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Maurizio Grange & Sevi Math

 


 

Historical background

In the time of the Celts, the road beside which La Clusaz stands was just a track. It later became a great Roman road leading to Switzerland and Germany. The "Mons Jovis", as the Romans called the Great St. Bernard Pass, was the most important crossing point of the Alps. For this reason, it was the site of a temple at which soldiers and travellers could offer sacrifices to gain the favour of the gods for their journey.
The Roman legions passed this way, as did the armies of Charlemagne and, centuries later, the troops of Napoleon Bonaparte, who in 1800 crossed the Great St. Bernard Pass to win a famous victory at Marengo.

Around 1050, Bernardo di Mentone, vicar general of Aosta diocese, built a hospice at the pass that now bears his name to offer refuge and assistance to pilgrims and travellers. The hospice was run by Augustinian monks, who have faithfully continued to perform this task right up to the present day. The hospice has been altered and extended many times over the centuries, but is still a place of peace and prayer for travellers wanting to benefit from its atmosphere of quiet contemplation.

In their work of succouring travellers, the monks had a great ally in the St. Bernard dog, the very symbol of loyalty and faithfulness. A powerfully built animal, hardy and of excellent temperament, the St. Bernard was trained to seek out travellers who had lost their way or been buried in snow as a result of avalanches. Although modern rescue methods are now used, including helicopters, and lighter-built dogs are preferred, the monks continue to raise St. Bernards, following a rigorous breeding programme. The dogs spend the winter at Martigny but are brought up to the pass in the summer months, to the delight of the many tourists who come to see them each year.

This ancient tradition of hospitality in the Valley of the Great St. Bernard is reflected in the history of “La Clusaz". It is first mentioned in the 12th century and there are documents dating from 1140 which refer to the inn as a place of refuge and refreshment for travellers and pilgrims crossing the Great St. Bernard Pass.
In 1820, the inn lost its original role when it was sold to Nicola Gerbore, who transformed it into a farm and demolished the old chapel. The building subsequently underwent many alterations. Bearing witness to the building’s original charitable foundation, an iron plaque is displayed above the fireplace in the dining room, bearing the arms of the 18th-century vicar general of Aosta, René Ribitel.

Fortunately, in 1925 Graziano Grange – grandfather of Maurizio, who now runs the inn together with his partner Sevi Math, – acquired “La Clusaz”, built the present farmhouse and restored it to its original function, providing food, drink and hospitality.

Since then, the Grange family has worked with dedication and enthusiasm to offer their guests the warm welcome that travellers in centuries past encountered within these walls. 

 



A tour of the premises

The Inn/Restaurant of La Clusaz offers a warm and friendly welcome, its calm and understated atmosphere set off by the charm of subtle colours and lighting, and artefacts that recall our historic tradition. Let us take you on a tour to investigate the two different functions of La Clusaz, as both Inn and Restaurant.

The Restaurant consists of two dining rooms, housed in the part of the building formerly frequented by travellers and pilgrims in search of refreshment. The spectacular stone vaulting is elegantly and softly lit to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere. The two dining areas have different roles: the first is quieter and more intimate, ideal for a relaxed meal with friends, seating a maximum of thirty people. The second, which is slightly larger and simpler in its furnishings, lends itself to small-scale events, banquets, private parties and weddings.

The Restaurant offers two set menus – Traditional and Seasonal – which vary to some extent with the changing seasons. The kitchen staff at La Clusaz bring all their skills to bear in developing the culinary heritage of the Aosta Valley. Their aim is to create a happy marriage of tradition and innovation, as they engage in constant research and experimentation.

When you have finished your meal, linger in front of the open fire in our sitting/reading room or, in the summer months, enjoy the cool of our sun terrace. Alternatively, you can cultivate your knowledge of our local wines by visiting our cellar, with its stone vaulting and massive walls. It contains a great wealth of wines, all carefully selected by Maurizio.

If you have decided to stay at the Inn, we have fourteen bedrooms on the upper floor of the building, following a painstaking restructuring of the dormitories used by travellers in centuries past. Each room has been lovingly furnished and decorated with your peace and comfort in mind. There are three categories of room: “Relax”, “Panorama” and “Ambiente”, each with its own distinguishing features.

The Inn’s owners, Maurizio Grange and Sevi Math, will provide you with all the information and documentation you need to explore the Aosta Valley and discover our little region, which, in addition to its traditions, history and beautiful natural setting, provides sports and entertainment facilities.  

 


 

Our wines

You are welcome to visit our spectacular cellar, with its massive walls and stone vaulting. It houses a selection of over 220 wines to satisfy every taste and requirement. The restaurant takes great care in choosing and caring for its wines, which are perfectly in keeping with the quality of our cuisine.

Maurizio Grange and Sevi Math, who are both enthusiastic sommeliers, will be only too happy to help you choose the most suitable wines for your meal.

The wines on our list are arranged by type, for the sake of clarity and to help you in choosing the best wine to go with the menu you have chosen or to suit your personal preference.

Our cellar features many Italian wines, carefully selected from the various wine-growing regions, but also offers a wide choice of wines from other countries.

Special attention is paid to seeking out the best wines from the Aosta Valley region, produced by local wine-growers who also specialize in rare local grape varieties.

The composition of our wine list is dictated by considerations of quality, but also by the criterion of value for money. Some of our most interesting wines are sourced from small producers.


 

 

Accomodation

The inn’s ancient tradition of hospitality began in the 12th century. Documents dating from 1140 mention the inn as a staging-post and place of refreshment for travellers crossing the Alps via the Great St. Bernard Pass, for whom it was a pleasant and secure refuge.

Maurizio Grange and Sevi Math have spared no expense on the inn’s facilities, continuing to offer travellers this agreeable sense of lodging in a very special place, characterized by a sincere and warm welcome and a sense of tradition. In exercising their professional skills, the staff are committed to making our guests feel at home.

The inn is an ideal setting for those wanting a quiet holiday and total relaxation, enjoying the sunshine and scent of the pine woods on the sun terrace. Nature lovers can explore the surrounding countryside by following the many woodland trails. It will also appeal to those attracted by a slower-paced way of life, devotees of first-class cuisine, and tourists wanting to discover the Aosta Valley and its historic capital, which is only 15 minutes away by car.

If you would like to stay at the inn (3-star category), we have 14 comfortable double rooms, some of which have been decorated by a distinguished local artist, who also painted the decoration on the facade of the building housing the Inn itself. With decor and furnishings personally chosen and arranged by Sevi Math, each room has its own unique and distinctive atmosphere.

There are three kinds of rooms:

“Panorama” category – six rooms overlooking the valley with its magnificent landscapes, for travellers wanting to recapture the adventurous spirit of the Grand Tour.

“Relax” category – six rooms opening on to the adjacent pine woods. Their calm and intimate atmosphere enhances the feeling of being immersed in the natural world of the Aosta Valley.

“Ambiente” category – two unique rooms specially designed to create a magical atmosphere, embellished with wall paintings and free-standing works of art.

 

Each room has the conveniences you would expect of a 3-star establishment (private bathroom, hair-dryer, television, telephone, internet connection, etc.).

Guests can also make use of two attractive public areas: a reading room with open fire and a room where you can relax and play board games.

Further facilities include a sun terrace, an adjacent area of private woodland, plenty of

 


 

Home produce

For us at La Clusaz, the fact that we produce some of the foodstuffs we offer to our guests is a source of pride and satisfaction, as well as a genuine expression of the spirit of the Grange family, who have owned the inn since 1925 and have a long tradition of catering, hospitality and producing pork-meat products and cheeses.

Behind this labour lies a passion for organic produce and genuine flavours. The perpetuation of traditional production methods over many years has become a time-honoured rite, bringing great pleasure and a sense of purpose.

Our produce is limited in quantity but high on quality. The seasons dictate the tasks we engage in throughout the year and what we can produce at any given time.

When our pigs are butchered, we produce the salami, dry-cured ham and local black puddings which feature on our traditional menu.

When our pigs are butchered, we produce the salami, dry-cured ham and local black puddings which feature on our traditional menu.

We also make our own butter and a number of traditional local cheeses: fontina, the main ingredient in local soups, vapellenentse, cognentse and rebleque, a soft cheese which is also served as a dessert with cinnamon, rum and cane sugar.

 


 

The kitchen

Our restaurant offers two set menus, which vary to some extent according to the season. This formula enables us to present our guests with our best-known dishes in a well-balanced series of courses, featuring different combinations of tastes and flavours.

However, if you would prefer fewer courses, or a different combination of the dishes comprising the set menus, “à la carte” service is also available.

Traditional menu

Successfully adapting old-time recipes to modern tastes, this menu brings out the delicious flavours of our fresh local ingredients.

First, whet your appetite with some of our typical pork-meat products, such as teteun, dry-cured ham, motzetta or boudin (black pudding). Then try our full-blooded traditional Aosta Valley recipes: seuppa à la vapellenentse, followed by carbonada con polenta cooked over a wood fire. Finally, choose one of the delights from our substantial dessert menu, which includes, sfogliatina (a layered pastry) with ice-cream and hot caramel sauce, variations on crème brulée, and a crunchy cupolina of russet apples with cinnamon ice-cream.


Seasonal menu

This menu includes some of the tastiest and most innovative dishes created in our kitchen at La Clusaz, based on seasonally available produce.  

First, choose between straccetti made with rye flour, savoy cabbage and a tomme cheese sauce or fagottini of fresh pasta stuffed with duck-leg conserve, emulsified butter and onion. Both combine seasonal flavours with creativity and innovation. Then be tempted by our gran piatto del maiale con verza e fagioli, a pork dish available when our pigs are slaughtered, featuring the parts of the animal not used for our home-made sausages and salami.

 


 

Our team

What makes us special, we believe, is the great importance each of us ascribes to team work and the enthusiasm with which we approach our task. The staff of “La Clusaz”, led and managed by Maurizio Grange and Sevi Math, together constitute the heart of the Inn/Restaurant.

We are a group of highly motivated professionals, each eager to use our individual skills and give of our best, finding satisfaction in our work and taking pride in being part of a strong, cohesive team.

The kitchen crew consists of four chefs, each specialized in preparing one of the four components of our menus: hors-d’oeuvre, entrée, main course and dessert. Maurizio Grange supervises and coordinates the work, and ensures that the various dishes complement one another. He is also a great connoisseur of cheeses, and this is very much his department.

The restaurant, on the other hand, is the domain of Sevi Math, who attends to the needs of our guests, organizes the work of our two waiters and maintains a delicately balanced relationship with the kitchen staff.


Piergiorgio Pellerei
He is our chef. He is highly skiled, particulary in cooking meats and combing different ingredients. He is responsible for our main courses and for coordinating the other dishes.


Dardan Perloshi
He is the yungest of our team. His task is preparing different types of fresh pasta and our first dishes.


Alberto Norbiato
You will enjoy his fragrant "focaccia", his desserts and the unforgettable pasty which concludes every meal al "La Clusaz"


Grange Maurizio
The proprietor of "La Clusaz", Maurizio Grange attended catering school then worked in various establishments, first in Switzerland and latterly with Georges Cogny in Piacenza, before devoting himself to the family business. He now manages the entrreprise and the Restaurant's team of chefs.


Restaurant staff
Sevi Math and Maurizio Grange, ably assisted by Julian Luca and Corrado Rossi, will do their very best to ensure that you and your fellow guests spend a pleasant evening, enjoying choice cuisine, carefully selected wines, picturesque surroundings and a cracking fire.

 


 

La Clusaz in Restaurant guides

The Inn/ Restaurant of ”La Clusaz” has featured for the last 15 years in “Osterie d’Italia”, the most widely sold restaurant guide in Italy, and has been awarded the famous “snail” symbol used to identify eateries whose premises, cuisine and welcome are most in keeping with the “Slow Food” (as opposed to Fast Food!) philosophy.

The Inn is also featured in the “Locande d’Italia” guide, again published by Slow Food.

In the other italian restaurant guides 2013:

Michelin: 1 Star  - 2 Forks -
Gambero Rosso: 83
Guida critica e golosa di Paolo Massobrio: Corona Radiosa
Veronelli: una stella
Accademia della Cucina Italiana: Tre Tempietti
Guida de l'Espresso: 14