Updated: 9 Nov 18
In Dec 17, I reported the new direction for the three key restaurants at la Cry : an excellent choice of complementary restaurants.
"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose." What really matters is the people : their spirit and attitude and how that reflects in the food and surroundings. Its what I love in the Petit Cuchet, Bonjournal and Bachais and don't find in some others like Chalet d'Emilie.
Was constructed during 2017, a second venture for the owner of the ever popular Bachais. Is in the ideal location between ski-school and chair lift : an attractive building and superb outdoor area - but very different from the Bachais. On Christmas Eve 2017, prior to the opening, we sat outside for a very nice vin chaud on the well sheltered and sunny deck.
The inside first opened on Christmas morning and we found it was self-service and designed for fast, inexpensive drinks and snacks, with no cheerful bar or comfortable tables for diners to linger at. The decor was spartan which we didn't find at all welcoming, and the self-service queue started inside and backed-up through the front door - but this autumn the decor is being improved inside and it may be a candidate for our new year's eve....
Today, we noticed there were workmen making changes to the front of the restaurant, but yes it was open for lunch because the chef was there to feed them. We chatted to her, a very bright young lady with quite good english, and she fixed us a workman's lunch surrounded by several artisans putting in new fittings ! She agreed with our comments about the self service last year and she thought the changes the owner was making would be morw welcoming
It looks as if huge changes are afoot at the OPB too, although we've not seen anyone to talk to. Both of the extensions have been taken down and will presumably be replaced by something more permanent - at the moment the new bar is exposed to the elements !
Gary and John took over and renamed the Cassina in 2017 and their sentiments are well expressed on their website. Combloux is their native village and they wanted to create somewhere convivial for people to meet, get to know each other and discover the traditional Savoie culture and rich food...
We celebrated the New Year there last season, having met Gary's partner, Sophie, and negotiated a cut down version of her fairly elaborate and expensive set meal. We had called in for skier's lunch on Christmas day which was OK, but we missed the traditional ambiance, open fire, large tables, steak haché and poulet frites. We called back in on Boxing day for a pleasant chat with Sophie and the previous owner, JP.
The main improvements were that both terraces were enclosed and heated and they had installed a double sided bar where they could serve drinks and snacks regardless of the weather. The enclosures looked rather temporary with plastic covers, so we wait 'avec impatience' to see how they will replace them this year.
This was our biggest surprise last season. For anyone who remembers the Perdix Blanche, this restaurant had a great ambiance and good service which was popular for example with the ski school next door; until it was taken over and renamed the "Clarines". Although they retained the original decor and lightened the interior woodwork, the service was inefficient, and its next incarnation, "Tire Fesse", finally went bankrupt in October 2017. We expected it would take a year to re-sell but Gary and John took it over at the start of December, renamed it again, and had it open by Christmas.
They did not change the decor or removed the cheminée (please don't). Their hastily assembled team didn't quite develop slick service but they did introduce some welcome innovations: e.g. an outside window serving panini (which you could then take inside to eat at the bar); a counter selling bread each morning at 8am (Chalets des Ecrin visitors please note); self-service raclette...
What will they do for this season ?
... To be updated soon