Thursday 21 April 2011

La Face Nord, Belle Plagne. France

A traditional Alpine restaurant in the modern Belle Plagne ski resort, La Face Nord attracts a lively mix of families, couples and local workers, lining the bar. The appealing wooden facade is decorated with Christmas-style frosted foliage, while, inside, antique skis hang on the walls, cute teddy bears sit on the window sills and dark red curtains frame the wood-panelled walls. There are candles in old-fashioned candlesticks on each table and the overall effect is twee, but cosy. The traditional savoyard fondue (19 euros per person) is served with boiled potatoes and lettuce. You get a basket of tough bread to dip in the comte, emmental and beaufort mixture, which is heated by a small gas stove. It is thick, creamy and tasty and there is more than enough cheese. Another, even more filling, dish (about 25 euros a head) features a pan of warm reblochon cheese, served with cold meats, boiled potatoes and salad. The reblochon is very rich with a strong, moreish flavour and, as it cools, it gets pleasantly crusty. Even the green salad (six euros) could be fattening - it features lettuce, walnuts and a generous dressing. To complete the apres ski culinary experience, you can get a 46cl pitcher of the punchy house red for about 10 euros. Service by the young staff is friendly, but can be hurried and inattentive. 7/10