Pinecones and branches come from the wood, the vegetables from the home garden, cheese, butter and milk from the in-house dairy, and the fresh pasta from the family’s malga. SanBrite is, first of all, an act of love towards one’s own land and roots. On the field where he played soccer as a kid, today Riccardo invents his idea of Ampezzo cuisine, and the word spreads all the way to the town. His wife Ludovica sees to details, welcoming guests, and their little daughters. When you get inside, you realise that everything was made with youthful enthusiasm and wisdom. First, the restaurant, all wood and glass, then the dairy (where milk, produced by the cows of Mr Gaspari – Riccardo’s father, undergoes an artisanal processing every morning), and the cheese and delicacies shop. And maybe one day, on the upper floor where hay is stacked, a few rooms, as Ludovica fancies. Large windows that frame the valley and the sky, Nordic-style furniture, and the authenticity of a homely space. Riccardo’s cuisine is a whispered tale. His dishes have names like Patata Primordiale (Primeval Potato, a grilled potato served with potato puree and its skin) and Un nido nel bosco (A nest in the wood, Felicetti Monograno spaghetti with mountain-pine flavoured oil and crisp puccia). With each one of them, not only taste, but also smell and sight are thankful. The smell of wood, mountain trips and simplicity. SanBrite is exactly the way a twenty-first-century malga should be: authentic, innovative, generous and vaguely nostalgic.
* ‘San’ means ‘healthy’ in local dialect, and ‘Brite’ is a homage to the family’s farm-holiday place where Riccardo started cooking.