A real institution in the resort. The charm of the place can be felt as soon as you cross its threshold. You are welcomed with a broad smile and the tables crowded with loyal locals or curious tourists create a warm atmosphere. The layout of an all-wooden bar separates the two wings of La Grange, the pub with 60 places offering traditional dishes such as the region’s famous wood-fired raclette; the other with 40 places offering a gourmet menu, where you can order a small glass at your leisure before returning to your table.
La Grange is also the story of a family dating from 1974, which has established itself over the years as a key address within the resort. Coming from the 2nd generation, Thierry Corthay, now at the head of the restaurant, occupies his kitchen, his creative space, where he concocts generous, appetising and refined seasonal dishes, assisted by his wife, Theresa, enthusiastically managing the reception and seating, so crucial to the restaurant’s comfortable atmosphere.
Somewhere between a hotel and a restaurant: several generations providing service in Verbier
Service is a tradition in the Corthay family. Thierry’s grandfather was already an hotelier in Verbier, running “Le Bellevue”, a boarding house with restaurant, before handing over the reins to his daughter, Danièle, in 1974. With a vision focused on the future, the dynamic new entrepreneur introduced some strategic and expansion changes already at that stage. First of all, the modest main building disappeared to be replaced by a modern residence, comprising several apartments and a new restaurant area, while retaining a traditional alpine appearance. Then, to mark this new departure, she modified the hotel sign by opting for today’s now famous and highly reputed name – “La Grange”.
As a nice little anecdote, the family reused the wood from two family barns in Villette, a nearby town in the Val de Bagnes, to furnish their restaurant, giving it an authentic and timeless atmosphere. This has certainly paid off.
In 1985, Thierry was delighted to join the company, by then all the richer for his training and experience gained in several renowned restaurants, such as l’Abordage in St Sulpice, Stucki in Basel and further reinforced by stints worked in Zermatt, Graubünden and the United States. His wife, Theresa, whom he met in Verbier, has also been an integral part of the team for over twenty years.
A varied blend of tradition and bistronomy, for the greatest pleasure of gourmets
As a gastronomic reference point in the region, the concept of the Restaurant La Grange comprises two distinct formulae. The more relaxed first part highlights traditional dishes, such as fondue, raclette and grilled meats, while the second offers a “bistronomic” menu, to adopt the chef’s own term, favouring a more refined cuisine. Each part enjoys its own area and menu, but collectively appealing to all tastes, even the most demanding, while still offering simpler cuisine in a more affordable price range. In addition, the central bar is the ideal space to relax over an aperitif and chat with local personalities.
Attractive settings making the most of the seasons and the Valais’ own cellars
The choice of local products remains a priority, apart, of course, from seafoods. Creative ideas are developed reflecting the seasons, for example, in late summer highlighting the harvesting of the Valais’ flagship fruit the apricot. The four-course business menu is also recommended for a professional lunch.
On the meat side, Thierry makes no attempt to hide his loyalty and attachment to Emmenthal veal chops with grilled Meaux mustard.
Local wines are often preferred by customers, although the menu also offers an interesting selection of foreign vintages. Here Theresa comes into her own as a great connoisseur and amateur of the region, its “terroir”, producers and venues of interest. Thierry’s personal wine tastes include products from Valais cellars and he knows his champagnes and wines from Burgundy, Bordeaux and Italy. With white wine, he tends to favour the appellations of Fully, Martigny and Chamoson – for example, the Petite Arvine from Fully is a safe bet. As for the reds, Cornalin and Syrah, including the famous Vieilles Vignes from Simon Maye & Fils, are particularly appreciated.
Some “food and wine” pairings go together better than others. However, Thierry considers that pleasure comes as much from what you drink as from what you eat. For the record, he remembers a customer who chose a bottle of Cheval Blanc to accompany his sauerkraut! Any “food and wine” pairing is more a spontaneous feeling of the moment and no offense to the purists is intended.
La Grange, an influence beyond Verbier
The Restaurant La Grange appears in the well-known French gastronomic guide, Gault & Millau, scoring 13 points in the 2022 edition. It also appears on a notable platform, the Bottin Gourmand and is an honorary member of the JRE-Jeunes Restaurateurs, who are committed to safeguarding their own terroir and to supporting the best local products. Regularly quoted in the press, the family establishment is a worthy representative of the region’s good restaurants. Thanks to this professional recognition, La Grange’s reputation goes beyond the Swiss borders where it is also well-regarded and respected.
However, as the saying goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. La Grange enjoys an excellent reputation thanks to a loyal clientele of regulars who always appreciate the warm and personalized welcome and service. In addition, the fact that the boss and his lady, in their respective capacities, serve delicious dishes, of unfailing quality and in a relaxed atmosphere, ensures the prosperity of the restaurant.