so depending what tickles your taste buds here is a quick run down (in no particular order) of our top five French eateries.
Top 5 Restaurants in St Martin
1. La Bouitte
La Bouitte is tucked away in the relatively unknown village of ‘St Marcel’ just five minutes outside of St Martin. The restaurant itself however is certainly not unknown having been awarded their third Michelin star last season, one of only 26 restaurants in France in this category. This is a real family affair with father and son chefs René and Maxime Meilleur who have built up this outstanding restaurant.
As we are sure you can appreciate with such fine cuisine, comes a fine price – an entrée on the menu is priced from around 75 euros upwards. They also offer several ‘surprise’ taster menus going from three courses (140 euros) right up to eight courses (295 euros) if you are feeling particularly ravenous and extravagant. As a restaurant with rooms ‘La Bouitte’ is also a beautiful hotel so if you want a real treat of a ski break then this is the place for you.
Chantacoucou is another family run restaurant where the husband and wife team, Bernard and Josette Souchal, not only work in the restaurant and kitchen, they also run the adjoining farm where all the produce offered on the menu comes from.
This place is such a delightful find in a ski resort with local homemade French cuisine and good quality produce. They offer a set menu at around 25 euros which includes aperitif, starter, main course, cheese, dessert and coffee – our advice, make sure you have your stretchy pants on! Generally the starter includes a charcuterie platter (all meat from the farm), the main course includes two options (meat from the farm) served with crozets (homemade), cheese plate (made on the farm) and a selection of desserts (homemade). So we think you get the idea, all homemade, all produced on the farm, served up in a typical Savoyard dining area with roaring fire, tucked away in the mountains, with just one sitting per evening, you will need to reserve in advance. Well worth a visit.
3. Jardin Joséphine
Jardin Joséphine is a fairly new restaurant to St Martin having only opened a couple of winter’s ago and offers a really fresh alternative to mountain cuisine. As part of the ‘Chez Pepe’ family of restaurants they also focus on homemade and farm produced ingredients for the dishes on their menu. In typical style of this group of restaurants they do not really offer an extensive menu, with a small selection of each course on offer, however, there is great attention to detail – be prepared for flowers on your plate and some refreshing accompanying sorbets to wow your palate. The interior also has the same attention to detail and is a refreshing approach and nice step away from the usual mountain style. There is also a small terrace accessed from the piste which is perfect for those well earned ski lunches.
4. Le Montagnard
Right next door to Jardin Joséphine is another very well established restaurant from the same family, Le Montagnard. If you want to sample local specialities such as tartiflette and fondue in a fine restaurant setting then this is a great place to do so. The little touches and great service really bring this restaurant up a notch and you can see why it is such a firm favourite with locals. Whilst they do not have a terrace this is a spot often filled with ski instructors and skiers who have stopped off to sample some fine local nosh in a cosy dining area. Again here, the evenings reservations quickly become fully booked so we recommend you reserve a table in advance.
5. La Voute
Being a small village it is not surprising that La Voute is another family run restaurant with two of the brothers working over the summer season at the restaurant who then take off their aprons, clip on their ski’s for the winter season whilst the third brother takes the restaurant reigns. With a central village location, a great vaulted dining area and really varied menu this is a popular choice in St Martin. Also great for families as the menu is more affordable than other ‘gastro’ choices and they offer pizzas, steak, raclette, tartiflette, fish dishes and even snails if you are feeling brave!
So good luck St Martin we are rooting for you. Here is to another winter of fine French cuisine and way too much cheese!