when you’re on the pistes, you don’t go to cafés: you go to little mountain huts, and have a mulled wine, or a hot chocolate, or, if it’s lunchtime and you’ve earned it, a nice plate of pasta with some red wine.
in cortina, to do this, you go to rifugio tondi. this for several reasons: first, it sits atop the best ski area of the resort. second, it’s tasty, chilled and unpretentious (well, the ‘bar’ bit anyways…). you can, if you want, book a table at the restaurant area (as the NYTimes suggests) but we preferred to squeeze onto a couple of benches in a corner surrounded by italian families and try to attract the waitress’s attention from there. both will be worth it. my advice: have the red wine carafe, and the fresh pasta with ragu sauce. mmmm.
(phil looking pretty pleased with himself on his 30th birthday.)
but if rifugio capanna tondi is nice and pleasant (so much so we went back for mulled wine and (exquisite) hot chocolate the following day) the real deal of the pistes is no doubt restaurant baita pie tofana. you have to book, and on a snowy day you can snuggle up in their lovely restaurant and watch the world outside go by:
view from outside the window behind me at the restaurant.
and if that cutesy little photo doesn’t seal it for you, let me just say that the rabbit ragu maccaroni and the venison are some of the best dishes you’ll ever have. and by now, you know i eat a lot, so you should really just trust my judgement on this. the ski area isn’t a great one on this side, not if you like more adventurous skiing, so keeping this option for a snowy day when you can’t do much skiing anyways is kinda perfect.
all in all, cortina is too pretentious for our liking, but they know how to rustle up a damn good meal.