There’s a certain charm that mountain restaurants in the Dolomites emit like El Brite de Larieto. Immersed in a larch forest at an altitude of 1664 meters asl below the peaks of Monte Cristallo, it is a pretty paradise that highlights the tradition of the Dolomites through their gastronomic offerings. When the Gaspari family took over the unused structure in 2004, they had miraculously restored it to a functioning restaurant and animal barn. Flavio Gaspari bred cows, pigs and chickens in the barn and next to it, his wife Giuliana took care of the mountain restaurant serving traditional local food with their son Riccardo in the kitchen. It was a family activity requiring a great deal of work and love for what their land stands for.
While the restaurant gained its popularity for its traditional food, Riccardo also picked up great motivation for a more innovative cuisine and learning finer cooking techniques. A three-year internship at the triple Michelin starred restaurant of Massimo Botturo in Osteria Francescana in Bologna opened new doors afterwards. He and his wife Ludovica opened a restaurant a few kilometers from El Brite de Larieto in 2017 and called it SanBrite. In the kitchen of SanBrite, he expresses his creative side while at El Brite de Larieto, he preserves the traditionality in the dishes that he and his team realize with the ingredients that they produce themselves.
El Brite de Larieto is open all day for lunch, afternoon snack and dinner to everyone particularly to the trekkers who choose to have their breaks with the hospitality of the restaurant. It can be reached by car (ample parking) or by walking through a larch forest that opens up to the restaurant. Mountain restaurants are there to accommodate people who take a pause after a long walk in summers or skiing in winter. While warm summer lunches are best enjoyed in their outdoor terrace overlooking the mesmerizing panorama of the Dolomites while grazing cows freely roam around, indoors is also quite a spectacle in its stube which is furnished and decorated with the typical mountain details.
The menu represents that typical dishes of the Dolomites, some with light innovative touches by the chef. Appetizers are prized at around €15, first courses of pasta and risotto at €15, main courses between €15 to €25, and desserts at €8. Some dishes to take note of are the Tartare of Speck Aged for 6 Months Served with Cream of Cucumber, Horseradish and Salted Butter Gelato, the Casunzei of Nonna Annetta (local ravioli filled with beetroot), and Zopes, an old dessert of the area).
El Brite de Larieto
32043 Cortina d’Ampezzo (BL), Italy
Tel: +39 368 7008083
Open daily for lunch and dinner except Thursdays
Closed from end of October to beginning of December