Austria's Restaurant Black Book

By Jen Murphy Posted February 10, 2010

schmitzel

© Jen Murphy
Montjola serves the biggest Wiener schnitzel in St. Anton.

 

St. Anton am Arlberg is one of those places where traditional, family-run restaurants often rival the brand new spots. My friends and I sampled the local haunts and the recently opened. Here, a run down:

Last summer, local hero and two-time world slalom champion Matt Mario bought the legendary
Krazy Kanguruh bar and gave it a major renovation, including the addition of a large terrace; expect a young crowd, with lots of dancing and potent homemade schnapps.

Located at the top of the Galzigbahn, the resort’s futuristic-looking new gondola, Verwall Stube is Europe’s highest-altitude restaurant (at more than 6,500 feet)  and also one of the chicest and priciest in St. Anton; known for its superb fish dishes, including a fantastic bouillabaisse.

What was once The Underground reopened a few seasons ago as Underground on the Piste, next to the Ski Museum (which also has a great restaurant). This tiny chalet has live music, excellent fondue and charcuterie and a superfun staff (one of our servers ran out dancing in a Mexican wrestling mask and the owner even joined in our impromptu dancing in the dining room).

A meal at Seitenblick, which opened in December next to the ferris wheel–like cable car at the base of the mountain, was my favorite of the trip. The restaurant serves updated takes on traditional Austrian fare and the best kaiserschmarrn (a dessert of chopped up pancakes topped with powdered sugar and apples) in town.

The Montjola hotel and restaurant is a steep uphill hike from the main street, but you’ll need the extra exercise if you’re thinking of ordering the Paul Bunyan–size Wiener schnitzel (they claim to serve the town’s largest schnitzel).

One can only eat so much schnitzel and fondue, so I was thrilled to find delicious thin-crust pizza and addictive, cheesy garlic bread at the low-key restaurant Pomodoro, and delicious, inexpensive tapas like bacon-wrapped dates and dangerously good sangria at Bodega Tapas & Vino.

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