GOOD EATS: THE BEST OF TUSCAN CUISINE AT ALPINE RISTORANTE

4,800ft up in the mountains at Snowshoe Mountain Resort you will find the essence of Tuscan dining with Mediterranean flair at Alpine Ristorante. Alpine officially opened its doors in the 2014 winter ski season by Chef Ed Shuttleworth.  Since opening day, he and his staff have embraced all things Tuscan including its destination in the resort’s mountain landscape, it’s interior ambiance, and its traditional Tuscan style food. Serving breakfast and dinner every day, Alpine has become a regular destination for locals and tourists alike. It is located in the former Red Fox and Yodelers, which is adjacent to the resort’s Western Territory near Cupp Run and Shays Revenge, and beside the Powder Monkey chairlift.

“Absolutely some of the best Italian food I have ever eaten anywhere!!! From the Mushroom soup to the Alpine House and Wedge salad, to the Ravioli and Bolognese it was all fabulous!!! We will definitely be back!!” – Lisa Hamblen Terrell, via facebook.

This restaurant stands out from others on the mountain for a few special reasons. First, it is the only “white tablecloth” dining venue. This is perfect for a romantic night out or other formal occasion. Second, it is one of two restaurants that accept reservations. Their sister restaurant, South Mountain Grill, also lets you book a table in advance. Lastly, Chef Shuttleworth says he strives to use the freshest ingredients possible. “I utilize any locally sourced foods especially during summer using our Pocahontas County Farmer’s Market for produce.” – Chef Shuttleworth.

Born and raised in Garrett County Maryland, Chef Shuttleworth is no newcomer to the area. He has been a chef for 25 years and was the Executive Chef/F&B Director at Snowshoe from 2001-2005. He left for an opportunity in Myrtle Beach and 9 years later, returned to open Alpine. Since its start, patrons visit often to enjoy the best of Tuscan cuisine and a wide selection of refreshments. They have 50 selections of wine and 40 different beers, including West Virginia’s Big timber Brewing and Mountain State Brewing.

After a long day on the mountain, check out Alpine for dinner. The chef tells us their most popular appetizer is the baked brie. This is formally called paté Alpino Osella on the menu and is a brie with smoked tomato jam and whole roasted garlic. Their most popular entrée is the chicken carbonara, which has bacon prosciutto, ham peas, caramelized red onions, and is served over fettuccine. Another popular dish is the veal marsala which comes with a wine demi-glace, cremini mushrooms, and fontina cheese. It’s served with garlic roasted mashed potatoes and the chef’s vegetable. For those of you with small appetites, the kitchen offers small plate versions for most of their entrées.

If you are interested in breakfast, it’s served every morning starting at 8am. One of the chef’s favorite breakfast dishes is his Shrimp and Italian Grits. True to Tuscan tradition, this creative dish has smoked provolone grits with spicy Italian sausage, blackened shrimp, sautéed peppers, and onions. Another chef favorite is his Alpine Brunch Burger, which is a char-grilled burger topped with an over-easy egg, crisp bacon, and cheddar cheese. This comes with side of home fries. The breakfast menu also offers Quiche di Giorno, Biscuits and Gravy, Steak and Eggs, Cinnamon Bun French Toast, Eggs Benedict, and plenty more.

“If you visit Snowshoe Mountain this is a must do dining experience! They take reservations and the food is delicious. I encourage you to definitely check out this wonderful restaurant on your next ski vacation,” – Gillian McGinn

If you are on the go in the morning, pick up something fast at Alpine’s Trailside Caffé. This caffé is easily accessible if you are in ski/snowboard attire. It’s located in the front of the restaurant. For just $3, you can get a bacon or sausage breakfast sandwich on your choice of a biscuit, bagel, croissant, or English muffin. There’s also a wide selection of specialty coffee drinks, and homemade pastries. Free wi-fi is also available. The caffé is open 7am-3pm daily and is a quick and easy choice for anyone ready to hit the slopes.

The next time you are at Snowshoe Mountain, enjoy this local spot and tell them Hashtag Lewisburg sent you. For more information, visit AlpineRistorante.com or call 304-572-9402. They are also on facebook. Buon Appetitto!

– Gillian McGinn. HashtagWV #86, February 2016

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