First post of the year! Food related, obviously. Today we wanted to share with you the first of the articles that we are going to dedicate to our Winter getaway in Cortina d’Ampezzo. With our trip to Spain and the holidays in between we still hadn’t had the time to sort all the pictures and memories! Cortina d’Ampezzo is a little village located in a beautiful valley in the Dolomites. We spent a few wonderful days of long, frosty morning walks, afternoons at the spa and incredible dinners at La Corte del Lampone, the restaurant of the Rosapetra Spa Resort, the hotel we chose for our stay. As you can imagine we had a fantastic time… and beyond delicious dinners. That’s why we’ve decided to start this little Cortina special with the restaurant that made us so very happy and was one of the highlights of our trip.
Having taken an indecent early flight, we arrived at the hotel exhausted and starving. So we were delighted when the receptionist booked us directly a table at La Corte del Lampone, no need to leave the premises!The restaurant seemed to be waiting for us. It was very quiet, overflowing an amazing Winter sun and it smelled delightfully. Everything looked just perfect, cozy and inviting. We were seated next to one of the large windows that surround the restaurant, the perfect frames for the incredible landscape. We smiled and thought we were in the middle of the best Winter fantasy.
The menu was really promising: a few dishes, all seasonal with local produce. There were a few starters, pasta (of course) and no more than four main dishes, mostly meat. We started with a ricotta appetizer where the soft, creamy cheese was accompanied by all sorts of vegetables cooked in different textures and extremely finely sliced speck, so typical in this area. The presentation was flawless (pictured above) and the flavors were unreal. We were pleasantly surprised! It was time for the main dishes. I went for deer with chestnuts and pomegranate. Cooked to perfection, it tasted exactly like holidays in the mountains. I guess that’s the flavor that I will remember and associate with this trip: the soft, juicy meat, the earthy chestnuts and the fresh pomegranate. Each bite was better that the previous one and I just wanted to keep eating! She went for the slow cooked veal cheeks with mashed potatoes and leek. The meat was tender like butter but still rich in flavors and the mashed potatoes had that homemade touch. The leeks were a tad crunchy and, all together, just was a little piece of heaven. Even though the quality of the produce and the presentation screamed high cuisine, the flavors of each dish had a very natural, familiar feel to them. We agreed that it was high quality mixed with “made with love”. And it was perfect. We were really excited to think about the delicious dinners we were going to have the following days, since we had booked our stay including half-board. And it was time for dessert. I was a little bit afraid because sometimes the dessert menu is where my opinion about a restaurant changes drastically. Not this time: I went for the chocolate ice cream (couldn’t help myself) and she chose the cream one (mantecato). However, none of them were simple ice creams. Both textures were completely different. The chocolate ice cream looked like sand and had a half powdery, half grainy texture. But once it got in touch with my tongue it melted into the most delicious traditional ice cream. This surprising texture was, however, not the best thing about it. The rich chocolate flavor was still the star of the show. The creaminess of the mantecato was absolutely amazing and while it had the character of the particular milk taste, it was refreshing and really smooth. The perfect ending to our first meal at La Corte del Lampone. Or was it? Because with the fennel teas we ordered after lunch, we had the opportunity to try the most delicate, tiny pastries. Tremendously happy after such a meal we headed to our room, where we enjoyed the amazing views from our terrace until the sun started to set and then got prepared for an absolutely relaxing afternoon at the spa (I may or may not have fallen asleep next to the pool). Of course, the day ended with a delicious dinner at the restaurant… but more on that in a few days, when we will share our impressions about the Rosapetra Spa Resort!