Thursday 10 April 2014

Al Capone, Verbier, Switzerland

Outside the heart of Verbier, near the Savoleyres chair lift, Al Capone is a bizarre mix of Italian pizzeria and Swiss chalet. The cosy main dining area is all solid wooden beams and rafters, adorned with rustic curtains. The annexes around the back have less character, but are comfortable enough. The menu lists about 20 pizzas, starting at 18 Swiss francs for a basic margherita, rising to 29 Swiss francs for a tartufata, which is stuffed with truffle cream, local cheese, ham, mushrooms and peeled tomatoes. The pizzas are passable, but some of the ingredients can be a little lame. You may be tempted to try one of the dishes marked as "local", such as a roasted half chicken (20 francs), served in a basket in a tasty bĂ©arnaise-style sauce. You are encouraged to order a green side salad, but it is boring and pricey for 9 francs and a small bowl of fries, which are thin and mediocre, for 7 francs. Still, the waiter will refill the bowl when you run out. Another dish, billed as local, is essentially a big plate of decent ham (19 francs).  You can get a respectable Swiss pilsner-style beer,  with a bit of a kick, for 6 francs (in a 4dl glass) or a bottle of wine (starting at 41 francs) from the shortish, but well-selected, list.  Deserts are also pricey and you might settle for a ball of the good ice cream for 3.9 francs. All-in-all, Al Capone is an expensive and complacent establishment, which doesn't need to try very hard, particularly on a Wednesday night when many of Verbier's chalet staff have their night off. 6/10