Thursday 2 April 2015

Ristorante Le Petit Coq, Champoluc, Aosta Valley, Italy

The place to cook and eat protein-packed mountain food, Le Petit Coq offers raclette, fondue and the like in a cosy wooden chalet near the village of Champoluc. If you are staying with one of the British tour operators, they can book you in for a set meal and taxis in both directions for about 30 euros per adult and 17 euros per child. After you arrive, your waiter will light the stoves on your table and bring you a big plate loaded with chunks of raw steak, chicken and sausage - you use skewers to cook each meaty morsel in bubbling oil in a pot. You need be careful to keep the meat on the skewer.

You'll also be given a dozen or so slabs of decent cheese. You place a slab in a small tray and when it's melted, pour it over the boiled new potatoes, the fried potatoes or both. All this is accompanied by a generous helping of cold meats, finely sliced, including a very pleasant Parma ham. The waiter will also bring half a dozen condiments, including salsa and pesto, a bottle of very respectable red wine, still and fizzy water. When you have overloaded on protein, fat and carbs, you can wash it down with a cold and refreshing sorbet, served with or without vodka. There is also coffee, if you want it. Although Le Petit Coq's decor and crockery is a tad old-fashioned, it deliver a fun, and very filling, dining experience. 8/10