Rustic Unusual

Al Capriolo (BL)

by Lavinia Colonna Preti
Al Capriolo (BL) — Veneto Secrets

Historic restaurant, Al Capriolo mixes the finest Cortina’s heritage with the colorful retro-chic suggestions that inspired Wes Anderson for the Grand Hotel Budapest movie.

Located in Vodo di Cadore, it is, in fact, the only restaurant of the Cortina area where you can admire original 19th-century paintings, decorations, and hunting trophies that date back to the Habsburg Monarchy. Originally a post office station, providing carriage services, food, and accommodation to the traveling aristocrats of the time, it was conveniently located along the so-called “Habsburg road Alemagna”; the famous route commissioned by Maria Theresa of Austria to connect Venice with Tyrol and Bavaria through the Dolomites.

From Lord Byron to Paul Grohmann, mountaineering pioneers many years before Cortina and winter sports became mass entertainment, these are just some of the many illustrious guests of Al Capriolo, managed since its foundation in the early 1800s by the Gregori family.

With a break due to the two world wars, in 1950 Pietro Gregori inaugurated a new course for the inn, giving life to the Al Capriolo restaurant, loved over the years by many famous regulars like the Agnelli family, Count Nuvoletti, Gina Lollobrigida, Vittorio Gassman. The hospitality tradition is continued today by Massimiliano Gregori and his wife Beatrice.

Al Capriolo (BL) — Veneto Secrets

The restaurant offers Central European cuisine with solid roots in Cortina’s tradition, thanks to the use of organic products from local suppliers and Slow Food Presidia, revisited using the most modern cooking techniques. Renowned for the game recipes, among the signature dishes we find the “great dish of game” served in two courses and, among the most creative ones, the loin of rabbit glazed with roasted pepper and artemisia or the tagliatelle with fir sprouts, ragout of roe deer and porcini mushrooms.

In 2012, Il Capriolino was born, the small bistro that offers more classic dishes located just next to Al Capriolo.
The cellar is well stocked with more than 500 wine labels from mainly South Tyrol, Trentino, Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia, as well as a selection of international wines, especially French.

Book the table for two “under” the roe deer and enjoy the Cortina’s true soul as, long before becoming the worldly destination we all know today, it was an important stop on the “Italy Grand Tour” and a favorite of the Habsburg aristocracy of which Al Capriolo preserves today the sophisticated suggestions.

On the first floor, the restaurant houses the Locanda: six rooms designed to experience the best of the mountain with furnishings made of wood recovered from the old beams and planks of the original building. The Junior Suite with a private spa and a sitting area with a romantic ceramic stube is just beautiful.

The Secret

The room that occupies the current restaurant, at the time of the Post Office, was the elegant living room for the guests of the inn, therefore part of the Gregori family home, which is why the walls are embellished with ornamental paintings and important decorations and, therefore, unusual for the inns of the time.

Useful Info

Al Capriolo
Via Nazionale 108
32040 Vodo di Cadore, Belluno
Tel. +39 0435 489207

Al Capriolo
First courses: 20 — 28 euro
Meat courses: 32 — 45 euro
Tasting menu: from 78 euro circa (wine excluded)

Il Capriolino
First courses: 12 euro
Meat courses: 12 — 22 euro
Set menu: from 28 euro

Discover the Secret Places closest to you