Restaurant-Check: La Trattoria, Pontresina
Sometimes there are places - at the end of the world - where your expectations are exceeded. Knowing I could be speaking of Argentinian Patagonia or Tanzanian Serengeti. But I am not. This time we are at the European version of the „end of the world“ - the infamous Engadin region that also includes the famous ski town St Moritz. Now there may be some bells ringing? If you aren‘t arriving by helicopter or private jet as most people do that are frequenting the posh streets of the world‘s most sophisticated ski town, get that cabriolet, motorcycle or sports car out of your garage and enjoy the ride. No matter if you arrive from Italy via Maloja Pass, from Zurich via Flüela Pass or merely passing the Engadin when coming from Germany and Austria, just like we did. Since we are a travel blog and not a motor magazine, staying overnight is what we suggest in this case. While bedding your head in St Moritz might sound elevated, the real experts do the coffee break in town and then head further up the street to Pontresina. A small town without the snobby reputation of the posh neighbour stands for a more laid-back holiday with magnificent vistas, and all the luxury one would expect from a St Moritz luxury hotel. We love a classy Relais & Chateaux as you would imagine it, so needless to say we can‘t stay anywhere else than at the Walther. Owned by the Walther Family, the recently-renovated property (now even more glamorous) is a go-to place of the Luxury Executive team since years.
The Walther family knows that eating at the same restaurant during vacation is getting more old-school nowadays so here comes the new Trattoria. With the unique interior style, Hotel Walther treated itself with this new a la carte restaurant that opened in June 2019. Having had the chance to be part of the new experience, we were seated on one of the few window tables overlooking the stunning mountains of the Engadin. Some people love reading menus, I don‘t and therefore went for the chef‘s recommendations straight away and asked for a surprise menu. Right before the amuse-bouche arrived, I received the ordered bottle of Chardonnay from the Grisons region (I hoped for one of the famous Gantenbein bottles, but the wine list is a bit limited). Of course, the wine matched perfectly already to the amuse: ossobuco on top of creamy and perfectly seasoned polenta. The amuse was followed by the first course of this night‘s menu: a trio of cold starters consisting of a beef tartare, some marinated zucchini as well as burrata with tomatoes on top of a balsamic and olive oil vinaigrette. To be honest, the next dish wasn‘t chosen by accident. Since I know the chefs, I told them that I sometimes have the problem with truffle pasta that they aren‘t tasty and too buttery. That‘s why the team from the kitchen prepared a truly mouth-watering truffle pasta dish that honestly was a fair 10 out of 10.
After the pasta dish, I received a sorbet with a Braulio to pour on top of it. Again, I have to admit it was the best sorbet I ever had as it was incredibly creamy and sweet - nothing compared to the classic sorbet you usually get in upscale restaurants. Let‘s move to the main course. I had the beef fillet with french fries, sauce bearnaise and grilled vegetables. While I am not a massive fan of all kind of vegetables, I ate all of them and needless to say that this dish was miles better than it looks on the picture. Following a discussion with the chef afterwards, I still can‘t decide what was the best on this plate. Sauce Bernaise would be the highlight for me if the beef fillet wouldn‘t be cooked so perfectly soft that you basically didn‘t even need to use a knife. Now imagine you have Italian food and go for a cold dish, pasta and beef - you guess right. I was full as never before. However, the patisserie wanted to impress as well. So they served one of the best Panna Cotta I have had. I hate if the panna cotta is not tasting like vanilla and swimming in fruit sauce. However here the constellation and amount were just perfect. A shame I couldn‘t touch anything from the petit fours - but I was really really full, and it was simply impossible to overdo this coma of food porn. To all surprise, the kind and forward-thinking server from the restaurant brought the petit fours to my room. This way I could finish them the next day which was just outstanding. Overall, Trattoria at Hotel Walther deserves a Michelin star for an utterly sophisticated Italian cuisine with a matching service.
Disclaimer: During our stay in Pontresina, we were guests of the Walther Family and stayed at the Relais & Chateaux Hotel Walther for editorial purposes. Opinions are our own as usual and have not been influenced. Luxury Executive is a blog published by tourism experts and all reviews purely focus on the hotel and destination.