Twenty covers or just a few more, an 18th-century stube, and a menu that combines two regions on the same sensory map: at Suinsom in Hotel Tyrol, Alessandro Martellini explores new paths of elegance, painting different landscapes on the plate. As a backdrop, a family unit with outstretched arms that renews its promise of hospitality every day.
Selva di Val Gardena is the ultimate alpine intersection: a symbolic representation of tourism's transition to other destinations, whether it's the isolated trails of Passo Sella or the bustling squares of Bolzano. It seems impossible to stay here for more than a week without the obsession of trekking or skiing, but in the end, there is an exception, and it is to be found where you least expect it. Thanks to two young people with a ring on their finger and free-thinking minds, who just half a century ago gave hospitality a different value by applying their inherent empathy to it.
It was from this foundation of bon ton folklore that Tyrol was born: an unconventional retreat firmly set on ignoring the captivating allure of the local trade. Now that time has slipped away like the Rio Gardena, Frida Kasslatter and her husband Karl Malloyer are still present in the whirlwind of immeasurable gestures that etch the hotel into the memory of its guests. The warm welcome constantly validates this, eager to reattach the ribbon to its welcome offerings each time.
The chef and Suinsom Restaurant
If you were invited to dinner in an 18th-century stube, a kind of Ladino lounge warmed by the nuances of the forest, you would undoubtedly expect a parade of typical dishes, including the aroma of polenta with sauce and some canederli. After all, Tyrol has always preserved - and continues to display - its exquisitely nostalgic side but has gradually managed to integrate it into an up-to-date shell, restoring the spaces with a gentle hand to save the wood's intimacy from the pitfalls of time.
In the venue, the ritual of lunch with cheese fondue, pumpkin soup, and Val Pusteria potato gnocchi is not missing; however, the menu blends two different paths: that of the new generation, represented by Bibiana Dirler and Maurizio Micheli, and that of chef Alessandro Martellini, awarded the Michelin star for Suinsom's cuisine. It is he who, in the old but gold surroundings of the building, easing the hold of tradition, but strips the technique of its most intricate layers.
A tightrope walk between the strict line of masters Stefano Baiocco, Enrico Crippa, and Antonio Guida and the innate ability to paint different landscapes on the plate simultaneously (beyond the profiles of Gardena, lively Tuscan scenes to reconstruct the origins). Alessandro grew up in Orbetello and, during his professional development, he gradually rises through Italy, with a geographical-culinary journey that the name already evokes; whether because Suinsom means "on top," or because the path combines two regions on the same sensory map, from exploring the lagoon in Grosseto to gathering fresh wild herbs above 2000 meters.
A step back is necessary: Let's briefly step away from the dimly lit stüa to sketch an overview of Tyrol, which upon arrival presents the image of a family unit with outstretched arms.
It is not uncommon to be welcomed with tastings of cold cuts and Schüttelbrot right from check-in, as well as to explore the "drink field" with the bartender's live updates at Ty Bar, effortlessly moving from house cocktails to the inevitable Iba compilation; to inevitably get lost between a dip in the underground Dolomia stone pool and a tour of the "Sauna Paradise" (where the Finnish sauna in the hut is next to the aromatic version of the "forest effect") or to indulge in a variety of dishes selected from the Ty Restaurant and Ty Bistrot menus.
Noteworthy, however, is the breakfast, often less characterized in the local hotel scene, and crowded with "standard" voices that take away some of the magic. Here, the risk dissolves into a convivial feast of cakes, long-rising braided bread, pastries with cream and wild berries, butter, and jams to pair with a selection of bread, plus a live zabaglione display that does justice to eggs in their delightful made to order recipe.
The Suinsom and Alessandro Martellini's Dishes
It's not easy to secure a spot in the fine dining restaurant with only 22 covers, so regular guests have made a habit of calling ahead with calculated notice. Credit goes, beyond the backstage, to the attentiveness of maître Alessia Visentin, the skilled "vestal" of Suinsom, capable not only of matching the tasting with proposals in tune with the table's mood but also of weaving the thread of surprise into the small pauses of the dinner, perhaps serving the Wellington fillet medium-rare to anticipate the lightning strike.
Naturally, the pairing, instead of staying within the range of the usual names, tends at times to update the concept of local viticulture, focusing on particularly territory-sensitive wineries.
In the two tasting menus (In Cordata a 5 and In Cordata a 6),what comes before the dishes already awakens the senses. Here comes a "visible mushroom" where it is actually a container of 5 different varieties: at the base, a parfait of chanterelles, porcini, and champignon with porcini, while marinated shiitake mushrooms recall the dome above, and herb-infused bread resembles moss, ready to sprinkle light green hints of autumn.
The Foie gras with beetroot and carpione jelly and the Apple with yuzu gel and shiso are also immediately understood: one deep and robust, the other fresh and full of juice, to refresh the palate before the carbohydrates. Not the usual starchy texture: the warm bread has a crisp crust and a slightly acidic crumb, a sign of the 45-year-old sourdough that the team nurtures like an "adopted child."
A multiple dose of Normandy butter, and silence grows in parallel with anticipation, until the entrance of the "heart" of veal sweetbread, Romanesco broccoli, and fermented beetroot cream. The cutting test immediately confirms the idea of tenderness, thanks to the meat's incubation in a cocoon of oil and butter. Then, the Cetara anchovy sauce balances the saltiness with the vegetable's sweet note; it's a close encounter between pasture and cliffs, never so closely united.
Rhetorical question: can a fusillo venture into the abyss? The one with lard, cuttlefish, and samphire seems to extract iodine from every species, absorbing it through a kind of marine osmosis: during mixing, it dives straight into the lard, which rounds out the different gradations of saltiness; shortly after, it welcomes the mollusk, ready to swim in it with its juice and spread thin veils on top. Finally, when you least expect it, the wildness of samphire bursts onto the scene, and then you feel the contrast between the velvety base and the bold topping: the real wave, which can hit you with a splash or keep you floating in limbo, but always leaving a clear memory.
From the coast to the lagoon is a moment, following the trail of Grilled Eel, beetroot, shallot, and citrus consommé. A shining second course inspired by the Golden Eel award, conferred on Alessandro for his long-awaited macaron achievement. It's not just food; it's a memory between liquid and solid, with a scent to inhale deeply before wielding the spoon and taking a bite of the melting slice.
Also magnificent, as planned, is the "mountain edition" of Wellington’s Fillet, a golden bar that seals the juices of the filling but incorporates fragments of the ecosystem. Replacing beef is Val di Funes lamb, enriched with foie gras and camomile jus. The bite relaxes by dipping the morsel in a puree of Val Pusteria potatoes and Alpe di Juac nettles.
In the end, Alessandro invites us to temporarily leave adulthood behind to encounter a dessert that erases lost years: one of the best Tarte Tatins ever tasted, sumptuous in its clarity. The "queen apple" is wrapped in a natural spiral that enhances the Cosmic Crisp apple, only harvested at high altitudes. The result? Firm flesh and subtle sugars even after cooking, with vanilla ice cream that captures the scents of hay milk. No restraint, for once, in scraping the bottom of the dessert.
HOTEL TYROL AND SUINSOM RESTAURANT
Strada Puez, 12- Selva di Val Gardena (BZ)
Tel. +39 0471 774 100