This restaurant was first recommended to me by a Frenchman who has owned a place in Val D'Isere for over 40 years. I hadn't really noticed it before as it has a rather unobtrusive entrance on the rue principale underneath the Hotel Kandahar. The restaurant is in the basement so is very much an evening place. As soon as you walk down the wide staircase, the buzz and bubble of happy conversation over good food rise to meet you. The restaurant is large but feels cosy with wood panels, atmospheric lighting and a large bar in the centre of the room, dividing the space into more intimate areas. It feels like a place of intrigue, drama and high jinks, full of secrets and good times past.
During my extended stay in Val this year, I visited La Taverne three times for dinner (once for my birthday). It was always busy, buzzy and brilliant. The food is delicious and hearty. There is an Alsatian influence in choucroute and sausages but if, like me, you prefer to avoid this, the rest of the menu is extensive and delicious. The best veal escalope with creamy mushroom sauce in town. The marinated salmon starter is fresh and tasty. Snails are always good - and smothered in lovely garlic butter. Steak tartare is excellent. Service is friendly and efficient and the lovely owner Isabelle is very happy to chat about the food. She is ably assisted by the dashing maitre d', who charmingly holds the whole place together in a laid-back, Gallic fashion. There are no fancy tricks to the food or the decor - just a wonderfully warm, well-executed and satisfying restaurant. Merci Jean-Pierre!
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