Great Restaurants in La Rosiere – Families Welcome
Skiing and eating go together like skis and boots. But in the French Alps food is more than just fuel, it’s a part of the mountain holiday experience. From classic European and French lunch or dinner dishes with a twist to good quality self-service lunches on the mountains there are no shortage of options for skiers who like their food and no shortage of fun for a family looking to dine out. While in La Rosiere working with Atout France, we took the opportunity to check out a variety of mountainside and resort restaurants including one we skied to across the border in Italy. In this advertising feature we bring you the low-down on some great family friendly restaurants in La Rosière…
Family friendly apres ski
As a teen and in my twenties apres ski used to mean as many pints as possible, sunk in a loud bar immediately after the slopes, wearing ski boots and straight from the slopes if necessary. As a family, our post-ski evenings tend to be more long and relaxed, spent playing games and cooking in the apartment or out to dinner. I expect as our children enter their late teen years, the pendulum will soon swing back to the former. But for now, we look for good, affordable food, a comfortable family friendly atmosphere and the time and space to discuss the highs and lows of our day after a few hours skiing together. We got all of this in La Rosiere, a Savoyard village in the Tarentaise mountains. Here’s our verdict on 6 great places to eat in La Rosiere…
6 Family Friendly Restaurants in La Rosière
1 The one with the teddy bears: Aux 3 Ours La Rosière
Tony and Tatiana Rottier run Aux 3 Ours restaurant but the teddy bears supervise. It’s a mystery how many bears are packed into this cosy, fur filled restaurant– even the owners have lost count and they enjoy letting customers try and guess. The theme came about as the couple strove to entertain families who came to their restaurant for crepes. “All the children love it; a lot of pictures and movies are about the teddy bears and so it was nice,” says Tony, who also runs a local restaurant on the piste. They used to buy the bears but now people donate them. Does he have a favourite? “Hmmm.” he laughs, pointing to the one looking into the kitchen. “That one. He supervises my wife.” Tony recommends we try an apple and caramel pancake. “We use special apples from Aosta. Local, from the next valley. On the last run I came back the day before they closed the pass with 100 kilos in my car.” Is that enough to see them through the season? “No!” he exclaims.
Family Friendly Tip: We figured there were at least 100 teddies in the restaurant. Get everyone counting while you enjoy a nice long coffee.
2 The one with the pastry chef: L’Antigel, La Rosière
L’Antigel is a busy, buzzy restaurant near Tetras piste above La Rosiere 1850. It was built by owners Sandrine and Didier in 2013 with the help of friends. Inside it resembles a huge ski chalet, complete with cable car pod. This season it expanded by opening its own snack bar. There are plenty of tables with a view; tableware is branded and their menu is more bistro than mountain top cafe – we opt for gourmet burgers with various flavours of cheese. But it’s the puddings that blow us away. L’Antigel has a secret weapon – a dedicated pastry chef. We take full advantage of this, ordering freshly made donuts (les bugnes de Mamie) with a dulce de leche dip, and warm molten chocolate cake with a melting Toblerone centre (Moelleux tiede au chocolat et couer fondu Toblerone.) Be sure to leave room for desert, even if you need to ski some more before pitching up.
Family Friendly Tip: If you want a dish with the look and impact of the mountains, choose the stupendous Monte Bianco for desert. Mascarpone cream, vanilla chestnut puree and much, much more. `
3 The one with the caviar: Le Génepi, La Rosière
“The oysters have gone very well over the last few weeks,” says Helen Jones, co-owner of Le Génepi Restaurant. She pops a star fruit onto the corner of a glass and confesses no one has yet ordered the caviar since the new menu was published earlier this year. It’s not surprising really- the beluga is over a thousand euros a portion and has to be ordered 72 hours in advance. Why caviar? Co-owner Michel Lepelley used to work in a caviar restaurant in London. Helen and her husband Patrick, the chef at Génepi, worked on the same street and the three struck up a friendship that eventually led them to start their own restaurant in La Rosiere. Michel is a big character and gives me four kisses on departure.
“He does that to everyone,” my ski instructor tells me next morning with a grin. But it’s the tenderness of the beef and venison that people come for, not Michel’s attentions. “The steak fillet Génepi –fillet of beef topped with foie gras or the Chateaubriand.” Helen confirms. “The venison is popular too.” And boy do people come. We leave a packed restaurant at 10pm when the trio are preparing for a second sitting.
Family Friendly Tip: If you have adventurous children they might like delicacies such as escargot but ours preferred the cod and chips; beautifully presented with a creamy parsnip side. And we all loved the decadent chocolate mousse. (L’onctueuse mousse au chocolat.)
4 The one where you serve yourself: Le Plan du Repos, La Rosière
This isn’t one of those self service mountaintop restaurants where you can select from a small variety of burgers, chips and coke and more burgers. Le Plan du Repos is a family business serving good local food and dishes from around the world. It is efficiently run by Vincent and his parents who chose its location thirty years ago for the view and the proximity to the slopes. The terrace is huge and whilst you have to queue for your food, a waiter will bring drinks to your table if desired. You’ll meet the chef as he plates the food fresh – everything from Asian dishes to traditional Savoyard sausage. The restaurant is an institution in La Rosiere, “There are people here who are coming for three or four generations; we see the great, great grandchildren,” Vincent tells me as a huge Italian family sweeps in and gives everyone a hug. “It is very family friendly. We have customers from Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Russia. Many families. People come they come because they feel like home here.”
Family Friendly Tip: The sunniest table is by the entrance with your back to the restaurant. I also liked the coffee bar just inside where you can chat to the owners if they aren’t too busy.
5 The one with the action: Le Flocon, La Rosière
We visit Le Flocon several times. Once to have coffee on the terrace overlooking the end of the slopes at Les Eucherts. Once to go ten pin bowling in the bowling alley beneath the restaurant (Staff from Le Flocon run the alley and serve the drinks.) And once for dinner, where some tables have a direct view onto the ice skating rink. There’s a big choice at this restaurant from pizzas to world dishes. I have the boudin noir. “Many people don’t like the classic but when they taste this they like it again,” says Flocon co-owner Guillaume Gorak about my black pudding dish. I can see why. He also recommends we try the crepes. “We have big deserts. We are from Brittany so we know how to do French pancakes. If you try one it will be a good choice I promise.”
Family Friendly Tip: If you like pizza you may want to try the banana and chocolate pizza for desert. But a tip from our teen – don’t do it after having a Margherita pizza as your main course first!
6 The one in Italy: Taverna Coppapan, La Thuile
In the summer while staying in the French Alps we relied on Trip Advisor to guide us on a trip into Italy. The restaurant recommended by the app was Pizzeria Le Dahu, an atmospheric cellar with outstanding pizzas. It is something of a surprise then as we dip down into La Thuile on a day’s skiing into Italy from La Rosiere, when we end up at the same place. This time we eat in the main restaurant Taverna Coppapan. My starter is the biggest charcuterie board I have ever tasted, leaving no room for pizza. Service meanwhile, is just a friendly as before.
Family Friendly Tip: The kids Diavolo pizza comes with a choice of spicy or original sausage, and is made into the shape of a little devil. Perfect for parental stealing of a horn or two.
Disclosure Note: This post is brought to you in a collaboration with Atout France to help promote winter sports in the French Alps. All opinion, photography, and pizza and pastry indulgence was all our own.