Talvo by Dalsass is an exceptional family-owned and run Mediterranean restaurant with 18 Gault-Milau points and a Michelin star. Set up recently in a charming 17th century converted barn in one of the oldest properties in St. Moritz, Talvo sits in an exclusive enclave within the already elite destination in Switzerland (considered the highest priced real estate in the world, even higher than Singapore).
While the location itself is already widely sought after by luxury connoisseurs worldwide, this restaurant is chiefly worth the visit for its cuisine. The chef and owner, Martin Dalsass, is widely celebrated and has maintained his 18 Gault&Milau points throughout his illustrious career, having led acclaimed international restaurants including Bellevue Gstaad, and received awards such as “Chef of the year” by Gault&Millau (2001). Seeing an opportunity for top quality cuisine in a top location, Martin set up Talvo and now acts as the head chef, with his son managing the restaurant with his partner. The family ambience is one of the attributes that sets it apart from other high-end restaurants in St. Moritz – it remains unpretentious and yet it is fair to say the cuisine is of a higher quality than most other restaurants in the area.
Despite its recent establishment, Talvo has already attracted attention in a fiercely competitive market for fine cuisine. Demand has called for a team of seven dedicated staff in the kitchen, but it still remains intimate and comfortable with an uncompromising commitment to quality. The focus on quality remains so important that Martin changes the menu every two weeks to ensure it reflects seasonal produce. This in itself is an extraordinary achievement – to completely change an extensive menu fortnightly, while maintaining a Michelin star and 18 Gault&Milau points.
GUEST EXPERIENCE HIGHLIGHTS:
§ This restaurant is one of the highlights of St. Moritz. Every luxury connoisseur should visit St. Moritz and while there, dine at Talvo.
§ The service is a standout feature at Talvo. It is run by an approachable, warm family who are committed to the culinary offering. Guests enjoy a high staff-to-guest ratio and are attended by three staff and a Sommelier who is soon to graduate as a Chief Winemaker.
§ The design draws on its original charming barn-style features, but has been completely modernised and refreshed with a light-filled interior. There is also a separate event room and a cigar room by Davidoff.
§ The gastronomy is of an extraordinarily high quality with a radical approach to regional cuisine, which ensures the best quality produce all year round. As the menu changes every two weeks, you may not be able to experience exactly the same menu, however you can expect to receive a surprise for the senses every time you visit, with the same quality and with every element of the offering made on-site. As an example of the menu, our experience was as follows:
∼ Arriving at the table, we were presented with Australian salt, Ticinese pepper, French fleur de sel along with Talvo’s famous olive oils (they have 10-12 oils and are well-known for their exceptional quality). These were enjoyed with the restaurant’s delicious signature focaccia and four other varieties of home-made bread.
∼ Our first welcome course included thinly sliced bacon (“lard”) and local salami paired with a delightful vermouth (BCN Vermuth, with Garnacha Blanca grapes and Mediterranean Botanicals).
∼ The official Chef’s Welcome consisted of an opulent duck liver crème brûlée paired with raspberry. This was served with a delightful soave (“La Frosca”, 2013).
∼ Our entree was a delicately prepared soft crab on a base of finely prepared pureed avocado, puffed rice and salmon tartare.
∼ The second entree combined artichoke, truffle and a poached egg for simply delicious flavours and textures.
∼ The pre-mains, included the house’s signature Cavatelli with pepperincino, baby squids and mussels paired with a Gruner Veltliner (Veyder-Malberg, 2014) as well as a home-made Gnocchi laced with 45-year-old Balsamic vinegar.
∼ The main fused together a myriad of ingredients, which all complemented the taste journey harmoniously. A saddle of young deer was served with celery, beans, cabbage, cranberries, carrots and paired with a delicious Malbec from a biodynamic area just north of Bordeaux (Mas del Perie, BLOC B763, 2014).
∼ For pre-dessert, we indulged in a home-made apricot sorbet with shaved Swiss chocolate. Our wine here was well-balanced Reisling (Graacher Himmelreich Kabinett, 2014).
∼ Dessert presented us with an iced coffee (widely considered the best in St. Moritz) and an artistically prepared olive oil chocolate mousse (one of the signature dishes) with mango and fleur de sel.
∼ For post-dessert we had gooseberries in chocolate and four different types of home-made chocolate (with ingredients ranging from pistachio nuts, corn flakes and hazelnut).
∼ Our final course included delicious slices of home-made cakes of the day, including an indulgent but perfectly prepared Tiramisu.
§ Make sure to book well in advance given the popularity of Talvo.
§ Have a talk with Andrea, the chef’s son. He is most informative and will tell you about the lengths that they go to to source their produce. He personally recently sourced and shot a 100kg Swiss deer, which was served to guests as a special seasonal item.
§ Make the most of the experience with wine pairing, allowing you to enjoy wine from a collection of over 800 bottles in the cellar, brought to your table by a talented Sommelier.
§ Don’t eat too much during the day in order to enjoy the full experience of Talvo.