One Michelin star, SanBrite in Cortina (“San” means healthy in the local dialect) is the restaurant that best interprets the ancient cultural traditions of the Dolomites with a sophisticated design twist. No coincidence that the hosts are Ludovica Rubbini and Riccardo Gaspari, the 2 minds behind the success of Brite di Larieto and a guarantee of (a lot of!) taste, hospitality and good food.
For their new “home”, Riccardo has chosen to offer a creative mountain cuisine based on the ingredients produced by the family farm: meats, flours, and also cheeses. SanBrite is, in fact, adjacent to Piccolo Brite, the delicious dairy that Ludovica and Riccardo opened in 2012, a paradise of artisanal cheeses naturally made with the milk of their own cows. In the valley in front of the restaurant, the couple has also created an organic vegetable garden, so beautiful that, in addition to providing the raw material for cooking purposes, it also serves as a romantic setting for gourmet lunches organized at the convivial table overlooking the wonderful Tofane mountains.
The interior design of SanBrite is the result of teamwork as Ludovica and Riccardo got involved, with the coordination of the architect Fabrizio Lucchetti, their craftsmen, and designer friends in order to create an environment that combines the aesthetic canons of Cortina’s traditional heritage with a contemporary design. According to this concept, with the help of the light designer Loris Zanol, real tree trunks have been transformed into spotlights, mounted on rails to move them according to the seating arrangements, whilst the vintage lights that illuminate the roundtables were part of the urban design conceived for the legendary 1956 Winter Olympics held in Cortina.
To see them as they originally appeared in Corso Italia, you can read this article. Talking about recycling, also the woods used for the tables comes from an old barn owned by Riccardo’s father and they have been artfully reassembled, like the floor, by the carpenter & wood wizard, Christian Menardi. The chairs, a masterpiece of design in iron and wood, have been specifically designed for SanBrite by interior designer Rossella Reale who has combined Eames with the mountain utility work.
The cuisine changes according to Riccardo’s fruitful creativity: in addition to the dishes that made him one of the most famous chefs in Europe, from speck tartare to corn pasta with venison ragu, he loves to get inspired by Cortina’s oldest traditions to create yummy, yet unusual, culinary combinations, such as spaghetti pasta with mugo pine and “Prato”, a recipe based on wild herbs collected in the near woods. The wine list is also excellent, the result of careful research of biodynamic and natural wines.
SanBrite can be experienced in so many different ways, depending on the season and the creativity of Ludovica and Riccardo. Just perfect for a gourmet dinner (try the tasting menus), a lunch with a visit to the cheese factory followed by a tasting of artisanal cheeses and cured meats produced by the family farm, a picnic in the garden, or a rustic-chic lunch at the convivial table in the vegetable garden. Or you can take advantage of the many events that are organized during the high season such as après-ski parties with DJ set or the picnic “under the stars”.
The vintage lights were recovered by Ludovica when, in 2013, they were about to be dismissed from Corso Italia because they were too difficult to manage. After the Municipality’s ok to “save” them from oblivion, they were adapted to modern technology and installed at the SanBrite. To see how they looked in Corso Italia, you can read this article.
Average meal: 60 euro
Latte (Milk), a culinary path that guides customers through the “productive” reality of SanBrite, such as the organic dairy: 80 euro wine excluded
Sette (Seven), a selection of all SanBrite signature dishes: 90 euro wine excluded