The connection between mountains and food doesn’t lead to the thought of refined food (and surely not ‘light’ food), but it is possible! As you might know, my family in Italy comes from beautiful Valtellina (North of Lombardy) located in the heart of the Italian Alps close to the Swiss border. It is also nice to know that even after 31 years I travel here, my family always succeeds in letting us discover great new places in the area… thanks to my zia Loredana and Barbara this year’s discovery was restaurant Fracia. Ristorante Fracia thanks its name because of its location in the middle of the Nino Negri Fracia vines. As the vines are located in the altitude you can imagine the beautiful panoramic views you have up there. The moment arrived at the entrance of this restaurant, I already had a feeling it would be good (see picture below)
Ristorante Fracia will prove to you mountain food can be lighter and more refined than you think! What ristorante Fracia tries to do is serve dishes most people in the mountains wouldn’t be eating every day and serves a few traditional dishes with a twist. The red wire between all dishes is the use of fresh ingredients, homemade products and if possible most of them local! FYI me and my dad enjoyed our meal so much we returned the day after we had our family lunch. So I guess we liked it 🙂
A dish on the menu and you should try when you are in Valtellina is Pizzoccheri (slightly heavy) that also happens to be one of my favourites. I didn’t have at Fracia as I already had it at my aunt Barbara’s place, but if it is as good as the other dishes you’re safe. As we ate there 2 days in a row I think we tried almost all the dishes on the menu :-). Feast your eyes on the dishes we had…
Although all dishes might look simple, but if you want to prepare them in the correct way it is more difficult than you might think! Our compliments to chef Luca Cantoni as he did a really good job of making us an even bigger fan of the region than we already were. The biggest surprise was definitely the fresh tuna, I liked the fact that Chef Luca combined this non mountain product with local ingredients like the the finferli mushrooms . BTW the tuna itself was cooked with perfection!! Damn, this is the reason why I don’t write as many blogposts anymore as I used too…I always become sooooo hungry when I write blogposts like this (especially seeing the pictures) with a result I will go out to eat more and my intent to eat less is all out of the window 😉 😉 Aaah well you only live once right?!
The cherry on the cake are the wines they have at ristorante Fracia (or in Valtellina in general). I don’t want to seem too patriotic, but the wines from Valtellina are in my top 3 of favourite wines (with as preferred the Sfurzat). Something many people don’t know is that the grapes used for the wines here are the Nebbiolo grapes. These are the same grapes used for the Barolo wine, only in Valtellina they call the grapes chiavennasca (just a synonym). For me the Sassella or Sfurzat is in my eyes a better price/quality product to buy than a Barolo as Barolo tends to be very expensive (what doens’t mean I don’t like them, as I do a lot!! Just a bit pricy from time to time if you want a good one). It is a fact that the other wines (from other Italian regions or Champagnes) on the winelist are also great, but I’m of the opinion it is always better to taste the local products… So go for a nice Sassella or Sfurzat (or a Sfurzat 5 Stelle, which is basically the top of the bill). We had the Sfurzat 🙂 just FYI 😉
I do hope you guys one day find the time to travel to Valtellina and enjoy the best this region has to offer of which Fracia is definitely one!! (Let me know if you want a few more) If I would be living in Valtellina Fracia would be what Pazzo is for me in Antwerp (somewhere I tend to be a lot).
Address: Località Fracia – 23036 Teglio (SO), Italy
Phone n°: +39 0342 482671