The Piemonte is an exceptional area for dining. Some of Italys finest wines are grown in the nearby valleys surrounding Torino and the orchards are famous in Italy for their fruits and nuts. This, combined with the mountain flair for cheeses, sausages, dried meats and grappa, makes for a perfect vacation spot for a serious gourmand.
Perhaps the best (and one of the most expensive) restaurant for traditional local meals in the region is Du Grand Père (left; 0122-755970), which is isolated on the side of the mountain just off the road between Cesana and Sestriere. The rustic dining room, with wooden floors and fireplace in a 17th-century house set in a tiny village, is perfect.
Sestriere has dozens of restaurants. The saying that it is hard to find a bad Italian restaurant is almost true in the town. Most visitors to Sestriere have half-board. For a night on the town we recommend the following.
La Baita (right; 0122-77496), run by Cavaliere Giancarlo and his wife Marisa, looks modest but the dishes, such as penne with a venison and pork sausage sauce was extraordinary. It was followed by a phenomenal deer scallopini sauteed in rosemary. The beef Bourguignonne made with local Barolo wine melts in your mouth. The father and his son Luciano hunt for game that is served in the restaurant.
Other good restaurants are: Colombiere (0122-76323), one of the more expensive in town; Al Braciere (0122-76129), and Last Tango (0122-76337) and Pinky Ristaurant (0122-76441) for simple plates and pizza.
The best restaurant in Sauze dOulx is Il Capricorno (left; 01212-850273) on the slopes. Try to reserve a table here for lunch. Or, get there in the evening for dinner by chairlift or snowmobile. Next on the list of fine dining is Il Cantun del Barbabuc (0122-858593) and Old Inn (0122-858541). Del Borgo (0122-850329), Orto dei Frate (347-7612439), Peccora Nera (0122-858577) and Per Bacco (0122-859808) are also excellent.
Kali, who owns the Godfather Restaurant (right; 0122-850291), is a controversial fixture in the town. His place has lots of wonderful southern Italian cooking and also opens from 2-7 a.m. in the morning to serve the hard-core partiers before they crawl back to their hotels.